The search engine marketing industry has had "tons" of discussion on the
importance of building links, or link popularity. What is link popularity or link building?
In summary, it is collecting web sites that link to your site, and having that
become known to the search engines.
Next question, "Why is that so
important?". Well, search engines feel that if lots of businesses link to
your site, you must be doing something really well in your business. Your
business is popular, other businesses think highly of you, and more.
Your business must be an authority
on whatever it is that you market! "No problem", you say. "I'll just
get a lots of other businesses to link to me." Well, that used to work.
But search engines got smarter and figured out that it doesn't matter so much
how many links there are to your site. What really matters is whether the
links that point to your site are in a related field, and that the businesses
linking to you are "important". So now popularity and relevance come into
play. It isn't quantity, but quality!
Linking on the Internet is similar to networking in business. In the same
way a business would network at mixers, chamber events, social clubs, the
newspaper, and on radio, an Internet business must network with other related
Internet business. Your "linkage" is your "relationship factor" or your
"sphere of influence" on the Internet.
We don't wish to downplay the
importance of many links from related businesses. It all helps.
However, the higher the page rank of the site linking to you, the more weight
that will carry. Conversely, just having many, many unrelated businesses
link to your site can actually hurt your ranking. This is known as "link
farming" and is a form of spamming. We caution you to look out for
organizations who promise increased link popularity using those kinds of
Reciprocal Linking is form of linking in which related or complimentary sites
are found and you link to them. Once linked to them, you ask for a
link in return. This form of linking helps build popularity even though
the sites linking to you may only have modest traffic.