You article shows you have a lot of expertise in SEO. Being a novice I enjoyed the depth of your article.
Popularity is the variable the search engine uses when breaking a tie. When two sites are equally relevant the most popular site wins. In fact a very popular site can sometimes win even when relevance is not equal. This article is about how to build tie breaking popularity for a website using link requests.
If you’ve used a search engine, then you’ve typed in a keyword Query to find a site. The keyword query returns a list of sites. The first site on the list has the top ranking for that keyword query. This type of ranking is called a Keyword Ranking. There are many variables that the search engine looks at when determining the top Keyword rankings. The two we need to focus on are Relevance and Popularity. To be relevant, the keyword query must be a part of the content of the webpage. The question is how does the search engine decide who should be on top when two sites have the same level of relevance? Relevance is important, but popularity tends to be the main engine for moving up the site keyword ranking.
(*Note: If you’d like more information about relevance try reading Non-technical SEO: using keywords to get your Site(s) found.)
To explain this, let me ask the question, do you ever overdo your exercise? I do these dumbbell lunges that leave my thighs in pain for days. It seems that working at a desk and getting older requires more exercise and stretching just to keep from getting fatter. I have found that along with an excise and a stretching regime a good massage therapist just makes exercising so much easier. So how do I find a good massage therapist? If I go on the internet and type Seattle Massage, I get a long list of over 1000 massage therapists. As much as I enjoy a good massage, I can’t try them all before deciding on one. Especially after considering that the real benefit of massage comes after developing a long term relationship with a single massage therapist.
The problem: Of all these massage therapists, who is the right therapist for me? One solution consistently works whether looking for a massage therapist, a doctor or a mechanic. What I could really use is a good referral.
The problem is the same for the search engine. The search engine programmers want to refer the top sites for each keyword query. I can call a friend for a referral, but what about the search engine? The search engine has 10’s of 1000’s of websites on the query list. Search engines can't make phone calls and don’t get referrals, or do they? Well actually there is a search engine equivalent of a referral. For a search engine, a link from one website to another is a referral.
Long before there were search engines, webmasters pointed to other sites they thought were cool. This is actually a big part of the early internet community. By pointing at other cool sites on the web, the webmaster helped pass on information about these other cools sites. The original search engine programmers realized this and decided that if two sites were equally relevant, the site with the most links moved up the list. The thinking was that if a webmaster took the time to program a link to another site, it must be a good site. You may have noticed that many sites have a “Web Resource” type page. You’ll also see a “Link to us” Page. On the Web Resource page the webmaster refers other sites to the search engines. The “link to us” page describes the code and instruction to link back to the site.
Here is an example of the code Profish-n-sea, an Alaskan fishing guide, uses when requesting a link.
<A HREF="http://www.profish-n-sea.com" STYLE="COLOR:blue"><B>Alaska Halibut Fishing</B></A> - Exhilarating Alaska fishing charters for trophy salmon, halibut and giant lingcod. Master Guide Steve Zernia gives all out effort. Experience heart-pounding sportfishing action.
In this code you can see the URL or website being referred is http://www.profish-n-sea.com. Essentially the code is saying, I think Profish-n-sea is a cool site. In our example, “Alaska fishing charters" is the keyword the code uses to explain to the search engine that Profish-n-sea is an Alaska Fishing charter. By including the site keywords into this code, the website URL is linked to the keywords and seen as more credible. If profish-n-see uses the same keywords in its content as is found in the link, then the search engine will be convinced of the relevancy and popularity of Profish-n-sea.
(Note: Type Alaska fishing Charters into Goggle and Profish-n-sea will be number 1. Profish-n-sea has been using this strategy for many years. Also I saw my first whale showing off for our boat while on a fishing trip on one of thier boats. This is a great charter company.)
We could wait for webmasters to look at our page. In time we would slowly build popularity. There is a faster way though.
We could speed up the process by sending a Link Request to the webmaster of another site. Essentially saying we think you’re cool. We’ll link to you. If you think we are cool also, will you link to us in return? The webmaster then creates a link back to the requestor’s site using the code in the Link Request. When the search engine see’s the link pointing back to the requestor’s site, the link is counted as a referral and helps build the requestor site’s popularity. Along with posting articles and videos that point back to a site, link requests are another way to build popularity. The tactic is for the webmaster to send these link requests to all the cool websites he/she comes across.
Search engines break ties in relevancy with a value called popularity. Popularity is built based on the links pointing to the web page. It would be nice if this were all there was to SEO popularity, but there is more. Each link is valued differently depending on the originating site. To learn how links are weighted check this article, Let’s talk about SEO PR.
There are many ways to build links that point back to a site. Blog Articles and comments are one way to create links back to your website. (Note: to build highly credible links frorm your Biznik profile take a look at this article Biznik SEO Checklist.) Remembering that all links are not created equal, Link Exchange requests are another tool a webmaster can use to create customized and highly credible links back to the website.
Learn more about the author, James Murray.
Thanks James. I know I need to know this but still - my eyes glaze over. I recently ignored an invitation to a "link farm" because I didn't know what it was.
I would just caution you to be careful about who you exchange links with, because your reputation is at stake.
I turn down 75% or more requests because the requesting site doesn't really know anything about me and my readers (and obviously hasn't done the research to find out) and they just want that link in return.
I am very careful that link exchanges make sense.
Thanks buddy for the article as I have 16 blogs up right now and you are absolutely right. Back links are king and absolutely help you get ranked. Great information and valuable to anyone trying to get their site/blog ranked so that people can find them, and after all isn't that why we put up a site or blog to begin with.
I look forward to connecting with you and hearing more of your expertise.
This is one of those subjects that there is a lot of mis-information in and clear information is hard to come by. Even the experts get fooled and we all are learning.
I have been working with this as a hobby for 10 years and become a little fixed in my own ways. I've spent the last 6 months meeting others and learning how they do things and it's been very enlightening.
Link requests have always been what I've specialized in.
I understand the Glaze factor. I'm very technical and work hard to keep that glaze factor out of my conversation. Still I've I go longer than 5 minutes without someone glazing over on this topic, I think you are doing well.
This was meant to be one of many articles on the subject clearing up one piece at a time. SEO is about clean code, keyword relevance, and other sites linking to your site. Keywords relevance is the foundation.
Check out my article on keywords. I think it's a little easier to start out with.
Oh and yes there are link farms everywhere trying to get you to link with them. Always checke out a site before you accept the link. The wrong kinds of links are not helpful and could do harm.
Thanks so much for your comment. Yes who you link to is very important. The wrong link is like dating the wrong person.
The best idea is to check the site out. Make sure there are multiple pages. Is this a site you would recomend or want recomending you? These are important questions to ask yourself before accepting any code on your website.
It should also look very similiar to the code on this page.
Link farms are never good. The best way to start is with your friends.
If you are a member of a business group on Biznik (I can recomend several if you aren't) the people you know are good places to start.
Wouldn't you agree Judy?
Appreciated your comments. It sounds like you have a strong linking strategy with 16 blogs. I'm impressed.
You are in a very competitive keyword market, I understand why you would be so focused.
I would enjoy connecting with you as well.
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