by Pam Jones & Laura Booth

Link popularity is calculated as the number of websites from which your site can be reached by a link from another site. Linking from other sites is one of the best ways of bringing quality visitors to your site additionally link popularity is increasingly important in Search Engine rankings.

How do you find relevant sites that would be willing to place a link sending their visitors to your site? How do you request a link? How do you decide which sites will be the most beneficial to you? How do you decide when to place a reciprical link on your site? How do you know if there are sites that already have links to your site? 

Request links from any organizations you belong to such as the Chamber of Commerce, business associates (suppliers and providers), "natural" associations (if you are in Real Estate links to moving companies, mortgage companies, banks, local newspapers etc), Assuming they have quality websites, requesting a link from each of these should be a first step and will ultimately help to improve your search engine ranking. 

You will get better results if you link to these sites before asking for a link to your site. When you write to the site owner, be sure to make specific comments about their site and why you believe an alliance will be beneficial to them, so they know you've actually visited the site. 

Another easy way to add to your link visibility is to include your URL in your signature when you visit websites with guest books, use online bulletin boards or submit articles to newsletters or advertise online . Each of these entries is another link.

We use Link Popularity and are very pleased with the results. To begin, go to Link Popularity at and type in your URL and up to three of your competitors’ addresses. You will receive a report that will tell you how many sites are linked to your site as well as the number of links at each of the other sites you entered. You can choose to have a report emailed to you at regular intervals updating your progress.

This report is also a good way to find out who is linking to your competition. If those sites would link to your competitor's site, would they link to yours? Make a list and visit those sites. See how your competitor is listed. Find out a little about the site before requesting a link. Take the time to look at the About Us page, contact the site owner, (by name whenever possible) through email stating that you have been to their site and request an appropriate link.

Please be sure to visit the site before requesting a link. A competent site owner will see through a message that says, "I've been to your site and would like a reciprocal link". Other clues to the site owner are if the message is sent to "Dear Site Owner" and the BCC in the header says "Reciprocal Links". We do receive messages like this all the time. What do we do with them? DELETE! We don't even take the time to read them because we have too many other more personal messages to answer.

Here is the type of message we would be more apt to respond to:

"Dear Pam,

I just visited your site and spent the last three hours
searching through all of the information you provide. I
noticed in your Resource Room you list sources message board
directories. My site offers a Discussion Board Index. Would
you consider placing a link to on your website in the
Message Board Directories section?"

Starting with a competitor's site is fairly easy if you know the URL. If you don't know who your competitors are you can do a search for the keywords your target audience would use to find related sites and start with those.

The Google tool bar in addition to being an easy to use search tool is another helpful resource in identifying links, both yours and your competitions. One of the functions on the tool bar is called ‘Page Info’. Click on it and it will provide information regarding the site you are viewing, such as similar pages and backwards links. Download the Google Tool Bar to your browser at

To make a list of literally 100s of sites to request links from, you can take your competitor's list that you started with and put each of those urls into the Link Popularity site and start all over. You would never run out of sites to link with and could be busy for a long time forming new relationships.
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Click here to have this article emailed to you. A blank email message will open - just click 'send' you don't need to put anything in the body of the message.

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Pam Jones specializes in offering quality information and services that will keep you on the right track with your online marketing to help you increase your profits. Visit the Internet Marketing Resource Center at, for tips, tools, resources and helpful articles. Or find out about web hosting, website design or redesign, domain name research & registration, online marketing & promotion and website maintenance services at affordable prices for small to medium sized businesses at Clearwater Web Solutions at

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