Link Popularity for the Unpopular, a Quick Primer for Today’s Search Engine Landscape

So tell the truth, were you popular in high school? Did you have a lot of friends, and a wide social circle? Were you an athlete? Did your accomplishments extend far outside the halls of your alma mater to neighboring schools and counties? If so, then congratulations; you’re probably in the minority of those reading this article. What does this example have to do with link popularity you ask; more than you think.

Just as in high school, on the World Wide Web, your website is known by the company it keeps. Link to the wrong site or “hang with the wrong crowd” and you could be ostracized by the search engine community before you even begin. Achieve quality inbound links from a wide range of popular kids on the internet, however, and watch your site’s online profile soar. Sounds simple, and it is, if you know what to do to climb the online social ladder that is Link Popularity.

But before we get to that, what exactly is Link Popularity? Simply defined, Link Popularity is a measure of the quantity and quality of other web sites that link to your site on the internet at any given time. It is considered an off-the-page criteria that is greatly utilized by search engines to determine the overall importance and quality of your site to the online community. Because of its impartial nature, a site with a very high number of incoming links is usually viewed as highly relevant to the online community at large and thus highly visible within relevant search engine results. Whereas a content-poor site will attract fewer incoming links and thus hold little value to the same visitors.

What is the current link popularity of your site today? Take a moment to enter your site url at popular free link tool http://www.linkpopularity.com, then come back for the rest of this article…..

Still there, good! The results probably weren’t what you had hoped for though, where they? Not to worry; probably the biggest threat to you obtaining a high link popularity score for your site is relying on old information. To that end, below is a quick 10-step CURRENT process that can be implemented immediately to increase your site’s overall link popularity:

Step 1 – SUBMIT YOUR SITE TO OPEN DIRECTORY (DMOZ) AND YAHOO – Although neither of these sites are the 800 lb. gorillas they used to be, any link from these sites is going to increase your online profile immediately and very visibly. Find your appropriate category in both sites and submit for free with DMOZ and invest the $299 for a yearly indexing with Yahoo. Although DMOZ is still incredibly slow in adding new sites, keep at it, find the appropriate editor and send him cookies or flowers if necessary (couldn’t hurt?) then be patient.

Step 2 – ADD YOUR KEYWORDS TO THE LINKING ANCHOR TEXT – When at all possible, try to have an on-point relevant keyword phrase used as the linking text within any inbound link your seek for your site. If all you can manage is your site name or your url, that is certainly fine. But if you are selling toothbrushes to Eskimos, then “Eskimo toothbrushes for sale” as the linking keyword phrase from one site to yours is always the way to go.

Step 3 – WRITE ARTICLES AND SUBMIT PRESS RELEASES – Hey, look what I am doing right now! I could be watching ESPN, but I am writing this article instead. Write articles and submit press releases when you have a personnel change, introduce or upgrade a service or product or when you have a topic of interest you wish to share with the online world web community. Don’t have a blog? Get one! This is a simple way to get your articles and press releases out for indexing and review. Make sure to include links to your site where appropriate and watch your link popularity grow and grow.

Step 4 – FIND OUT WHO LINKS TO YOUR COMPETITORS – Go to Google.com and enter this into this search query: link:www.yourcompetitor.com. Do the same for Yahoo by entering linkdomain:www.your-competitor.com -site:www.your-competitor.com into the search field. Seek out the sites linking to your competitors and convince them to link to you instead. You win TWICE with this approach. You gain a quality link and an increase in your overall popularity while your competitor LOSES a link and achieves a lower popularity score in return.

Step 5 – CREATE AN AFFILIATE PROGRAM – Nothing generates quality, inbound links to your site faster than an established, commission-paying affiliate program. Whether your site is product or service-based, an affiliate program can be just the thing that takes your site and its link popularity to new heights. Visit http://www.CommissionJunction.com or http://www.LinkShare.com to set-up a new affiliate program of your design today and watch your online profile grow by leaps and bounds.

Step 6 – DEEP LINK YOUR SITE – This step is vastly overlooked by even the most savvy of online marketers initiating a new link popularity campaign. Make sure that links you seek out or solicit don’t just link to your home page, but ALL pages of your website. This process has numerous benefits including expanding your overall online link profile as well as generating unique Google PageRank values for each and every one of your site’s pages instead of just your home page.

Step 7 – SIGN UP ON GUESTBOOKS AND FORUMS – If you don’t participate in forums on your site topic or remember to sign-in when visiting a new site for the first time, now is the time to make such actions a habit. Always post a message or participate in a forum thread whenever possible and include a link to your site in your signature where appropriate. These “sig” files do get indexed and really add up, especially if the site forum in question is something highly regarded in your specific industry.

Step 8 – CONTACT RECIPROCAL LINKS BY PHONE NOT EMAIL – You would be shocked how successful this really is. More people are inclined to respond to your request when you introduce yourself by phone and let them know that you were visiting their site. Tell the person you are linking to their site, asking permission of course, and then politely ask for a link back. Cement the request by following up by email; then wait for the links to roll-in (oh, and get rid of the form letters; they don’t work!).

