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Are link popularity guidelines in the mayor search engines about to change? Are you be prepared?
by: Fernando Hidalgo
Analyzing link popularity and its evolution one can suspect that another step further into its evolution for better search results might be on the drawing board on some of the most important search engines. If not, it will probably be soon. However this will not come as happy news for many website owners that have invested a lot of their time and effort, not to mention money, mostly, if not solely, in link exchanges for the purpose of increasing their link popularity. Link exchange service providers won’t be too happy either.

What could be this next big step? - you may be asking yourself

Before I answer this question you need to understand how I came up to this conclusion in the first place in order to fully understand it.

In order to provide their users better quality search results and keep their own resources from getting exhausted, search engines needed to put a stop, or at least slow down the use of doorway pages and link farms, among other techniques that they now consider spam. As a penalty they either lower their rank or in the worst of cases, ban them completely.

Search engine technology is becoming more complex and sophisticated every day due to advances in technology and also because since they are receiving an ever increasing amount of listing requests they need to keep up with this demand. Due to the large amount of these requests and their bulging data bases they need to get even more discriminating than ever before when they rank a web page. Ranking determines in the search results which are the most relevant and important pages to show first, second, third and so on, up to the last page. A page will be “rewarded” because of its relevancy to the search term in a query (inquire) and importance will be according to some factors including amount of content pages and most importantly, link popularity.

Link popularity used to be determined by how popular your website was or how many back links it had. Not anymore. Now you have to add “relevant” to the link equation.

What’s next? How about “link exchanges are not and will not be taken into account for increasing or even influencing link popularity”? Why not? What’s wrong with an innocent link exchange? ….you may be asking yourself.

Link exchanges - How innocent are them in reality?

Link exchanges are done for two basic reasons: traffic and link popularity. Naturally there is nothing wrong with getting visitors from other websites you exchange links with and vice versa. Also, if other websites recommend your website by linking to it, that makes your site popular. That means that your website is, at the very least, worth looking at. BUT can you honestly say that your website is popular because other websites have links pointing to your site and as a fair exchange you are ALSO linking to them? Are both you and them really linking to each other because your website and theirs have great or excellent content? You know very well that the answer is a resounding NO.

If you look at this in an objective way you can realize that your website have been made popular by artificial means, by “plotting” with other websites to get an advantage and not by the real value of your website’s content. And here is where the whole problem resides.

If other websites link to your website and they are not asking for a link in return that means that your website must have something that they consider valuable. This is true link popularity. But if you have to return the favor in order to keep your link in their sites, they do not consider your website of much value, just their link in your site. However for now this is being considered link popularity… but for how much longer?

If search engines want to show in their search results websites that are relevant and also popular for their own true value - they will still need to check to see how many back links they have and disregard those that are also getting a link back to them. These links cannot prove that these websites are linking to a specific site because they think that it has good or excellent content but because they want to take advantage of this search engine algorithm loophole. They will still get the traffic from the link exchanges but not the popularity status from them.

If this come to pass, and I believe that it will, sooner or latter, there will be many websites affected by this. Only those that get prepared will not suffer the consequences and will actually gain a lot from the change.

Who is to gain the most from this next step in the link popularity saga? The web searcher since he or she will be able to find a lot of content that other websites truly consider to be very valuable. As a side effect, website owners will see the need to make their websites more professional and with more and better content in order to gain popularity by getting linked from other sites..

People who may still want to trick the search engines instead of doing the right thing, will make arrangements with other websites in order to try to hide their link exchange schemes. Website A will link to B. B will link to C and C will link to A, closing the loop. When search engines begin spotting this and not taking them into account for link popularity, these websites will turn around and will probably make a bigger loop with ABCDE and F in order to keep from being spotted. However the more websites they introduce into this loop, more will be the risk of getting the loop broken somewhere and eventually disappearing completely. Eventually it will be much easier and less complex to simply make better websites and forget about cheating the search engines in order to gain link popularity.

If search engines want to offer optimum search results, they will have to make some radical changes that will affect many people in Internet related Industries in one way or another. When this come to pass there will be some winners (those that were prepared) but also some losers...

Start preparing now

If you want to be prepared for these changes you must start getting your one way links soon for your site, which, by the way, are more permanent than links from link exchanges. How can you get one way links?

1- Add your URL to the directories, under the category related to your topic. Better yet, to those directories that specialize in your topic.
2- Invite your visitors to link to your website. They will if they want to show your content to their visitors.
3- Send e-mails to other websites with similar characteristics as yours and invite them to link to your site.
4- Post a free link demand in the Link Popularity Directory and invite other webmasters browsing this directory to link to your website. Just let them know what kind of content you have. If they are interested, they will link to you.
5- Go to and get more tips on how you can get even more one way links for your website.

About the author:
This article was submitted by the Link Popularity Directory team.

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