Link popularity is a very basic way to look at one of Google’s most important criteria when ranking websites. In terms of gathering links for your website, it’s nothing but a popularity contest. Think back to high school when the “popular” kids were who everyone wanted to be. The more popular kids that liked you, the more popular you seemed to everyone else. Ah, the days of ridiculous haircuts and cliques… I digress.

So how does link popularity work into rankings?

Moving away from high school, let’s talk about how negative popularity works. Now, let’s say you had a bunch of less-than-reputable characters all say they liked you a lot – you’ve heard that adage about being only as good as the company you keep, right? Regardless of how many of these less-than-reputable characters are vouching for you, the powers that be will still think you’re exactly like them. Makes sense, right?

That’s how Google sees both types of links to your site. Good, trusted websites that link to you tend to give you a nice boost in search results because they’re reputable. Negative rankings tend to come from getting links from spammy, low-quality websites.

So, do yourself a favor and avoid building low-quality links. Post great content that makes people want to link to it!

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