I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend. I know I did. It is always a great opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends but even more importantly, to honor and remember all of those who have fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we so often take for granted. I am thankful for a holiday where we can reflect on the cost of freedom that we enjoy in the United States and even around the world because brave men and women are willing to lay down their lives for this great cause.
My family and I stayed home this holiday as we knew the roads would be full of gridlock and mayhem. We enjoyed barbecuing and swimming in our new pool that was just built in December. We were also able to spend time with close friends but avoided the whole “getting out of town” thing that so many people do this holiday weekend. I live outside of the “big city” anyway so I am already out of town. At any rate I enjoyed the three day weekend immensely and hope you did the same!
In this issue…
- MY INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDER OF GIMPSY
- FEATURE ARTICLE – LINK POPULARITY: WHAT IS IT AND DOES IT MATTER?
- SEARCH ENGINE HEADLINES
- CLOSING COMMENTS
MY INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDER OF GIMPSY
Last month I had the privilege of interviewing Mordechai Chachamu, the creator of Gimpsy, an up and coming directory that has a different flavor which sets it apart from traditional directories. Gimpsy is a directory of “interactive” sites which essentially means that the sites that are listed there allow you to actually “do something” rather than just provide information or sell a product.
When Mordechai returned the answers to my questions (as well as some added questions that he asked for me) I saw that the interview was so well done that I figured I would try to get it published at the king of all search engine marketing resources – Search Engine Watch. Now this was a gamble because I don’t personally know Danny Sullivan or Chris Sherman, the two individuals responsible for this popular resource site. Therefore the chances for getting it published were slim.
However, to make a long story short, it was published today, and just before the London Search Engine Strategies Conference of which Mordechai will be attending. It is also my first article published at Search Engine Watch so I am extremely excited about this. You can read the article/interview at the link below.
FEATURE ARTICLE – LINK POPULARITY: WHAT IS IT AND DOES IT MATTER?
What is this link popularity that everybody is talking about these days? It is basically a rating system for web sites that is based on how many external and internal links are pointing to any particular web page or URL. It is based not only on the “quantity” of links but the “quality” of those links as well. Therefore to have a good link popularity score, it is not necessarily required to have a large number of links pointing to your site but rather a good number of quality links.
Search engines have decided that the more links that point to any particular site, the more popular it must be. On the flip side, few people will link to a site of poor quality. What constitutes a quality link then? This could either be from a site that already has a good link popularity score itself or a site that is relevant to yours in some way. For example, a link from Yahoo or The Open Directory would constitute a very high quality link because these sites are extremely popular in and of themselves. Secondly, if you have a site about golfing techniques and another site about golf in general links to your site, that would constitute a relevant link.
How do you measure your site’s link popularity? The best way is to download the Google Toolbar. There are two functions of the toolbar that will help you to determine where you stand in regards to link popularity. The first is called PageRank. This meter- like display allows you to see how Google has scored any particular web page. Google will score it on a 1- 10 level with 10 being the highest. The toolbar also has a “Backwards Links” function. Click on this when viewing any web page and Google will show you many of the links that pointing to it, both internal and external. There are other tools out there that allow you to check your links on other sites. Two such tools can be found at Marketleap. Type in the URL you wish to check and these tools will check multiple sites for you.
How then does one go about the task of building their link popularity? This can be a very tedious and time consuming project but most certainly can and should be done. First and foremost you should make sure your site is listed in all the major directories such as Yahoo, Open Directory and even Business.com. Links from these top directories will increase your link popularity score tremendously because they already have a great link popularity score themselves.
Secondly you should make sure your own site is inter linked well. Each one of your pages should support a navigational structure whereby you can access all of your sub pages or at least the main sub sections of your site. Also make sure all of your sub pages have a link that points back to your home page. Basically this means all of the pages in your web site are linking to one another. This is not only important for link popularity purposes but so that your site presents an easy-to-use experience for the end user as well.
Thirdly, seek out links from similar non-competing sites. Industry related directories or portals are great sites to get links from. This can be a very time consuming process but well worthwhile.
Finally, have great content! It can be assumed that if you have a great site that offers valuable content that people will naturally link to it. “But my site does not have a lot of good content,” you say. Then fix it! Not only will you increase your link popularity by having good useful content, you will also create a positive user experience and if you are selling or promoting a product or service, this will naturally generate more sales leads.
You may be asking yourself how many links do you actually need to rise to the top of the search engines. The answer to that is fairly simple – just a little more than your competition. If you are in a highly competitive business such as the mortgage industry, you are going to need a good level of high quality links pointing at your site to come out on top. On the other hand if you are home builder based in Arizona, then you have a lot less competition and therefore will not need as many links pointing to your site. All you need is a little more and a little better quality links than your competition and you have a good chance to come out on top. This of course does not negate the responsibility to have good content and to make sure your site is optimized well to reflect your relevant keywords. A site that has great content, is properly optimized but doesn’t have great link popularity can still beat out a site that maybe has better link popularity but poor content and optimization. The two go hand in hand.
Written by David Wallace
Shameless Plug – While you can build your own link popularity, SearchRank can save you time and effort by providing professional link popularity building services for you. Visit our Link Popularity Building section for complete details.
SEARCH ENGINE HEADLINES
Here are some of the latest headlines related to the search engine industry.
An Insider’s View of Microsoft’s Longhorn Search
Longhorn, the long-anticipated upgrade to Windows, will have a completely new, search-centric file system. One of Microsoft’s lead developers last week offered a tantalizingly brief preview of search on this upcoming system.
Google AdSense Introduces Image Ads
Now, in addition to text ads, publishers can choose to show highly-targeted image ads on their web pages. Unlike traditional banner ads, Google’s image ads are contextually targeted to the content of one’s page, providing users with a high impact, high value advertisement – and providing the opportunity to earn more revenue.
Well that’s it for today. This is out a little later in the day than I would have liked but with the three day weekend comes a lot of catching up to do. I can’t believe that we are almost halfway through 2004! There sure has been a lot of exciting news and changes in the search engine industry so far this year. We are still waiting for MSN to launch their search engine later this year as well as Google’s IPO so there is still plenty of action to watch for as the year progresses.
Our next issue will come out on the first Tuesday of next month. Until then, have a great month of June!