When web designers build a site, a great deal of emphasis is placed on the content and the tags as far as their SEO efforts. However, link popularity, an extremely vital part of search engine optimization, is not receiving nearly enough attention. In fact, with many search engines, including the all-important Google, link popularity is among the MOST important factors that determine the rankings achieved when a search engine indexes a given site.

If you want to build link popularity in your website, there are some very effective techniques that you can employ for doing so. In fact, many of them are extremely direct and simple to do, while still allowing you to build a substantial link popularity.

Your first step is to make sure that there are many inbound, one-way links. This can be done in a number of different perfectly legal and acceptable ways:

• Web Directories – these sites index and categorize lists of links throughout the world wide web. There are countless web directories out there, and each has their own method for having you add your link. They can be a great way to build your inbound, one-way links. Yahoo! and DMOZ are also fantastic for your link popularity.

• Quality Web Site Content – having great site content is among the best ways to achieve lots of inbound, one-way links. It is your content that will convince other sites – not just directories – to list your site among their links. In fact, you will rarely need to approach other sites about this. If your site has fantastic content, then other sites will often find you and list you without your having to do anything at all. Most of the time, if your content is shoddy, then other sites won’t naturally link to you. The fact is that most of the top ranking sites are there because of their winning web site content. To do this, gradually add informative, interesting articles and features to your website.

• Contact Webmasters – if you should come across a links list on the internet – other than a directory – where you believe that your link will be well placed, it won’t hurt to contact that site’s webmaster to ask if they might link to your site. They may request a reciprocal link in return, but some do not, and this will give you a perfect one-way link as your reward.

Next week I will run through the software we ourselves use for this vital task.

Mark.