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Link popularity

Link popularity ("link pop") is a measure of the quantity and quality of other web sites that link to a specific site on the World Wide Web. It is an example of the move by search engines towards off-the-page-criteria to determine quality content. In theory, off-the-page-criteria adds the aspect of impartiality to search engine rankings.

Link popularity plays an important role in the visibility of a web site among the top of the search results[?]. Indeed, some search engines require at least one or more links coming to a web site, otherwise they will drop it from their index.

Search engines such as Google use a special link analysis system to rank web pages, which effectively calculates the eigenvalues of the modified adjacency matrix. Citations from other WWW authors help to define a site's reputation. The philosophy of link popularity is that important sites will attract many links. Content-poor sites will have difficulty attracting any links. Link popularity assumes that not all incoming links are equal, as an inbound link[?] from a major directory carries more weight than an inbound link from an obscure personal home page. In other words, the quality of incoming links counts more than sheer numbers of them.

To search for pages linking to a specific site, simply enter the URL (without "http://www.") on Google or AltaVista[?] this way:


To search for pages linking to a specific URL, you may also use the link.all: command on AllTheWeb[?], such as:


Inktomi has a linkdomain: command that can also be used to measure link popularity, particularly at HotBot[?], or MSN Search:


Here are some strategies that are considered to be important to increase link popularity:

  • Keywords that a webmaster[?] wishes to be found under should be shown up in the title tag[?].
  • There should be links from the home page to all subpages so that a search engine can find the various pages on a site.
  • Appropriate anchor text with relevant keywords should be used in the text links that are pointing to pages within a site.
  • Pages should contain quality information. Users' fast click-backs are noticed by some search engines. The engine figures the visitor didn't find what they were looking for, so the page must not have been relevant to the search.
  • Getting links from other web sites, particularly sites with high PageRank, can be one of the most powerful site promotion tools. Therefore, the webmaster should try to get links from other important sites offering information or products compatible or synergistic to his/her own site or from sites that cater to the same audience the webmaster does. The webmaster should explain the advantages to the potential link partner and the advantages his/her site has to their visitors. One way links are better than backlinks[?].
  • The webmaster should list his/her site in one or more of the major directories such as Yahoo or the Open Directory Project.
  • The webmaster should only link to sites that he/she can trust, i.e. sites that do not use spammy tech.
  • The webmaster should not participate in link exchange[?] programs or link farms[?], as search engines will ban sites that participate in such programs.

To increase link popularity, many webmasters interlink multiple domains that they own, but this is false play, as such links are not independent votes for a page and are only created to trick the search engines. See Spamdexing. In this context, closed circles[?] are often used, but these should be avoided, as they hoard PageRank.

See also Hyperlink Reciprocal link[?] -- Link exchange[?] -- PageRank Search engine optimization -- Spamdexing

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