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Ever since Google began placing importance on its Page Rank system, website owners have been scrambling to get incoming links to their websites, usually through the means of trading links. Incoming links are important in the Page Rank system, because they are seen as "votes" for your site, and the more "votes" you get, the more important your site is considered, and the higher it is placed in Google’s search results. However, if you study the details of the Page Rank system you will find that not all incoming links have the same weight, and that the non-reciprocal links to your site, the one’s you didn’t have to trade for, are given more importance. So, website owners should also spend some time building up these non-reciprocal links. Here are five methods you can use in this effort.

1. Get your site listed in the major directories: The two most important directories at the present moment are Yahoo and the Open Directory Project ( Yahoo is the old stalwart of the Internet and despite the rise of Google, the addition of a hefty $299 fee, and changes in the way they display their listings, a link to your site from Yahoo’s main directory (and it’s regional variants) can boost the standing of your website much more than a few links from an obscure website.

The other major directory, the Open Directory Project is free of charge and is edited by volunteers. It is sometimes difficult to get a listing because they scrutinize listings and do not list sites that don’t offer original content. If your site consists only of affiliate links, then the editors will reject your application. In addition the volunteer editors have been unable to keep pace with the amount of sites to be reviewed and they can take months to process your entry. Compounding the problem are technical glitches which sometimes make it difficult to even submit the form. Despite the problems inclusion here is well worth your effort, and you should persist. Inclusion in both Yahoo and the Open Directory Project can mean the difference between a "page one" or a "page five" showing for your site in search results, especially in competitive categories.

2. Get your site listed in directories relevant to your particular product or service: There are many resource directories that serve particular areas of interest. If you offer software that would be helpful to webmasters, for example, then do a search for webmaster resource directories and you will find sites where you can add your URL. Do you have a hotel? Then, find travel directories, and apply to be listed. You will have to spend time, but once again persistence will pay off, not only in improvement of your page rank but listing in specific industry or product oriented directories will bring you targeted traffic—people particularly interested in what you have to offer.

3. Write articles for Publication on Other Web Sites: There are millions of websites on the web, and many are hungry for quality content. As you have published your own website and have something to offer, that makes you an "expert" in your particular field. Use this expertise to write simple, but useful articles in your field and send these to other webmasters. If they publish your article, they will include your "resource box" with a link back to your site. The link will once again boost your Page Rank, but just as importantly, it will establish you as an authority in your field and will help "brand" your product or service. You don’t have to write to hundreds of webmasters individually to get your article published, go to and do a search for "Internet Articles Publishing" and you will find many groups that will enable you to reach webmasters looking for articles.

4. Get Your Product or Service Reviewed by other Websites: Have you published an e-book or written software? Then offer a free copy to websites whose themes are similar to yours. If they write and publish a review, then you will get a link back to your site. In addition, you can publish their reviews on your own site, which will add a lot of weight to your own claims about the validity of your product or service. Look around for sites in your field and make your offer. In the process you will also build potentially important alliances.

5. Beef up the Content on Your Own Site: the original concept behind the Page Rank system was to try to highlight the websites that are really valuable, and offer something unique to the Internet. If you publish an Internet version of your company brochure, no one is going to link to you unilaterally. However, if your site is filled with interesting articles, reports, data and reference material then you will get links without even asking for them. You can add content to your site, by writing and publishing your own articles, the same ones that you will offer to other sites, as well as by publishing the articles of others. Once again, the article publishing groups at or sites such as will provide you with a wealth of material.

If you apply some of these methods you will not only get some high-quality non-reciprocal links but you will also boost the quality of your website in the process.

This Web Marketing article was written by Donald Nelson on 3/22/2005

Donald Nelson is a web developer, editor and social worker. He has been working on the Internet since 1995, and is currently the director of A1-Optimization (, a firm providing low cost search engine optimization, submission and web promotion services.