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Link Development Forum

    
Critical Mass
A Buzzword or Reality?
Event_King




msg:423842
 11:18 pm on Dec 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

A lot of talk surrounds link development these days, usually the same old stuff is being discussed, but does the mystical critical mass really exist or has the word be invented to wind up certain categories of webmaster?

Has anybody really and truthfully experienced this and if so, how many 'quality links' does it take to achieve critical backlink mass.

I personally do not believe anyone has reached this stage as having gained a massive amount of links myself, I reckon other techniques are involved. I think that certain types frequent the forums with the specific goal of 'slowing' down the progress of site owners by claiming the 'critical mass' technique - as by slowing down the opposition, an advantage is gained.

So my question is: Does anyone think this is a bunch of crap? Personally I feel it would take years and years of chasing thousands of links before the 'auto surge' takes care of itself.

 

graywolf




msg:423843
 4:27 am on Jan 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think to really grasp the 'critical mass' of linking you need to get your head wrapped around the 'filthy linking rich' concept by Mike Grehan.

martinibuster




msg:423844
 6:36 pm on Jan 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Graywolf, thanks for reminding us of that great article. In case anyone is out of touch, Mike Grehan is one of the industry's top minds. If anyone reads his articles and not get anything out of it, then I would suggest the issue is with the reader, and not the article.

Personally I feel it would take years and years...

In some cases it could take a few years. From my experience, I think it depends on how useful your content is, plus how much effort you put into it's visibility. Useful content can be knowledgeable, controversial, or even humorous. Visibility includes all the promotional things you'll find discussed here.

Imo, decent content is important, otherwise you could amass thousands of links and still never reach a critical mass. So it's probably a buzzword to those who can't achieve it.

Event_King




msg:423845
 1:20 am on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Content helps but it's not the be all and end all of all things webby. Content is just information and most has been passed about the web so often, most of it can be found with a 1 keyword search. Content is spoken about as if it's some magic ingredient for a website's success - that's really funny to me lol.

There's far more to running a site that wacking up a bit of content, but the more content, the more Adsense ads can be shown, and thus potentially the more pennies people can make and is obviously why people love the content thing, so I agree with you to a point.

But even with a lot of great original content, it still takes years to become established and trusted by consumers, and the web is even less trustworthy than anything offline purely as so many 'hide' themselves by ommitting simple contact details, providing bad service and sometimes not delivering what was promised.

I think critical mass is a buzzword and few have achieved this mass thing, simply because simple errors have been made with many sites and the web is such a marvelous research tool and will reveal much if you know where to look. Newspapers and news sites such as the BBC always print the best web success stories and if they won't touch it - then the idea isn't worth reporting.

Big brother is watching - and many don't even know it, but without the press, then an idea will never 'officially' be seen as launched. You can soon tell if a site is serious or may have a chance at some decent traffic for a while - it'll send out a press release. But what happens when the effectiveness of that release runs out........ A site's traffic and proftability will significantly perish unless it has that original idea going for it, and no amount of content or links will save it.

But saying that - 'any' PR company can get a release done because they are being paid for it! Doesn't mean it'll be accepted or if a site will be successful.

I give a 2 year survivial limit to any proper site that doesn't send out an official launch notification,and I get even more nervous about sites that don't put the release on the actual site.

Event_King




msg:423846
 1:21 am on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Who says Mike Grehan is one of the industry's top minds - I'm saying he's yet another guy leading the blind. His article is nothing more than a sales pitch, and not a very good one at that. Content helps but it's not the be all and end all of all things webby. Content is just information and most has been passed about the web so often, most of it can be found with a 1 keyword search. Content is spoken about as if it's some magic ingredient for a website's success - that's really funny to me lol.

There's far more to running a site that wacking up a bit of content, but the more content, the more Adsense ads can be shown, and thus potentially the more pennies people can make, so I agree with you to a point. Even with a lot of great original content, it still takes years to become established and trusted by consumers, and the web is even less trustworthy than anything offline purely as so many 'hide' themselves by ommitting simple contact details, providing bad service and sometimes not delivering what was promised.

I think it's a buzzword and few have achieved this, simply because simple marketing errors have been made and the web is such a marvelous research tool and will reveal much if you know where to look. Newspapers and news sites such as the BBC always print the best web success stories and if they won't touch it - then the idea isn't worth reporting. Big brother is watching - and many don't even know it, but without the press, then an idea will never 'officially' be seen as launched. You can soon tell if a site is serious or may have a chance - it'll send out a press release.

But saying that 'any' PR company can get a release done because they are being paid for it! Doesn't mean it'll be accepted or if a site will be successful.

I give a 2 year survivial limit to any site that doesn't send out an official launch notification,and I get even more nervous about sites that don't put the release so people can read it.

baze22




msg:423847
 5:47 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

What exactly is 'Critical Mass' with regards to linking?

Event_King




msg:423848
 6:05 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's where links that a site has gained, have reached a certain amount that those links are enough to 'auto' gain new links with no further effort on the webmaster's part. Link building effort is no longer needed to get new links - or something along those lines.

Basically a site has a ton of links to it (eg 20'000) and people find it easily and link because it has so much traffic etc etc. The 'content' way takes even longer because the content must be researched, built, tested etc etc.

