Link Popularity Pitfalls

Link popularity is an important factor in the promotion of your website. Without it you will find success hard to find. Many entrepreneurs devote a great deal of time, energy and expense into the quest for more links to their website, some gain success while others fail terribly. What are the reasons for this?

The most common pitfall that link traders find themselves falling into is, what I refer to as, “Link Greed”. The most common way in which webmasters increase their link popularity is to gain reciprocal links, a reciprocal link is the placement of a link to another site placed on your own reciprocated by a link to your own site on theirs. However not all link exchanges are equal, some are fair while others are actually dangerous to your site. Those webmasters suffering from link greed eagerly accept every link exchange offered to them and fail to take the time to make a few simple investigations to ensure that the link partner is being fair. Also, link greed can lead to the acceptance of links that are either on an unsuitable site or in an unsuitable directory.

Link popularity is not the most important factor, yes, to do well you will need a reasonable number of links to your site but, for most search engines, it is the quality of the link that is most important. If you have a site about “wrinkle treatments” it would be beneficial to exchange reciprocal links with other wrinkle treatment sites, furthermore any other site about skin care, and even the wider scope of health, would also be most suitable. However trading links with a site about deep sea fishing would hardly be suitable – can you see an Alaskan fisherman worried about his wrinkles? This analogy may be a little amusing but it is very much how the search engines attempt to view the Internet and the relationships between websites. So remember sites that increase their link popularity by trading links with relevant sites do far better than those that exchange links with any site.

Common Dangers

Now here is some important information about trading links:

1. Ensure that the search engines can find your links page and that they can find the links page of the other site. Usually this is easy to check by going to the homepage and finding the route to the links directory.

2. Try to place their link on your site on a page that matches the number of clicks from the homepage. The best links pages are those that are only 1 click from the homepage or 2 clicks. 3 clicks and beyond can be problematic.

3. Check to see if the link partner is using any tricks or immoral tactics to hide your link on their site. There are a number of tricks an unscrupulous webmaster can employ to his advantage and to your disadvantage so spend some time familiarizing yourself with the common ones.

4. Consider purchasing software to check your reciprocal links. Software such as LinkAssistant ( will enable you to check that your link is still on the other site plus it can do many other things to help you promote your site and increase your link popularity.

Link Text/Anchor Text

Your choice of anchor text (the words that are actually linked to your site) are incredibly important. With a little research you will be able to discover what people actually search for and these are the words you should include in your anchor text. However it is not always wise to go with the terms most popularly searched for. Say you had a site about hotels in London, England in the United Kingdom, well the most popular search may be “London Hotels” but other terms are also searched for such as “boutique hotels London” or “cheap hotels London UK“. Therefore you should change your text from time to time selecting one of the lesser searched for terms (you will stand a better chance of featuring on the top page for such searches) but occasionally selecting the main search, which, in this case, would be “London Hotels”. As your link popularity increases you should widen the variety of phrases used in your anchor text. You should also include a short description below the link to describe your site, include a few keywords here also and change that often too, mixing and matching various combinations. If you stick with the same link text and description you might well find your site blacklisted for over optimization.

Andrew Kelly has lived in the Hebrides of Scotland for 16 years. Initially concentrating on accommodation in the Hebrides he began writing for the Internet he began writing about vacations in Scotland in general and has now published tens of thousands of pages and articles across many popular sites.