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|Am I the only one here who doesn't do "link-building"?|
For years and years I have read about failed link-building attempts when someone has acquired too many, too fast or some other reason because that person has been told the only way to get better rankings in Google is to continually build more links.
I've watched Google videos, I've read about it, I've seen recommendations however I have never in 16+ years not once asked anyone for a link, I couldn't even tell you what my PR is on any site, I've never once bothered to look yet some seem to refer to it as the Holy Grail.
I certainly have plenty of spammy competing sites in my widget sector yet I concentrate in delivering on my sites what I as a tradesperson would expect to find and for an educated retail buyer that essential information that they need to know.
Am I the only one who works this way?
I'm pretty much in your camp when it comes to DIRECT link building campaigns. Promotion of website content is a different thing, and that usually generates enough "natural" backlinks as long as the content is good.
|Am I the only one who works this way? |
I haven't asked for a link since 2003. All the sites that were involved with link building have been dismantled since 2004. Same goes for building links via forum signatures - it's been many years.
Right there with you. Too busy working on useful content, and a bit of social networking here and there.
We're up nearly 40% compared to last year, which was 40% more than 2008. If it ain't broke...
I suppose it depends on your niche, but, I don't see many commercial sites with any helpful technical information.
Delivery time scale - People that bought this widget, also bought - The best returns policy in the universe - - Fifteen people rated this product with an average 5 stars...etc
I suspect you are going the extra mile and including useful information. eg. This widget will only work above atmospheric pressure. For best results please see our detailed user information guide. Download installation pdf here.
The downside (comparing to own sites) you probably rank for a lot of phrases starting with "how"
Amazon would never admit to ranking for anything that started with "how"
I don't do link building either (requests, reciprocal, etc.). I tried years ago but gave up because it's a lot of work for so little return. I got a few links but they sent such little traffic that it wasn't worth it. I've got enough other stuff to worry about that is under my control.
I don't care one bit about PageRank either, it's utterly meaningless, I'd bet 99.9% of my visitors don't even know what that is.
@burcot, three words to answer your question: "will it blend"
In my vocabulary, that would constitute useful content.
Same situation here, never asked for a link or gave a link... I do give a link to new customer sites for about 6 months. This normally gives them a great kick-start. After the 6 month period I normally remove the link, by this time they have been adding content and are well on their way to standing on their own 2 feet. If the site has great content the inbound links normally just happen without any additional work.
Actively building, most days.
There are 9 million great articles online these days about how to skin a cat. Why would anyone link to yours?
I hear you, CainIV - each website is different and some may be in a spot where active link work is essential.
|some seem to refer to (PR) as the Holy Grail |
Are these people also wearing legwarmers, watching MacGyver and drinking Crystal Pepsi?
@columbusgeek, that was awesome.
I see lots of link exchanges, traffic exchanges, paid links, guest blogs, obvious junk links (guestbook, forums, etc), SMM whoring, etc...at the end of the day this all goes into the overall backlink profile. Does it look too unnatural with overweighting in any one area? That's always the thing I look for; balance.
We don't do link building either. I tried once but it was too much work... ;-)
My hat off to those of you who do it day in and day out. It is tough work, like cold calling. Takes some organization and determination.
While I think asking for links (and getting them) is getting more difficult these days, I believe organic linking is still alive and well.
Every single day of the week I get requests (usually multiple requests) for link exchanges. Years ago I would examine them, now I ignore them. Why? Because as I said in other posts, I don't even want to possibly incur any kind of penalty from Google. Yes I know we can do "nofollow" but I don't know these other webmasters so cannot say with certainty that they'll do that if requested. My guess is they'd withdraw the invitation, and as was said above, that makes it too much work for too little return. So no, until things change on Mt Olympus, I'm out of the link exchange market.
|Promotion of website content is a different thing... |
Can you elaborate on the differences in your opinion?
The link debate is confusing for many of us. I see the #1 listing for one of our desired keywords is held by a competitor, whose majority of links are reciprocal. And he didn't even get them by hand. He participates in an AUTOMATED third-party reciprocal link program.
#2, #5, and #8 are held by one company with three stores (one volusion, one magneto, one a yahoo store), where the majority of links are between those stores.
Been this way for several years now.
While on this topic:
How does everyone feel about links from indirectly related sites?
Example: Our business sells widgets, and is woman-owned, and we are participating in some green technology programs to try and reduce our environmental impact. But instead of concentrating on getting links from widget information pages, how about getting links from sites for woman owned / minority owned businesses? Or from green technology sites?
