Did you know that many of the major search engines rank your site
according to how many links there are to it? How many links are
there to yours? You can find out on many search engines by
searching for your site with a special code. Try these searches
replacing yoururl.com with of course, your URL.
How important are links? It depends on your business but generally
for most web sites, links are more important than search engine
ranking. For one thing, as previously mentioned some search
engines use links as a criteria in your ranking. More importantly
however, appropriate links are the best way to generate high quality
For example, if someone is looking for an antique vase and does not
find it on an antiques page, they are more likely to try a link that
says: "Looking for an Antiques Vase? Try these quality sites." than
they are to retry a search engine. In fact, most users will follow
links from site to site based on a recommendation in order to find what
they are looking for. They will revisit the search engines only after
their leads dry up.
Getting people to link to your site is consequently a high priority
requirement for anyone that is seriously interested in promoting
Who should you try to get to link to you? In simple terms, anyone
and everyone. In more practical terms however, it depends on the
effort and what you have to give up in return. Exchanging a banner
add on your site for a link from a high quality busy site may be
extremely valuable for attracting new visitors. The banner may
however, redirect your hard sought visitor to the banner site and
away from yours. Banners also tend to clutter a web page, increase
the load time and distract your visitors. You can only put up a
limited number and then what do you exchange?
Look for web sites that cater to the same visitors as you do. If you
sell camping gear why not exchange links with campgrounds. What
about competitors? Sometimes competing stores attract more
combined customer when located near each other than when they
are not. This is a judgment call on your part.
Promoting you site through links is an extremely valuable and
interesting topic. I will expand upon it in several future issues.