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The Popularity Contest - How Link Popularity Can Improve Your Website
Did you ever wonder why high-school kids are so fully preoccupied with being "popular"? To teens, being popular means everybody knows your name and who you are. On the other hand, not being popular almost means you don't even exist. It sounds harsh, but similar rules of popularity exist on the web. While some websites are generally "known", other websites scream for attention yet rarely get noticed. When I speak of "Link Popularity" I basically talk about the total number of sites on the Internet that are linking to your own website. When a lot of other sites are displaying a link to your website, you have a higher degree of popularity than when only a few other websites are linking to you. It is a simple concept, but very important for webmasters, because most net search engines list and rank websites in their databases based on this link popularity. Again, websites with higher link popularities will get listed faster and higher in search engine results.

How Does it Work?
Google helped start this idea. When adding websites to their own search engine, Google has automated software (called Spiders) that "crawl" or search the web, following hyperlinks from site to site. These Spiders document how many links exist on the web to your website. Google states, "When a URL is submitted to Google, I look for it in our next crawl. If you've already submitted your URL, your site could easily appear in our new index, which will go up when the current crawl is completed. However, if no other site links to yours, it may be difficult for our crawler to find you. Conversely, if many sites link to your page, there is a good chance I will find you without your even submitting your URL. If Google has not found your pages, it is because I have not encountered any links on the web pointing to your site. If you increase the links pointing to your website, Google will likely find your site in the future."

Quality Versus Quantity

So, the more links to your site that exist on the web, the more likely the big name search engines will both pick your site up, and list it high in users' search results. Understand though, that simply creating a few hundred pages with your URL on it and posting them to a website for search engine Spiders to find won't automatically get you listed. Search engine Spiders are smart critters, and they know junk websites from quality websites. How? They examine each website's link popularity! A link to your website on powerhouse CNET.com (with a high link popularity) is much more valuable than a link to your website on bobspants23.org (with a low link popularity). With this in mind, it may actually be better to have one link to your website on a popular site, than 50 links to your website on a multiple unpopular sites. To carry this idea further, another "no-no" when it comes to getting your link on the net, is posting them in low quality list sites, also called "link farms" or "banner farms." Big search engines like Google will ban sites that participate in these type of list sites.

What to Do?

As you can see, the rise to popularity isn't easy work. What can you do? Simple - increase the number of quality links pointing to your website by creating a reciprocal links page! We use the recommended service of LinksManager. As a service that will automate the process of exchanging links.

What is LinksManager?
LinksManager isn't a link swap farm, it is the premier tool to help you create and maintain your website's links pages. Most importantly, LinksManager will tell you if a webmaster who submits a link to your site is reciprocating your link. Without that reciprocating link, your link popularity won't increase. Remembering the quantity versus quality issue, you can even search for sites with high link popularity ratings, and email them asking for a link swap. A series of tasks can be performed to test your own link popularity, to compare your link popularity with your competitors, and to find other websites with higher link popularities.

How does LinksManager work?

After you sign up a new LinksManager account, you gain access to your customized account Control Panel. Your Control Panel allows you to perform all the necessary functions to setup your new links pages and maintain your account. You can setup your account yourself, or request LinksManager support staff to help setup your links pages for you.

After your links pages are setup, full testing is suggested so you understand how the system works prior to swapping links with other sites. LinksManager provides you with a Setup Guide that explains how to test your account.

When other webmasters ask to swap links with your site, you will point them to your add link page which is published with your links pages. Every LinksManager account gets it's own add link page and this form is what allows anyone to suggest a link to your site.

As other webmasters ask to swap links with you, you will receive an email notification from LinksManager alerting you that a new link has been submitted for approval. From your LinksManager account control panel, you can view link submissions, see whether or not the webmaster is reciprocating your link, and approve or deny the new links. Approved links are automatically added to your links pages with a single mouse click.

Other administrative functions allow you to fully customize and optimize your account and links pages. Click here for more information on all LinksManager features.

Conclusion

Many webmasters think that the way to drive traffic to their websites is to spend thousands of dollars on banner advertising, or to add a jazzy Flash introduction to their homepage. In reality, a simple, long-term reciprocal linking campaign can do more good for a website than anything else - period. LinksManager gladly takes charge of the "busy work" while you focus on other important tasks.

Tip

To check your link popularity, you can either visit the engines and check it from there, or you can use this free link popularity checker. It currently supports MSN, Lycos/FAST and Altavista.


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