The Hardest Part of Search Engine Optimization

Link popularity is a key to improving search engine rankings of any web site. One of the hardest parts of search engine optimization (SEO) is improving the visibility of a web site by increasing link popularity. But, link popularity is the most effective way of SEO. Every search engine’s algorithm factors link popularity into its placement of web sites in its search engine results pages (SERPs). This document will detail a very effective way to improve a web site’s link popularity thus helping that web site’s rankings in search engines.

There are numerous ways of obtaining relevant, non-spam inbound links to a web site. The most effective method of obtaining relevant links will be to ask other webmasters whose web sites share the same niche or genre as the web site being optimized. This method is sometimes painful, slow and can result in a relatively low number of links to your site. Not to mention finding similar web sites that will link to one you’re maintaining can be difficult at times. But, help is here.

Search Engines

To gain improved rankings in search engines it’s a good idea to target the search engines you want to improve a web site’s rankings in. For general search engine optimization and promotion, you should target Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. Google and Yahoo! provide the majority of search engine results that Internet users see today. Microsoft keeps hyping up MSN like it will be a major player someday so why not get a hard start in MSN’s search results. If a web site appears in these three major search engines, it will be in numerous other portal and search engine web sites as well. You can target any genre, niche, or regional search engine you see fit but the two major players are Google and Yahoo! with Microsoft tooting it’s own horn about MSN.

The List

Plug these search terms into the search engine of your choice, replacing “your keyword(s)” with the keyword(s) or keyword phrase for the web site or web page whose rankings and positioning you’re trying to improve. There is no quick and easy way to do this. Getting good links from quality sites is always going to be a time consuming search engine optimization process. You should go as deep into the search results for each search as you see fit.

  • “Add a link” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Add site” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Add a site” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Add URL” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Add a URL” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Submit a link” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Submit a site” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Submit URL” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Submit an URL” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Suggest a link” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Suggest a site” + “your keywords(s)”
  • “Suggest URL” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Suggest an URL” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Directory” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Directories” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Resources” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Links” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Related sites” + “your keyword(s)”
  • “Related urls” + “your keyword(s)”

Be sure that the keywords you use to search with appear in the pages whose link popularity you’re trying to improve. The search results that appear will be the sites you’ll want to ask for links from after checking them to make sure they suit your needs and wants.

Here’s a warning before you get too crazy with targeted keywords. If you search four (4) search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN and Kanoodle) with fifteen (15) different keyword(s) or keyword phrases, using the list of nineteen (19) search terms provided here, you’re going to conduct 1,140 searches. This takes time but trust me it’s well worth the time and link popularity is an essential part of SEO.


The key thing in getting relevant links holds true in getting links using this method as well. When submitting to directories make sure you pick the best category for the page or site being submitted. Target relevant keywords and keyword phrases when searching. Don’t submit to sites that spam or trick search engines. Remember that sites linking to a web site should reflect a positive image on the web site being linked to.

As always, be sure not to ask for links from shady web sites, free for all link campaigns, sites with the exact same content as yours, top link sites (top 100, top 10, top 20, etc.), and any other site that has been banned or blocked from a search engine or has an unorthodox link page (hundreds of links, lots of banners, incredibly small text, hidden text, etc.). The most important thing to remember is that links should benefit everyone involved. The site linking to your web site, the web site with the inbound link, and the visitor following that link should all get something out of the deal.

I take things one step further and don’t create usernames and passwords for directories or web sites that ask you to do so to request a link from them. I have also setup an e-mail address specifically for replies to link submissions (separate from the typical webmaster or admin e-mail addresses). I’m not saying that this method is for everybody but if they are asking you to create an account then chances are they want to communicate with you. If you don’t know the site, then don’t trust them.

Another very beneficial method to submitting links would be to make sure you vary the anchor text as much as possible. Anchor text is what the link actually says in text. If every link that you ask for from other web sites contains the term, “Short Family Web Site” then you’re likely going to dominate, “family web site”, “short”, and “short family” in the search engines. By varying this text to fit your web site and it’s niche, genre, etc. and targeted keywords you increase your chances at getting traffic from a wide variety of searches as opposed to just three. It’s definitely something to keep in mind.


What I have done is created two text files containing information that helps me quickly search and ask for links. The first text file contains all the search terms mentioned in this document followed by the keyword(s) or keyword phrases I’ve searched for already.

The second text file contains information about pages whose link popularity I’m trying to improve. This information includes web page title, description (from the description META tag), keywords (from the keywords META tag), and the URL of the page.

These two files make it easier to track what keywords have been promoted and speed the process of asking for links from other webmasters. With a little time and searching any web site’s link popularity will increase quickly using this method.

Another method that I’ve recently came up with is to create three spreadsheets. The first spread sheet will contain “The List” with a column to the right so that I can indicate what search engine I last submitted what search term to. The second spread sheet is a listing of search engines and what keyword(s) or keyword phrases I’m targeting for each search engine. Normally this list will be the same across all search engines. As I complete a keyword or keyword phrase in a search engine I remove it from the list. This is so that when I look at both spreadsheets I can pinpoint exactly where I’ve left off. The third spreadsheet contains information that is commonly submitted to sites I’m requesting links from (such as, e-mail address, URL, etc.).

This method is a little more involved than the first method but it’s a tad more efficient when you actually start requesting links from other web sites.

If you attack your link popularity campaign using the suggestions discussed in this document you will be on the road to sustained, increasing traffic from month to month in no time.

This page contains information mentioned by members of WebmasterWorld in “It’s time to get some new links!”. I’d like to thank the members who posted in that thread and allowed me to use their advice and ideas here.

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