Article: Importance of Link Popularity

By: Wowseo  09-12-2011
Keywords: search engine, search engines, Search Engine Rankings

Importance of Link PopularityLink popularity is becoming one of the most significant factors in determining how well a site ranks. Search engines are continually motivated to provide relevant search results for each search query.Traditionally, search engines based their rankings chiefly on what was found within a page or site. Search engine rankings for keyword queries were initially based on the metadata and title within a page. Due to the misuse of metadata principles search engines have started to give more credence to off page criteria - namely link popularity and link reputation.What is Link Popularity?
The foundation of link popularity is the number of links a search engine detects pointing to a particular site. The more popular the site, the more likely the site is to have quality content. Quality sites are more likely to have content rich pages, allowing the search engine to provide quality results to the search engine results pages. Search engines give a higher ranking in their search results to pages that come from a site with high link popularity.How does Link Popularity Affect Traffic?
Link popularity is a recognized way to boost targeted traffic. A web page is deemed more important when many other pages link to it. A link is a vote cast by one page for another. But votes are not equal. A vote from a page that benefits from high link popularity transmits a greater weighted value than a page with lower link popularity.Link popularity is a building block of search engine ranking criteria that when incorporated with on-page optimization factors will influence ranking position in the search results. When links are reinforced with importance to the user and relevant relationship to the receiving page, they have a greater sway on search engine ranking potential.Link popularity is measured by a complex set of calculations to determine weighted values of incoming links that are not only based upon "page importance" but link reputation as well which is the contextual relationship of the linked pages.How Does Link Popularity Affect Site Rankings?
A link popularity score alone won't determine a page's rank, but search engines increasingly use it to score pages because it is considered a sign of a high quality site: one site won't link to another site for no reason, so a site with an immense amount of external links must contain meaningful content.All search engines use different algorithms to rank sites, but most of the major ones consider link popularity in some form. Google uses link popularity almost exclusively to rank sites. Because Google provides content for other major players, a high ranking may help a site in other major search engines as well.Many links to a site can also improve search engine ranking by keeping a site in the search engines. As more sites are linked, the odds increase that search engine spiders will encounter the site repeatedly and be less likely to leave it out of their databases.Link Popularity Pitfalls
Because of the importance of link popularity there have been many cases of misuse. There are elements to be wary of when it comes to embarking on a linking campaign to boost a website's link popularity. The following is a list of some linking pitfalls:FFA
Link Farms
Bad Neighbourhoods/Dirty IP's
Banned Sites
Penalized Sites
Accumulation of links too quickly/False Inflation
Independent Back Linking Network
About the AuthorAmye has spent 15 years in the IT industry and has been working in the Search Engine Optimization field for four years - enjoying every minute! For more SEO Tips for beginners see SEO Fever - a work in progress.

Keywords: search engine, Search Engine Rankings, search engines

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