Link Popularity

Link Popularity is a measure of the quantity and quality of other web sites that link to a specific site on the World Wide Web. It is an example of the move by search engines towards off-the-page-criteria to determine quality content. In theory, off-the-page-criteria adds the aspect of impartiality to search engine rankings. Link popularity plays an important role in the visibility of a web site among the top of the search results. Indeed, some search engines require at least one or more links coming to a web site, otherwise they will drop it from their index

Types of links:

Reciprocal link is a mutual link between two objects, commonly between two websites to ensure mutual traffic. Example: Alice and Bob have websites. If Bob’s website links to Alice’s website, and Alice’s website links to Bob’s website, the websites are reciprocally linked. Website owners often submit their sites to reciprocal link exchange directories, in order to achieve higher rankings in the search engines. Reciprocal linking between websites is an important part of the search engine optimization process because Google uses link popularity algorithms (defined as the number of links that led to a particular page and the anchor text of the link) to rank websites for relevancy.

Backlinks are incoming links to a website or web page. The number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity or importance of that website or page. In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by a web node (web page, directory, website, or top level domain) from another web node. Backlinks are also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links.

Deep linking, on the World Wide Web, is making a hyperlink that points to a specific page or image on another website, instead of that website’s main or home page. Such links are called deep links.

Three way linking  (siteA -> siteB -> siteC -> siteA) is a special type of reciprocal linking. The attempt of this link building method is to create more “natural” links in the eyes of search engines. The value of links by three-way linking can then be better than normal reciprocal links, which are usually done between two domains.

One way link is a term used among webmasters for link building methods. It is a hyperlink that points to a website without any reciprocal link; thus the link goes “one way” in direction. It is suspected by many industry consultants that this type of link would be considered more natural in the eyes of search engines

Search engines such as Google use a proprietary link analysis system to rank web pages. Citations from other WWW authors help to define a site’s reputation. The philosophy of link popularity is that important sites will attract many links. Content poor sites will have difficulty attracting any links. Link popularity assumes that not all incoming links are equal; an inbound link from a major directory carries more weight than an inbound link from an obscure personal home page. In other works, the quality of incoming links counts more than sheer numbers of them.

A remarkable aspect here is to understand that in Google the quality and quantity of incoming links is incredibly important. Yahoo & MSN do not apply this filter and it´ s all about volume and content´ s updating frequency regardless of the incoming links growth rate and quality.
Pertaining to Google our strategy needs to be to get as many quality links as possible to our website, but at a steady rate over time.

What does Google look for regarding quality?

Google wants to see incoming links from related websites. The more authority those websites have in the niche we are targeting the better the link score will be. In Google´ s perspective, a single quality link from a related website with some authority in the niche is ten times better than getting 100 links for other websites that have nothing to do with that niche. So in Google, it is all about quality, content relationship and similitude between websites when it comes to links.

What is a steady rate?

The time restriction points to the fact that the link building process has to seem natural. For example if you get 2,000 incoming links from related websites with a high PR ranking and some authority in a 48 hour time period, this will look un-natural. To avoid being flagged by Google you just need to set a steady rate of growth for your incoming links that will not look like an exaggeration. The process has to be constant but logical on time.

This last aspect has been widely discussed in the SEO community since high Link Velocity and incoming link acquisition rates have a big factor in determining Search Engines results

What not to do!

Link spamming is a technique that has been widely used among the Black Hat SEO Community. This technique occurs when one acquires thousands of incoming links to a site daily. This is mainly achieved by allocating links to a site using the RSS. This is also achieved by spamming search engines, guest-books, forums and other traditional black hat resources. The tremendous increase in incoming at such a high link velocity will enable the site to easily surpass well-established competing websites in a short period. This process is shunned by Google and will result in the site being sent back to the Sandbox if it is determined that one is link spamming.

The benefits of link spamming are indeed enormous in the short term, but the website may lose all SEO value if caught. The purpose of mentioning this is to know both sides of the coin so you can utilize this strategy to fight back if you are under the attack of black hat activity from a competitor. Usually most website owners will be outranked really easily by black hat spammers unless you know their methods and can fight back their attacks.

For the purposes and nature of our work, and since we are dealing with a long term commitment to SEO, White Hat methods are the only approach we use.