Few sites have achieved this momentum.

martinibuster




msg:423849
 6:38 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Few sites have achieved this momentum.

That's your opinion based on your personal experience.

My opinion based on my personal experience is the opposite.

As far as quality content is concerned, quality content alone may not be enough to reach critical mass, but quality content plus active promotion may be enough. Obviously some niches might not ever reach that point because of the nature of their topic.

But for just about every niche you will find several leaders that others find it useful to link to. That's critical mass.

Event_King




msg:423850
 7:17 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

b]That's your opinion based on your personal experience[/b]

Not just my opinion but a fact - as this is something 'anybody' can research. It's just link checking and keeping up with the major news sites.

Just reading through any news site won't work - it's the 'right' sites that are key. Accuracy of information is important and they will tell you everything you need to know about 'who is a player' or not as the case may be.

But for just about every niche you will find several leaders that others find it useful to link to

How can there be several leaders? Unity of command is undesirable, as there can be only one leader. That's probably Google at this time, closely followed by Yahoo in 2nd spot. The niche area is very different and still young, so no proof or way of monitoring who is best. I can't see a 3rd rate website going to Google and expecting a free link or something, they'd get laughed at - me thinks, and having tried this with a certain top Directory, I'm speaking with some authority as I've done it.

To get these leaders interested in linking would require such a great idea of a site - you wouldn't believe, and to my knowledge, such a site has yet to be created (although a few gallant efforts exist).

I check the major engines and directories on a regular basis and check each ones 'partnership' page, so I'll soon know if a small site strikes up some deal or not, and if sites have achieved such a Critical Mass, then the news services will pick this up and report them.

graywolf




msg:423851
 7:25 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Few sites have achieved this momentum.

Look at sites like Engadget and Gizmodo, despite the fact that they both compete in the personal electronics and gadgets space, they are both wildly popular, very profitable and get loads of new links every day. If you look at the registration date for Engadget you'll see it's just over 2 years. While obviously there was both time and money spent promoting the site, if you look at the site you'll see the #1 reason it's so popular is is the great content.

If you're looking to gain links from Joe and Jane Internet you're going to have to find ways to speak to them and reach them. Some niche's will be harder and require more work but can still be done. Getting people to link to your celebrity of the moment website will be easier than your finance site but can still be done. People aren't going write or link to just any finance website, but they will link to Suzy Orman and the Motley Fool, why because they have great content that is accessible to everyone.

Not to say that you can't make money with less than stellar content, or even crappy scraped content. But sites like that are going to have a much harder time getting links and may never attain 'critical mass'.

Event_King




msg:423852
 8:20 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Engadget seems a bit 'messy' and scattered. PR is a high 8 and it has 2,859,005 links to it (not accurate). It has 8 blocks of adsense plastered all over it, so clearly it's a 'made for adsense' venture.

I didn't take a close look at the quality of those links, so I can't vouch for targeting at all. But if it beats ZDNet as a 'true' resource, it should do well and probably could do with a redesign.

Hang on, isn't 8 sets of adsense on a single page, against Google's TOS?

martinibuster




msg:423853
 8:35 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

...so clearly it's a 'made for adsense' venture.

Wrong again. Check out archive.org to get your facts straight.

When you view someone's head between your thumb and finger, then pinch, you're not really squashing anybody's head. It might feel like it for you, but it's not really happening. Similarly EK, your opinion has been rebutted, and it's time to admit your pesrsonal experience is not the universal reality.

sugarrae




msg:423854
 9:27 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>How can there be several leaders? Unity of command is undesirable, as there can be only one leader. That's probably Google at this time, closely followed by Yahoo in 2nd spot.

So, that means Yahoo and MSN don't pick up links ala critical mass because Google is the foremost leader? Come on. Even smaller leaders pick up some links (like Dogpile) without effort.

There's no rule that there can only be one leader - most industries have several "top sites". There may be one "#1", but there can certainly be several leaders.

>>>Not just my opinion but a fact

In EK world maybe. I don't think you'll ever get the concept that just because you experienced B as a result of A, it doesn't automatically make it a universal fact and the experience of every other person.

Event_King




msg:423855
 10:50 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>Wrong again. Check out archive.org to get your facts straight.<<<

Sorry Martin, but you'll need more than the online credibility of some website I've never heard of, to get me to totally agree with your take on this. This archive.org, covinces me that it's just another site out of the many, and other than that it proves nothing at all to me. I want to see stats, copies of press releases, references to UK highly respected sites, magazine reviews, records of TV interviews with the owner etc, before I'll believe anything on the web will be a hit.

Just because it has many links deosn't mean it'll survive, soooo many companies go bust and I used to work for a multi million pound company that DID go bust for the most basic of errors, so I know quite a bit about this - for real.

(And BTW, archive.org has a very annoying feature to it that stops usage of the back button - is it really a good idea to recommend that to one of your members as an example of a good resource.)


sugarrae




msg:423856
 11:11 pm on Jan 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>archive.org has a very annoying feature to it that stops usage of the back button - is it really a good idea to recommend that to one of your members as an example of a good resource

Some days I wonder if you are for real.

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