How You Can

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Link Popularity


 










Measuring Link Popularity
By Sumantra Roy

"Which search engines use link popularity as a factor in ranking
pages?" Well, that question has become pretty moot these days.
Just about every spider based search engine uses link popularity
as a factor. So, how do you find out how much link popularity
your site has? And how do you know which sites are actually
linking to you? In this article, I'll tell you how you can find
out the link popularity of your site in some of the major search
engines.

1. AltaVista

In order to find out the number of sites linking to the domain
mysite.com in AltaVista, you would type in link:mysite.com in
AltaVista's search box. If you wish to exclude links from pages
within the mysite.com domain, you would type in link:mysite.com
-url:mysite.com.

If you want to find out how many sites are linking to a
particular page (say mypage.html) in the mysite.com domain, you
would type in link:mysite.com/mypage.html. Again, in order to
exclude links from pages within the mysite.com domain, you would
type in link:mysite.com/mypage.html -url:mysite.com.

Note that you should not type in the "www" or the "http://"
prefixes.


2. AOL

AOL is a directory based engine - it takes its results from the
Open Directory. Hence, the concept of measuring link popularity
is not very meaningful in AOL.


3. Fast

In order to find out the number of web sites linking to the
domain mysite.com in Fast, click on the Advanced Search link. In
the "Word Filters" section of the Advanced Search page, select
"Must Include" from the first combo box. In the text box besides
the first combo box, type in mysite.com. In the combo box to the
right of the text box, select "in the link name". If you want to
exclude links from pages within the mysite.com domain, type in
mysite.com in the "Exclude" text box in the "Domain Filters"
section. Then, click on the "FAST Search" button.

In order to find the number of links to mypage.html in the
mysite.com domain, you would type in mysite.com/mypage.html in
the text box besides the first combo box. Again, in order to
exclude links from within the mysite.com domain, type in
mysite.com in the "Exclude" text box.

Note that you should not type in the "www" or the "http://"
prefixes.


4. Google

In order to find out the number of sites linking to mysite.com in
Google, you would type in link:mysite.com.

If you want to find out how many sites are linking to the page
mypage.html in the mysite.com domain, you would type in
link:mysite.com/mypage.html.

However, there is no way you can exclude links from pages within
the mysite.com domain from being counted.

Google considers www.mysite.com to be different from mysite.com.
This means that typing in link:mysite.com will not include the
links to www.mysite.com. If you want to find out the number of
links to www.mysite.com, you have to type in link:www.mysite.com.
And typing in link:www.mysite.com will not include the links to
mysite.com either.

This is in contrast to AltaVista which includes links to the
www.mysite.com domain when you try to find the number of links to
mysite.com.


5. HotBot

There are two methods of measuring link popularity in HotBot.

In the first case, in order to find out the number of sites
linking to mysite.com, you can type in linkdomain:mysite.com. In
order to exclude links from pages within the mysite.com domain,
you can use linkdomain:mysite.com -domain:mysite.com.

Make sure that you do not use the "www" or "http://" prefixes
when you use this method.

However, this method cannot be used to find out the number of
links to specific pages in your site, i.e. you cannot use this
method to find out the links to the page mypage.html in the
domain mysite.com.

In order to find out the number of links to specific pages,
choose "links to this URL" from the "Look for:" drop-down combo
box and then type in the complete URL (i.e.
http://www.mysite.com/mypage.html) in the search box. In order to
exclude links from within the mysite.com domain, type
http://www.mysite.com/mypage.html -domain:mysite.com in the
search box after choosing "links to this URL" from the combo box.
Note that for the second method, you need to use the "http://"
prefix.

Lastly, you should note that in the second method, typing
http://www.mysite.com will only find links to the home page of
the www.mysite.com domain. If there are some sites which have
linked to some of the internal pages in your site rather than
your home page, this will not be included in the link popularity
count.


6. IWon

The method of measuring link popularity in IWon is the same as
the first method in HotBot. However, unlike HotBot, IWon does not
have an alternative method which can be used to measure the
number of links to specific pages in a domain.


7. Lycos

In order to measure link popularity in Lycos, first click on the
Advanced Search link to the right of the search box. To find out
the number of sites linking to mysite.com in Lycos, you would
type in ml:mysite.com in the search box. If you wish to exclude
links from pages within the mysite.com domain, you would type in
ml:mysite.com -h:mysite.com.

If you want to find out how many sites are linking to a
particular page (say mypage.html) in the mysite.com domain, you
would type in ml:mysite.com/mypage.html. Again, in order to
exclude links from pages within the mysite.com domain, you would
type in ml:mysite.com/mypage.html -h:mysite.com.

Note that you should not type in the "www" or the "http://"
prefixes.


8. MSN

The method of measuring link popularity in MSN is almost the same
as that in HotBot. The first method is exactly the same. For the
second method, click on the More Options tab, type in the
complete URL in the "Search the web for:" text box and choose
"links to URL" from the "Find:" drop-down combo box. However,
unlike HotBot, you cannot eliminate links from pages within the
same domain using the second method.

Note that the More Options tab is displayed only after you search
for something in MSN. It is not displayed in MSN's home page.

9. Netscape

Netscape is a directory based engine. It takes its results from
the Open Directory. If no results are found in the Open
Directory, it takes its results from Google. Since it is a
directory based engine, the concept of measuring link popularity
is not all that meaningful. You can type in link:mysite.com to
measure the number of links to the domain mysite.com. In this
case, Netscape will simply take its results from Google.

Article by Sumantra Roy. Sumantra is one of the most respected
and recognized search engine positioning specialists on the
Internet. For more articles on search engine placement, subscribe
to his 1st Search Ranking Newsletter by going to
http://www.1stSearchRanking.net


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