Why Do People Link To Sites?
One of the best ways to get consistent traffic to your site is by getting other
webmasters to add your link to their pages. This results in direct traffic from
people clicking on the links, and indirect traffic because modern search engines
use links to determine how to rank a site in the search engine results page. The more
"quality" links a site has, the higher it appears in the listings (quality is defined
as other higher ranking sites).
But why do webmasters want to provide links to other sites anyway? On the surface,
this seems to be counter-intuitive, as a link is a way to leave a site. Why would
anyone want to make it easy for someone to leave a site? In other words, why do
webmasters add links to other sites from their own pages? If you understand the reasons
behind this phenomenon, then you will be able to get others to link to your site.
To get links you have to give links - This is a very critical piece of information
that you would do well to remember. If you freely add links to your own site, and
those links strongly reinforce your theme (or themes), then you will find that more
people want to link back to you.
Adding value for visitors - Perhaps the best reason for adding a link is to add value
for your visitors. Let's say you have written a page about sewing with a nice
article, some graphics and a good layout. To enhance your visitors experience of your
site (and to increase their knowledge) you might include a few links (one to half a
dozen) to quality pages about sewing. These external pages should provide additional
information supporting your own page and most definitely should fit in with the theme
(the subject) of your site (and page).
It's usually wise to open these links in a new browser window. This allows your
visitors to get the additional information without leaving your page. When they are
finished reading the referenced material, they simply close the window to return to
your site. In these instances, you are typically not interested in a link exchange,
per se. Your primary motivation is to add value for your visitors.
Reference material - If your site contains good reference materials, it is very
possible that other webmasters will want to link to your pages in order to aid their
own visitors. Thus, it's important to have excellent quality content, both for your
own visitors and for the visitors to other sites.
Articles - It's quite common for webmasters to write articles which are available for
free publication elsewhere. In exchange for the free content, a link back is usually
required. If you write quality content which is of value to many webmasters, you will
find you can get thousands of links back to your site. One of the biggest benefits to
this method is it is NOT a link exchange. You do not return the link to the sites which
publishes your articles.
An additional side-effect of this promotional method is you can get huge (and I mean
huge) spikes of traffic for very short periods of time. I've personally seen my
articles published in major (2 million plus subscribers) and received 500,000 hits in
a single day. This can be very exciting (it is a lot of hits) but very disconcerting,
especially if you unexpectedly exceed your bandwidth allocation.