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Link Building Generates Link Popularity


How do Search Engines Rank Web Sites?

Search engines rank websites using very complicated mathematical equations (known as algorithms). Google's algorithm, for example, is rumored to have over 500 million variables. Fortunately, these 500 million variables can be boiled down to two main criteria: on page factors and off page factors.

On Page Factors and Off Page Factors

Classic Web positioning/optimization is focused on optimizing tags, HTML codes and the text content of your pages, so that your web pages are attractive to search engines. On page factors include things such as keyword density and the optimization of meta tags. Off page factors make up the rest of the work. What are off-page factors? Basically off page factors boil down to links. The more links that point to your site, the more popular your site is in the eyes of the search engines and after all, this is a logical way to look at things. Effectively each link that points to your site acts as a vote. The more votes you have, the more credible, or "popular", your website.

Making Your Website Popular

PageRank # of Websites
10 65
9 650
8 6,500
7 65,000
6 650,000
5 6,500,000
4 65,000,000
3 650,000,000
2 & 1 6,500,000,000

   PageRank Graph


Link Popularity and PageRank

Google devised a concept that encapsulates link popularity – it is called PageRank (PR) and it is measured on a logarithmic scale of 1 to 10. They are only a handful of PR 10 websites that exist today and as you can well imagine, they are infamous sites like Google.com and Yahoo.com. You can go here (http://pagerank10.info/) and see a list of them all. Now as you can see from the graph above, as the PR of a website goes down from 10, there are 10 times as many web pages with the corresponding PR. The progression is exponential (it’s a logarithmic scale if you recall) by a factor of 10. In numerical terms, while there are only about 65 or so PR 10 websites, there are roughly 6.5 billion PR 1 & 2 websites. If you are still confused look at the chart again. Given the numbers in the chart, it is most logical that any website would actually have many more links from PR 1, 2, 3 web pages than links from PR 8 or PR 10 web pages. In the past, SEOs would influence their own link popularity by buying links from PR 8-10 websites.

Abusing Link Popularity

Spammers (those who do not practice ethical search engine optimization) did this by buying links on websites that had already achieved high PageRank. Because high PR sites possess exponentially more authority than sites with less PR, these "purchased links" would then pass on extraordinary link popularity - even if the site buying the link was totally unrelated in terms of content. To compound the link popularity boost spammers frequently purchased "site-wide" links to inflate their link popularity. Site-wide links are usually text links, often at the bottom of a web page. These small links are displayed on every single page of a "seed" website. Since popularity is passed from page to page, not website to website, and since some web pages have hundreds of thousands of pages, these site-wide links transferred link popularity from hundreds of thousands of pages, thereby dramatically increasing the link popularity of the site to which they pointed.

Search Engines Change Their Ways

Fortunately the search engines got wise to this practice and changed their algorithms to dampen the effective site-wide links and link buying practices. Today, the majority of link popularity is passed from the first link discovered on a given unique domain, as opposed to equal popularity being transferred from every individual link on a given website. This means that the first link from a given domain (www.linkingToMe.com) is rated significantly, but second third fourth and fifth link - or the hundred thousandth link - is given much less weight.

Natural Linking Structure

Also, the engines built checks to ensure that every website has a natural "linking structure". This is to say that every website should have links from unpopular websites, as well as popular websites. In fact, websites should have more links from unpopular web pages, than from popular websites with popular pages. And if you think about it [have another look at the chart above], this makes a lot of sense.

Living and Working in the Natural Lab

Today PR 1, 2, 3 links matter - not just PR 5 links. Today it is better to have links from fifty PR 1 websites than from one PR 5 website, and when you think about that, it is a good thing because it's much harder to get links from 50 different websites than from just one so it makes abusing link popularity much harder.

Link Building Campaigns

So where does Anicon come in? The majority of the work we do is link building for our clients. It's tedious and there are subtle critical factors that need to be taken into consideration when doing this kind of work, like anchor text distribution, local rank and growth rate. If you need help increasing the visibility of your website in the search engines, you're going to need links and we can help you get them. We do our work ethically with a long-term return on investment in mind.

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