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04 Jan 2008

Text Links Help Guide the Search Engines

Text links have increasingly been the topic of discussion for websites around the globe recently. The importance of keywords and keyword phrases and direct paid links is well known. However, what many individuals don’t realize is that keywords or phrases mentioned in relation to your own site on other sites can be just as powerful in driving traffic to their site or sites, even if their site isn’t optimized for those words or phrases.

How is that possible? It’s because certain phrases are very popular and very powerful and can lead to an incredible number of links that you, the site owner, haven’t even thought about. Often, reviewers, bloggers and other sites will use a particular phrase to indicate their take on your site’s product or service and link to you. Used often enough, these text links can actually indicate to search engines that your site is the best possible answer to anyone searching for those phrases.

Good Text Links Gone Bad

One famous example of this is the phrase “miserable failure,” which, until recently, would result in a top-ranked result of “whitehouse.gov/president in Google and Yahoo searches. Google has since removed this result, but it’s an interesting example of how important it is to be seen as the expert in your field or the right result for a particular text link. Because so many people indicated on websites around the world that they felt the president was a “miserable failure,” search engines thought that the best possible site to direct searchers to was the site for the president.

A less controversial example is the Abode site, which pops up near the top of any searches for the phrase “click here.” The Adobe site isn’t optimized at all for this phrase, but so many other sites use the term “click here” in reference to Adobe that search engines assume that Adobe is the best possible site for information on the phrase “click here.” Fortunately for Adobe, “click here” has been entirely positive. Not so for the president and “miserable failure.”

Link Popularity Services Can Increase Text Link Results

A simple way to explain the importance of text links is that they are essentially votes for your site provided by the many other sites on the Internet that have a text link for your site. In the world of web popularity, text links are popularity votes that are tallied by the search engines. No matter how much you optimize your site, if you don’t have lots of relevant text links to you coming from other locations, you aren’t going to rank high in the search engines. You want to rank high for things relating to your product or service.

Link popularity services can give your site valuable insight into how you want to be presented in order to establish you as an expert in your particular industry or on a particular subject. Interestingly, you don’t have to strictly be an expert on the industry itself; in fact, being an expert on something that is a part of that field or related to that field may net you remarkable results, generating numerous text links that will draw visitors to your site.

An example would be a site that sells swimming pool and spa parts. You may find that placing yourself as an expert on swimming pool care, proper spa maintenance and how to clean and protect your pool or spa will generate tons of links from other sites. In fact, you’ll probably get more links this way than by being an expert on just swimming pool parts themselves.

Link popularity services are essential to helping a website develop a two-pronged approach to increasing text links and therefore link popularity which will drive websites up on the search engine rankings. First, a good service will help you develop a reputation as an “expert” with articles and content that will give your website clout. Second, these services should determine what truly relevant content that will generate relevant links is. After all, the swimming pool and spa parts store doesn’t need a thousand links from sites that talk about hotels with swimming pools. The magic combination is to establish text links that are relevant and diverse (from many different sites and sources). If you can find this, you will quickly establish yourself as the expert in your field and your site will move into one of the top slots in major search engine results.

[tags] text links, paid links, link popularity, link popularity services [/tags]