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"A Strategy for Finding Quality Reciprocal Links"

Find 100's of Quality Reciprocal Links

A Tutorial by Jim Wilson
Webmaster at Virtual Promote and editor of the Virtual Promote Gazette

This week we're going to talk about a trick that will help you get more links from sites that have already proven that they would be happy to link to a site like yours. Sound too good to be true? Well, just relax and read on.

This idea absolutely works and you will have several more links by the end of this weekend if you put forth some effort and go through the steps. With a little daily effort, you could easily have 100+ new links to your site in 30 days. All for free. Just a little effort. There is nothing here that even approaches brain surgery. Anyone can do it.

Let's start by assuming that you are building a site that would compete with VirtualPROMOTE. I'm not sure why anyone would want to bite off that much work, but let's just make the assumption for now. You want to quickly build a steady visitor stream of people who are interested in learning about web site promotion. But how to find sites that will be willing to link to you in a meaningful way, not just a free-for-all link.

The best place to start is to find all of the sites that have already proven that they are interested in telling their visitors about VirtualPROMOTE. This is what is known as a target rich environment. These webmasters will probably be easier to convince to link to you than just surfing around at random.

So, where do you start? Start with the search engines. If you ask right, they will tell you most of the sites that link to any one site. Start by finding out the 5 top rated sites in your keyword categories. These are probably the most linked to sites. Then lookup all of the sites that link to each of those sites. Set bookmarks for all of them, sort the bookmarks alphabetically and eliminate duplicates. Now you've got your hit list of sites.

Below is the way to search for reverse links on each of the major search engines. Keep in mind that each search engine will return a completely different set of references for you. We know that VirtualPROMOTE is linked to by over 1,500 sites, but only about 600 show up when you look at all of the search engines.

Alta Vista http://www.altavista.digital.com/cgi-bin/query?pg=q Enter your search as: link:virtualpromote.com

HotBot http://www.hotbot.com/ On the search page, hit the red button on the left side that says "OPEN ALL" This open more search option fields. In the fields marked as "Modify +-" select 'must contain Links to this URL' in the 2 drop down window input fields. In the field below, enter the full URL of the site ( http://www.virtualpromote.com ) Now hit the search button.

Excite http://www.excite.com You'll have to play with this one a bit. It doesn't appear to have a 'link:' search feature, and when I enter a search for 'virtualpromote.com' I get 6 listings, but when I search for just 'virtualpromote' I get 162 listings returned. Remember a search engine science is a finely tuned machine allowing surgically accurate collection of relevant data. It never fails. <g> Try several different ways. One of them is bound to work.

Lycos http://www.lycos.com/ No special search feature here for reverse lookups. I searched for 'virtualpromote.com' and 'virtualpromote' and got the same results.

WebCrawler http://query.webcrawler.com/WebCrawler/Links.html Spidey answers reverse lookups from a special page. Very convenient to use.

Infoseek http://www.infoseek.com/ link:virtualpromote.com Matches pages that contain at least one link to a page with virtualpromote.com in its URL. For example, you can use '+link:virtualpromote.com -url:virtualpromote.com' to see how many external links point to VirtualPROMOTE. Note that unlike other search engines, Infoseek gives you exact counts, not approximations.

Now that you've assembled a list of sites to ask for a link, you simply visit each site and send an e-mail to the webmaster (or submit a form if they have a formal submission policy) and ask nicely for a link.

The message I use is something like 'My name is Jim Wilson and I operate a web site called VirtualPROMOTE. It is a free service to webmasters wanting to learn the best ways to promote their web sites. We are proud to have been chosen as a Starting Point Choice Site. I noticed that you were interested in helping your visitors find the kind of information we offer, and just wanted to invite you to visit VirtualPROMOTE and add our site to your resource listings if you find VirtualPROMOTE to be of interest to your visitors. Thank you for your time. Jim Wilson.' Make sure you include the URL.

This is polite and to the point. It has worked very well for me, and should do the same for you.

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