Link Popularity:
Increase Traffic with Inbound Links

Inbound links are links from other websites that direct visitors to your website. 'Link popularity' is the number and quality of websites that link to your website.

The higher your link popularity, the higher your search engine ranking. Search engines use link popularity to rate the relevance of your website. The theory is that the more pages that link to your page, the more important your page is, and therefore more relevant to the search. The quality of the page linking to your page also matters, meaning if the number of their inbound links is also high, your page is considered more important.

Increase your conversion rate. Inbound links help deliver visitors that are already interested in what you offer by linking from a related site. If they are already interested, they're more likely to buy.

You can find out your link popularity using the Link Popularity Check Tool from


How to Get Inbound Links

The most valuable links are one-way, on-topic links. One-way links, meaning that they link from another website to yours without you linking back to theirs, are hard to come by. Many, but not all, of the methods listed below require 'reciprocal links', meaning you'll be expected to include their link on your website as well. On-topic links, however, are much easier to get.

Directories. Directories are websites that let you search by category to find topic-related websites. To search for a specific topic, you click on a category and narrow down to what you are looking for.

Example: If you're looking for high-heeled shoes, you may click 'fashion', 'footwear', 'women's shoes', 'high heels', which would lead you to a list of sites related to high heels.

Learn more about directories.


Articles and Press Releases. Consider writing articles and press releases, signed with your URL, and submitting them to sites that are important in your industry. If published, these will generate a quality inbound link and will also establish credibility.

Email Requests. You may choose to contact businesses directly and ask to exchange links. You can start by finding out who is linking to your competitors by entering 'link:” and your competitor's URL (ex. '') into Google's search box. The results will be websites that link to the website you entered. If appropriate, you can then contact those websites and ask to exchange links. You can also try websites that are related to yours, but not directly competing. For example, if you sell hockey equipment, it would be great to have a skating coach's website linking to yours. Exchange with websites that rank highly in search results, as their ranking will affect yours.

Forums. Take part in forums related to your business and include your URL in the signature. These won't be as high quality links as some of the other options, but they'll help and they'll increase awareness of you and your business.

Use the following methods carefully, as some bad practices have been followed in the past, like link farms. Link farms are pages that contain a lot of unrelated links solely for the purpose of increasing link popularity. These types of practices have resulted in sites being banned from search engine results.  Make sure that you can choose your link exchanges based on relevance and that don't end up linking to random unrelated sites.

Link Exchange Centers. These are web services that help you connect with other websites that are looking to exchange links. Many of them allow you to sign up for free.

Link Brokers. Similar to link exchange centers, link brokers connect you with other sites looking to exchange links. The difference is that you will have to pay. The price varies depending on the nature of the site linking to yours.

Link Auction. Purchase your inbound links auction style. Like link brokers, the prices vary depending on the nature of the site and the popularity.

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Senior Writer
Rodney Scott
Senior Writer
Senior Writer
Eric Rancic
Chief Researcher

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