Building Link Popularity with Topical Articles
by Daria Goetsch


One of the important factors in ranking high in search engine 
results is link popularity. It's not enough to just have the 
best website in the world  other sites have to point back to 
you. The thought is that if your site is good enough for others 
to link to you, then you must have a great site.

How Do I Increase Link Popularity?

Building link popularity is hard work. You've searched endlessly. 
You've sent every reciprocal link email you can think of. What 
else can you do? Surprisingly, writing articles on your topic 
can lead you to a wealth of link popularity.

What are the benefits of writing articles? Think about it. If 
you write articles, you get to use them on your website and you
build your website content. You can also submit your articles to 
other sites. With both methods you get a lot in return:

* You build your content. More is better when it comes to site 
  content. 
* You promote your website. With more keyword-rich text on more 
  pages, you will increase the number of pages indexed by the 
  search engines. 
* Other websites link back to your website content. Sites 
  focused on related topics link back to you. 
* You receive a link back to your website from the site you 
  submitted the article to. Remember to include a link in all
  guest articles you submit. 
* You become an authority on your topic. Search engines reward 
  sites with a larger number of inbound links from sites dealing 
  with similar topics. 

What Do I Write Articles About?

The saying goes "write about what you know." Sometimes it takes 
thinking in a creative way to open the door to a new route for 
link popularity success. Think of what your visitors might be 
looking for. Why do they come to your site? What can you help 
them with when they arrive on your website? Answer their 
questions about your topic. We all search to find information, 
so give them what they are looking for.

So what are they looking for? That is easy enough to find out. 
Review your web server logs to see what keywords and phrases 
your visitors are using when they find your site through the 
search engines. Run your own searches using those keywords. What 
kinds of sites are returned in the search engine listings? Pay 
attention to visitor feedback. Know your visitors. Answer the 
questions they are asking, or even those questions they do not 
yet know to ask.

Most importantly, write because you have something to say. If 
in the process of building your content and inbound links, you 
benefit your readers with your content, all the better in terms 
of providing visitor satisfaction. This is the best reason to
write, which is the way of the web, to seek out and share 
information.

Where Do You Put Articles?

On your site. The first and obvious answer is to put them on 
your site. After all, you have all this knowledge; why not share 
it with your visitors? You may want to create an Articles page 
on your site. This will give you a place to put your articles, 
and any new ones that you write. Make sure to add this new page 
into your site navigation, and especially to add it to your 
sitemap page. Add a link to your main articles page on your 
sitemap, and a link to each new article on your articles page, 
and you are on your way to having your good content indexed. 
Make sure your visitors and the search engine robots can find 
your new pages.

Adding article content not only answers your visitors' 
questions, it adds to your website. Your visitors will have a 
richer experience with your site when there is more content. Not 
only can they buy the widgets you are selling, but they can also
learn more about how to select widgets, exciting news from the 
world of widgets, and so on. 

The more pages you add to your website, the better chance the 
already visiting search engine robots will also pick up your new 
pages to be indexed. More pages mean more links. Be sure to make 
an archive of your articles on your website. Always keep your 
pages in directories close to the root of your site for optimum 
indexing by the search engine robots.

Submit to the search engines. As always you will want to submit 
your new pages to the mainstream search engines and directories. 
In addition, look for specialized, topical directories that deal 
with your particular subject. There are also many general 
business directories available.

Submit guest articles. In addition to submitting your articles 
to the various search engines and directories, think about 
submitting the articles themselves. Submit your articles to 
sites that accept guest articles. It may take a little detective 
work to find some of these locations. You can start small, 
submitting to lesser-known portals seeking information on your 
topic. Some sites are focused on one topic; others need articles 
about all sorts of topics. Get searching and you should be able 
to come up with a healthy list of sites to submit to. Searching 
in Google and in categories in Yahoo! and ODP (Open Directory
Project/Dmoz) is helpful.

Once you are featured as a guest writer on a website, you will 
notice that most sites archive these articles. How many articles 
can you write? How many articles are archived and linked? How 
many different search engines indexed those pages? You get the 
idea.

Always include a bio of the author, article re-print instructions, 
copyright information and a link back to your website. Add an
active link in your link text in your submission, or request one 
for your listing. Be aware of dynamically generated pages  a 
static URL also increases the chance that the article you have 
submitted has the optimum chance of indexing by the search engine 
robots.

What If I Don't Write?

What if writing is just not your thing? You are in luck, because 
there are sites out there that have free content and articles
available to you. When you add them to your site, you still 
build the content on your website.

Legitimate Links, No Spam

The best part is that your new links are all legitimate and not 
just junk links. You add important information to your site, and
that is good for your visitors and good for your image. Naturally, 
using your keyword phrases in your Title/META tags and the text 
of your articles as you would in your regularly optimized pages 
makes sense for good search engine ranking.


It Will Pay Off

Be creative when writing articles and submitting your content 
for linking, it takes hard work but will be worth it in the 
long run.

[General Content]

GoArticles (free content/submit articles)
http://www.goarticles.com

EZinearticles.com (free content/submit articles)
http://www.ezinearticles.com/

ArticleCity (free content/submit articles)
http://www.articlecity.com/

World Wide Information Outlet (free content/submit articles)
http://www.certificate.net/wwio/

[Marketing Articles]

IdeaMarketers.com (free content/submit articles)
http://www.ideamarketers.com/

Marketing Seek (submit articles)
http://www.marketing-seek.com/articles/index.shtml

[Business Articles]

BPubs (submit articles)
http://www.bpubs.com/

[Internet and Web]

Web Source (free articles)
http://www.web-source.net/free_articles.htm

[Site Carrying Links To Free Content Sites]

Freesticky (free content)
http://www.freesticky.com/


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Daria Goetsch is the founder and Search Engine Marketing Consultant 
for Search Innovation (www.searchinnovation.com), a Search Engine 
Promotion company serving small businesses. Besides running her 
own company, Daria is an associate of WebMama.com, an Internet 
web marketing strategies company. She has specialized in search 
engine optimization since 1998, including three years as the 
Search Engine Specialist for O'Reilly & Associates, a technical 
book publishing company.
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