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From the author of Trick #5: Solicit Inbound Links

Trick #5: Solicit Inbound Links

Google got to be Google by recognizing that web rankings could be somewhat of a popularity contest; that is, if a site got a lot of traffic, there was probably a good reason why. A useless site wouldn't attract a lot of visitors (at least not long term), nor would it inspire other sites to link to it.

So if a site has a lot of other sites linking back to it, it's probably because that site offers useful information relevant to the site doing the linking. The more links to a given site, the more useful it probably is.

Google took this to heart and developed its own algorithm, dubbed PageRank, which is based first and foremost on the number and quality of sites that link to a particular page.

If your site has a hundred sites linking to it, for example, it should rank higher in Google's search results than a similar site with only ten sites linking to it. Yes, it's a popularity contest, but one that has proven uncannily accurate in providing relevant results to Google's users.

And it's not just the quantity of links; it's also the quality. That is, a site that includes content that is relative to your page is more important than just some random site that links to your page. For example, if you have a site about NASCAR racing, you'll get more oomph with a link from another NASCAR-related site than you would with a link from a site about Barbie dolls. Relevance matters.

So when it comes to increasing your rankings at Google (which is, far and away, the largest and most important search engine), you can get a big impact by getting more higher-quality sites to link back to your site.

There are a number of ways to do this: from just waiting for the links to roll in to actively soliciting links from other sites. You can even pay other sites to link back to your site; when it comes to increasing your site's search ranking, little is out of bounds. But however you do, increasing the number and quality of inbound links is essential.

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