Link popularity is a combination of the total number of web sites that link to your site and the quality of those links. This is one of the few off-page site optimization factors and is the single most important factor in attaining high positioning on major search engines for competitive keywords.
The quality of the links is determined by a large number of factors, all of which are unknown to any SEO consultant. Among these factors are the content of the site being linked from, that site's own link popularity, the quality of the page that is linking to you, and the theme and industry of that site in relation to yours. While all search engines have their own secret algorithms, those that use link popularity as a factor will certainly include some or all of these factors.
The manner in which a web site links to you and the words used in the link text, often referred to as "anchor text," also play a role in your search engine positioning. Many sites utilize jump scripts for various reasons, but these types of links are not as useful to your link popularity as standard hyperlinks.
Choosing sites to link with is not as simple as it may seem. At first glance, one might just go and request the first 1,000 web sites in their industry to link to them. That would bring them a good number of links, however while some links are beneficial to your rankings, others will cause you penalties. Most search engines do not appreciate any kind of spam, and "link farms" count as spam in our book.
Not only does improving your link popularity boost search engine ranking, but it also brings in traffic. While the vast majority of your visitors will come from a combination of traffic from multiple search engines, it is possible that if you have good link development that the combined visitors from your links will equal that of at least one search engine.
Increasing the number of quality links is a critical aspect of any web site promotion campaign. Our search engine optimization service helps determine which sites you should requests links from and we will go out and try to get them for you.