How To Improve Your Link Popularity With Mini-Sites

The easiest way to get external websites to link to your main website is to add links to your main site from your other existing websites. If you don't have any, then create some mini-sites.

What Are Mini-Sites?

Mini-sites are small websites, normally containing no more than a few pages.

Let's use an example to illustrate how to use mini-sites. Let's say you have an online store selling baby products. Here are some ideas on how to create mini-sites for your store.

Idea #1

Set up a website offering a list of baby names and their meanings. According to the Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool, there were 598,551 searches for 'baby names' compared to only 75,872 searches for 'baby clothing' across the Overture network in June 2003. So it makes sense to target visitors interested in baby names. After all, what kind of people is interested in baby names? Parents of course! And do they buy baby clothing? Absolutely! (no longer available)

Idea #2

But why settle for one website offering baby names? Set up additional sites for names in other languages, such as Chinese, Jewish, French, Japanese, etc. You get the idea?

Idea #3

You could also set up a website allowing parents to send email announcements of the birth of their new baby to their friends and families. Include the option to add photos of their baby to the announcement and allow recipients to purchase copies of the photos.

Idea #4

How about setting up a website offering advice on how to protect a baby from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), also known as cot death? I'm sure new parents would find such a site most useful. Plus you would probably attract many links as well.

I'm sure you get the idea. The idea of mini-sites is to create websites that compliment your main website. In general, you should offer free information or service that your customers would find useful. You then funnel the traffic from the mini-sites to your main website.

How To Cross Link Your Mini-Sites

On your mini-sites, add text links to your main site, as well as to the other mini-sites. Make sure to include the exact spelling of your most important keywords in your text link.

I highly recommend using different keyword phrases on different pages, in order to improve your search engine relevancy for different keyword phrases. Not everyone enters the same keywords when they are searching for a particular product or service.

For example, in the case of our example baby store, you could link to the main site using the following popular search terms:

baby furniture
baby clothes
baby bedding
baby gifts
and so on…

You can see how I have used this technique to funnel traffic from my free content sites to my commercial sites.

Actually mini-sites are probably not a good description for these sites, as they contain over 1,800 pages of content in total. But their main purpose is to funnel traffic to my commercial websites.

What Is Site Popularity?

Site popularity refers to click through popularity, and how long visitors remain at the site after getting there. Do not confuse site popularity with link popularity. Link popularity refers to the number and quality of links pointing back to a website.

Direct Hit was the best known site popularity engine, but since Teoma acquired it, the public search interface has been removed and is no longer accessible. As far as I know there are no other major site popularity search engines in existent today.

What Is Click Through Popularity?

Click through popularity refers to ranking links by the number of clicks it receives. One such search engine that uses click through popularity is the Yahoo! Directory. It takes click through popularity into account to determine the rankings of its 'Most Popular' listings in each category of its web directory.

To determine if a search engine or web directory tracks click through popularity, simply look at the link URL of an outgoing link. If the link URL starts with the search engine's own site address, it is a clear indication that the search engine is monitoring the click through activity.

For example, here is the outgoing link for in Yahoo's search results page:

It is interesting to note that the outgoing link in Yahoo's directory (see below) is slightly different from the search results link. The reason is probably because Yahoo! uses different links to track the popularity of a link in different areas of the site.

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