How to Market Your Web Site with Ethical Linking.

by : Gary Nappe

Your web site's search engine rankings are determined in part by the popularity of your site. This link popularity is a function of the quality and number of other web sites that link to your site. Generally speaking the more quality inbound links to your site, the higher your site will appear in the SE results for relevant search phrases.

Beware of Unethical Link Promotion Firms!

However, many web site owners have employed so-called experts that employ unethical web site promotion tactics. Surely you have received SPAM from some of them touting their unethical services and software. They claim that they (or the software you buy from them) will generate hundreds (or thousands) of reciprocal links for your site, and thereby get your site top SE rankings on your best search phrases.

The sad truth is that their tactics can actually get your site banned from the major SEs! That would be a disaster! It has happened to others, and it will eventually happen to you if you employ unethical tactics.

The Key to Link Popularity and Top SE Ranking

Create a web site with high quality content that is relevant to the visitors you wish to attract (your target market). If you can do this, your site will grow in link popularity organically - visitors to your site will bookmark it and tell others about it.

Webmasters of other sites will voluntarily post links to your site. As your link popularity grows so will the perceived value of your site, and your SE rankings! And the easier it will be for your best prospects to find your site.

Submit Your Site to DMOZ, the Open Directory Project

DMOZ is a very important directory. It's essential that your web site be listed in this directory! The crawler based SEs appear to have preference for sites listed in DMOZ.

When submitting your site take care to read all the instructions. It's important that you select the category and title carefully. Your submission will be reviewed by one of their editors. If your web site is well designed and contains quality content, it should be accepted. Poorly designed web sites with little original content contribute little value to the World Wide Web and won't be listed.

Contact Authority Web Sites in Your Niche

Use Google, Yahoo, MSN and DMOZ to search for the leading sites in your niche. These may be niche web directories or specific industry and trade organization sites. Avoid phony directories that require a reciprocal link (i.e. Link Farms).

Visit Google

Install the Google Toolbar in your browser. This will allow you to view the PageRank of the web sites you will be visiting when you do the research described below.

Who Links to Your Most Successful Competition?

First note the PageRank of your competition's web site. Then take a look at the web sites that currently have posted links to your competition. Note each site's PageRank and whether these are reciprocal links, or gratuitous links (no reciprocal link). Also note the specific text of the text links used for each link to your competition and the specific page to which each links. This will tell you a lot about their preferred search phrases and their overall link strategy.

Contact the webmasters of these linking sites and ask if they would post a link to your site as well. If the webmaster is agreeable, ask that the text link incorporate 'your target search phrase' and indicate the specific page where it should point.

You'll receive many rejections so treat every new inbound link you acquire as an important victory. It is!

Remember, for long-term success, your web site must contribute to the body of knowledge that is known as the World Wide Web. Your high quality content will be rewarded by favored rankings in the SEs and lots of new customers. So get to work