The term “link popularity” is almost exactly what it sounds like- the number of backlinks that point to your website.
Search engine algorithms recognize that if people are linking to your site, they must like it and it should receive higher rankings than sites that don’t have many links.
Link popularity is different than your page rank however because while your page rank simply considers how many links there are to your site, the concept of link popularity also considers the quality of the sites that link to your page.
Every major search provider uses some definition of link popularity in order to help rate your page and understanding how search engines determine link popularity can prevent you from wasting time and money on links that won’t get results.
The first part of link popularity that search engines consider is the relevance of content between linked sites. For example, a link between a restaurant site and home improvement site would provide a low link popularity rating. However, a link between a restaurant site and a group-buying site offering restaurant coupons would provide a higher ranking.
Even better than that link would be a link to a restaurant site from a site that lists the ten most popular restaurants in a particular city. This is the sort of link that search providers value most highly when determining link popularity.
By now, you may be considering the idea of reciprocal links in which you link to a site that links to you in return. Reciprocal links between related sites are one way to begin getting links to your site, but keep in mind that links that lead to your site are the ones that increase your link popularity. Link popularity shouldn’t be the most important consideration as you begin developing links for your site, but it is certainly something that you will want to consider.
Again, while all backlinks to your site are good, the value of a few highly relevant links that come from sites that use your desired keywords as anchor text can go a lot further toward raising your search engine rankings and link popularity than simply having a large number of links.
If you want to increase your link popularity and gain ranking for your keywords (particularly those that are highly competitive), you should attempt to gain links from other sites that are related to your page.
While reciprocal links are certainly a good way to do this, if you want to increase your link popularity, you should instead consider simply having the best site for your topic.
If you have well written, updated content and useful information, other sites will want to link to you. These links provide the link popularity rating you are looking for and are among the highest quality links you can get.
Link popularity is one of many considerations you will need to look at as you begin search engine optimization efforts for your site.
Finding the right sites to link to and from is the most important step in gaining the link popularity you are hoping for.
There are companies that can help you with this, but it is also something you can begin doing on your own.
Spending time focusing on the link popularity for your page will pay off in other ways as well- encouraging you to keep creating relevant content and finding related sites that can send you targeted traffic.