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Is Link Popularity on the Way Out?
2002 Alice Seba

  What's all this buzz about link popularity? All the Internet Gurus say you must have a good network of links coming into your site to achieve good search engine rankings (For an informative explanation of how link popularity currently works, check out Shannan Hearne's article at ). As a result, the webmasters of the net world have gone crazy trying to acquire links from hundreds, if not thousands, of sites.

Let's take a realistic look at link exchanges. First off, some people will tell you that all these links will drive traffic to your site. I doubt it. Most of my referrals come from search engines and most of my general traffic comes from repeat visitors. I receive only a couple referrals per week as a result of link exchanges. Hardly worth the effort just for traffic.

Now, how about this search engine thing? Everybody says you need links for good search engine rankings. Link popularity was created by various search engines with the theory that this would help determine which sites were, in fact, most popular. A link from one site to another was considered a "vote" for that site. For example, I have a link from my site to your site. This must mean that I think your site is valuable and thus, it must be a worthy site.

Well, the link exchange frenzy will likely change this theory; people are now exchanging links for the sake of exchanging links. Websites are no longer casting honest "votes" for other sites. They want links to their sites, so they give out links to other sites. This totally devalues the purpose of link popularity. Search engines are constantly evolving and they aren't likely to keep a system that allows for "cheating".

Do continue to exchange links, as there are obvious benefits, but consider the amount of time you spend building your links. Remember, most of your traffic will likely come from repeat visitors. Make sure you build a well-laid out web page with interesting and dynamic content to keep them coming back. You're better off writing an informative newsletter and building a subscriber base than emailing hundreds of people hoping to exchange links. Link popularity is here today, but it may be gone tomorrow. Good content will last a lifetime.


Alice Seba is the editor of Internet Based Moms. Fire up your online business with business ideas, web page building advice & marketing tips. Subscribe to the newsletter by sending a blank email to this email

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