Step 9 – AVOID LINK FARMS AND LINK EXCHANGES – Reputation on the web is more important than ever. Again, just like friendships in high school, it’s better to have fewer higher-quality links to your site than hundreds of off-point, non-relevant links that do nothing to enhance the overall experience of the online community. Stay away, far away, from companies promising you hundreds of links to your site overnight. At best you don’t need the links, and at worst, you could be banned by the major search engines altogether.

Step 10 – DOWNLOAD THE GOOGLE TOOLBAR – This very simple technique allows you to view all potential link partners by the very important Google PageRank score (1-10) that is viewable in this browser. Use the toolbar to keep tabs on your own site’s PageRank score, than seek out complimentary, highly relevant linking partners that have a Google PageRank score of 6 or higher whenever possible. Convince a handful of high Google PageRank sites to link back to you and watch your site take off.

Remember, just like in high school, you and your site will be known by the company kept. Follow the simple, ten step plan outlined above, and you will be well on your way to achieving real, measured, lasting success online. Be the popular site on the block today; it’s easier then you think. Go ahead, be popular!

Internet Marketing Strategy in Web 2.0 World

The second generation of the Internet is different than the first generation so many things have changed considerably including Internet marketing. However, there are lots of ways that Boston web sites can capitalize on the differences and really market their website as a result. There are many things that can help you market your website from the actual web design to the content on the site and more. The following information will help you understand a little better how to market you Boston website design in the Web 2.0 world.

Links

Links are one of the greatest tools available to you to help you market your website and get more hits. The more links you can get pointing back to your website increases its ranking with the search engines so when someone searches for specific terms your website will have a higher ranking than others that don’t have as many links. It takes a little bit of time to get lots of different links but you can do so over time by having other websites list your link, posting your link in directories, and more. When you have lots of links you will see the difference in ranking and traffic to your site.

Content

Another way to market your website is through original content. It might seem crazy, but the more original the content on your site and the more original content is added to your sit the higher your site will be ranked. That goes the same for the more pages you have on the site as well because there is more for the search engines to index.

PPC

Pay per click advertising is another great way to market your site and it is an unobtrusive way to get more traffic. You simply bid an amount of money on a certain keyword or keyword set and if your bid is the highest your ad will be ranked number one or wherever it falls among the other advertisers. When people search for a particular keyword they will see your ad and possibly click. You can make money off the clicks as well.

There really are a lot of ways for you to market your website in the web 2.0 world and these are just a few suggestions. If you implement these you will certainly see an increase in traffic and the more work you do on your website your marketing efforts will result.

One of the Coolest SNES Games Ever Made “The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past”

A young man dressed in green. Pointy elfin-like ears. A mighty sword slung over his back. And the weight of a world on his shoulders. Those of us who have played the Legend of Zelda video games on various Nintendo consoles have been fans of the series from the first time we played the game. It is a love beyond definition for die hard Zelda fans. Is it the music that creeps into your mind and plays over and over for no reason? The pioneering game play that introduced us all to the underground labyrinths where monsters and creatures lurked and haunted us for days on end? Or is it the classic story of cheering on good to triumph over evil and for the boy to save his girl? Whatever the reason, Zelda fans are hooked, and have been since 1987.

The third installment of the Zelda series, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, was a groundbreaking game in its own right. Released in 1991 in Japan and in 1992 in the United States, the game returned to the top-down view of game play familiar to players from the original Legend of Zelda. The sequel on the NES, Link’s Awakening, used a side-scrolling game play familiar to fans of the Super Mario Bros. series and most other games on the NES. This allowed the player to see everything around them within the screen before moving on to the next. The game play moved along a type of grid, in which you played in one square, and when you moved to the edge of it to go to a different area, Link moved into another square.

Another new addition to the Zelda franchise was the addition of another parallel world to the actual world Link lives in. Link is able to move back and forth between the Light and Dark World, which used to be the Sacred Realm before evil moved in. However, players are greeted with the sight of Link as a pink rabbit if they attempt to enter the Dark World before obtaining the Moon Pearl. Depending on where the player tried to cross between the worlds determined where they would appear in the opposite world, often unlocking different secrets that were unattainable any other way. This concept would be central to the plot in another successful Zelda installment, Ocarina of Time.

The central characters from the original Legend of Zelda are present in Link to the Past, but some had a makeover for the new capabilities of the Super Nintendo. Link is, of course, still the main antagonist, but this is the first game where Zelda takes a somewhat active role in her own rescue. Link goes to Hyrule Castle to rescue her, and she is able to communicate telepathically with him to tell him where she is. She also give Link a sword and shield when he finds her, and follows him out of the dungeons. Ganon is still around as the ever present dark enemy, but players do not realize that fact until much later in the game. The character, Agahnim, is the foe Link believes he is fighting, but in the final battle of the game Ganon erupts from the broken body of Agahnim.

A Link to the Past was another ground breaking game for Nintendo in the early 1990’s, selling over 4.5 million copies. The game was re-released on the Game Boy Advance in 2002 as a combination game with Four Swords, and it was also recently re-released as a downloadable title on the Wii. Players can still play the game without having their SNES functional and connected, and employing newer graphics and audio technology. It has been voted a top game by numerous magazines and gaming lists, and is a classic in the vein of the whole Zelda series. This game is a must have for any Zelda fan, as well as any video game fan.