Link Popularity and Press Releases
By Gary Sims
The quantity of links to your site is used by the search engines (like Google) to calculate the importance of your site. This measure of incoming links is called "Link Popularity".
Press releases are a powerful way in which you can promote your site, service or product while at the same time increasing your link popularity.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process of fine tuning your website to get higher rankings on Internet Search Engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. Broadly speaking
there are two types of optimization, "on-page" and "off-page". On-page optimization deals with the layout and format of a web page to make it attractive to a search engine.
Off-page optimization deals with external factors like the number of people linking to your page. Let's look at off-page first.
In trying to quantify the importance of a website, search engines have developed sophisticated algorithms that rank web pages for their quality. The largest factor in determining
quality is the number of links to a web page. Links are an almost impartial method of determining how popular a website or a web page is. Or to put it another way, quality websites
are the most popular and so have the most links to them. As previously mentioned this is called "Link Popularity". So to improve your standing on the search engine you need a
higher link popularity.
Another very important factor in off-page optimization is the text used to link to your site. This is called the anchor text. Adobe ranks the highest in the search engines for the
words "click here". Why should that be? The word "click here" isn't in the title of the page, nor is it in the page itself! So why does a search engine like Google rank Adobe so
high for this term? Because many of the websites linking to Adobe used the words "click" and "here" many times in the anchor text of their links to Adobe.
You know... Click here to download Acrobat Reader...
A press release is a written communication that you submit to journalists in the media (newspapers, radio, television, magazines, etc.) They are used to make announcements
which are newsworthy. The mistake that many people make when writing press releases is that they don't find the angle necessary to make their announcement newsworthy.
Press releases aren't for customers or consumers they are for reporters, journalists who will use them as a starting point for a larger story or feature. Press releases written as sales
pieces will be completely ignored.
There are various ways to submit free press releases on-line. Some of the popular sites are:
How can a press release help with building your link popularity? Most of the free press release services are text-based which means you will not be able to add any HTML tags
and so you can't add any keyword-optimized links into the press release. However others like the Free Press Release Center (FPRC) allow you to also supply some keywords for
that press release. When that page is viewed by someone, including the search engines, the keywords will be used to create links within your press release back to your website.
There is a one-way link to your website.
The link uses the anchor text of your choice.
The link is within a natural context of the press release.
Traditionally, a press release is short-lived, it has a limited amount of time to make an impact on the media before it becomes old news and is replaced by fresh press releases.
Some services like FPRC allow you to buy a cheap upgrade, which means your press release will remain permanently in their system. This means that your "in context" links with
the anchor text of your choice remain permanently for search engines to find and so help improve your rankings.
When preparing your press release you should optimize it for the keywords which are important for your site, product or company. This means that when someone searches for
information in your industry, your press release will be seen as relevant by the search engine.
There are several factors in on-page optimization. The first is the title of the page. This is almost the first thing the search engine reads when it visits a page. All of the free press
release services use the title of your press release as the title of the web page. So when preparing your press release try to put some of your important words in the headline,
however don't force them in as then you will alienate your readers (the journalists).
After the title is the heading tags on the page. Like the title of the page, your headline will become the first heading on the page. Again you should optimize your headline.
If you prepare an optimum press release and select good keywords you can gain valuable incoming links to your site as well as gaining exposure through the media.
About The Author
Gary Sims has a degree in Business Information Systems from a British university. He worked for 10 years as a software engineer and is now a freelance consultant and