Link Reputation - How to Improve Search Engine Rankings

One of the most overlooked strategies to improve searchengine rankings is building your link reputation. This linkpopularity strategy is just as important or equal tocreating keyword rich content pages.

What is link reputation?

This is defined as the anchor text or link text of abackward link. Anchor text is the text contained within thelink and backward links (inbound links) are web sites thatcontain a link to your web site.

1. For example many folks would use "click here" in theirlink text i.e.

click here
(remove periods before the a)

2. instead of using "Affordable Web Site Design" i.e.

Affordable Web SiteDesign
(remove periods before the a)

The format in No 2 will more quickly improve your searchengine ranking.

How does it work?

The number of links pointing to your site (link popularity)WILL increase your search engine rankings. However thequality of the links make a larger difference. A fast wayto improve search engine rankings is to use keyword richtext for links within your site and for links pointing toyour site (backward links). Therefore when contacting otherweb site owners, specify what targeted keyword phrase youwant them to use in your link text.

How to boost link reputation for your web site

1. Create a list of targeted keyword phrases for any ofyour web pages. Research keywords or keyword phrases thatare the most relevant to the theme of your site. Use toolssuch as or the overture suggestion tool( find the most popular keywords that people are enteringinto the search engines.

2. Enter these keywords into a popular search engine suchas Google to see how many competing sites there are. Ifit's a popular keyword you probably will find millions ofweb sites. Therefore, while researching you need to drilldown a little deeper to find keywords that are not sopopular. Ideally you want to select keywords that are inhigh demand (receive a lot of searches) but have low supply(few competing sites).

3. Compare the number of back links - use a link popularitytool (i.e. to compare the number of back linksfor those competing sites you found based on your keywordresearch.

You can also use this tool to find out how many back linksthere are to your own site and how popular your competitionis.

4. Research the sites that are linked to your competition -use a back link tool, such as on the Google tool bar, tofind out which sites are linking to your site and to yourcompetition.

5. Contact other sites - web sites that are already linkingto your competition may be open to linking to your site.Write them a polite email, asking them for a link to yoursite. You should already include a link to their site. Thiswill help them want to link to yours. You can easilyretract it if a link is not reciprocated. Include the exactlink text they should use. This should include the targetedkeywords based on your above research.

6. Use other methods - not all web site owners willreciprocate a link. Therefore use other methods such aswriting articles or e-books that contain your links. Thendistribute these freely to online publications. This willresult in many high quality links to your site.

If you design or maintain your site based on linkreputation, your search engine rankings will increasefaster than if you had just focused on link popularity.

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)owner and author of

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