We have a friend who sells certified fair trade widgets, and he says that "most of his orders" are referred from the fair trade certification web site. So there is the referral boost as well as the link juice boost to consider.
|How does everyone feel about links from indirectly related sites? |
What's the purpose of the link? If it generates traffic, then that's a very good thing. In most cases, they're there just for the sake of link juice.
I believe that many of us avoid links because of the possible penalty Google might impose. I know that perception costs me a lot of money. I seem to get more offers to buy links than exchange them. Most of the offers are quite low - $50 for a "permanent" link, while others have offered as much as $250 per month (still too low). Even if someone were to hit my asking price, I still wouldn't provide the link.
Ironically, if you have useful content, you'll get a link for free.
So is it possible for new sites, with no links, no association with a SE trusted site, to get some traffic, get some inbound links, and so on
without link building today?
For example a single article published on a pr6 homepage article directory gets twice the traffic of the 10 page 6 month old site its linked to
Heck, I had to look up that one, never heard of it before even though it was supposedly sold in Europe for longer than the US...where I have to ask? And the same goes for Coke's Tab Clear, never heard of that until I looked up Crystal Pepsi!
I haven't traded or asked for links in some time. I license my content under a Creative Commons Attribution Required license, which requires people using my content to give me a link, and that generates a lot of good links.
Would I like more? Sure, of course, and I don't object to link building, including link exchanging with good relevant sites, in principle. But at least for me, the common "link building" strategies don't seem to generate good quality links nearly as well as the content strategy. I gave up on that years ago as simply a waste of time. Since then the only link building I've done is to try various ways to encourage more people to actually fulfill their obligation to give me a link for the use of my content.
However, in order for this to work, you have to get at least a little bit of initial traffic. When I started my main site, I got that by a combination of link trading and asking for links from people who owed me favors. You have to get the ball rolling somehow.
These days you might be able to get the ball rolling with a good social media strategy, if you do it right.
|I suppose it depends on your niche, |
It does depend on the niche. You don't get on the first three pages for any useful terms in my niche without *heavy* link building.
That includes having over the top content (which I do) that nobody naturally links to and is far better than what my competitors have.
If I didn't aggressively link build to get rankings, I wouldn't have a business.
Surely people don't believe you can get lasting, strong rankings for something (for example) like 'mortgage rates' or 'car insurance' just by sitting by idly with some nice content. It just ain't going to happen.
If you're in in a niche wandering around blissfully not having to build links? You may get a wake up call someday if/when an SEO strong company walks into your niche and walks all over you. You should be planning against that eventuality now.
We all know links matter. You may have enough links to rank now, but without continued building you are very open to the risk of someone eating your lunch.
I try and plan for the scenario where some of the top SEO companies decide to take a run at my niche, and try and be ready for that now.
I tried but I hate it. I've done very little link building and now I don't do it anymore. Why? because I still hate it. Yes, every new site needs a kick and that's where my old established websites help, there I put the first links if I think is relevant.
There is one site I built following the best advice I got here and that one launched like a rocket reaching what other sites of mine took two years. I mean mostly did the "build, create, publish and forget" and focus on adding great original content. Happy? yes but exhausted. One guy alone can do only so much. But I now see more clearly the power of great content.
I still get chills when I read those threads of "how many links did you get this week" that state that one should keep building links. I hate it and perhaps is one part of my obstacles. In my case I feel it was easier to exchange links in the past where everything was more difficult and there were more people serious about it. Now? many wannabes have their blog filled with copied content and links to "friend sites" and want to exchange with mine with their link on my front page with a big button, that's not fair. So I don't ask anymore, people want unfair trades, and I now ignore the petitions I get.
But don't count my case like a big thing of "another one with no link building case with good traffic", no no. My sites don't reach the amount of traffic most of webmasters here have, I'm still working on that but that is just my story. More and more I think I still have to polish the ability to see what subjects are worth writing a website about.
I don't do it. Don't know how, don't have time, don't have patience, and it probably wouldn't scale. Most of my clients are B2B, so that makes it even more time consuming. If someone decides we need it done, gonna have to hire someone to do it.
Depending on how one defines hypertext linking, it goes back either decades or centuries. By the time Google came along in the late '90's, interlinking between sites was a well developed and accepted form of website construction.
See the... History of Hypertext [en.wikipedia.org]
Some here would argue that Google has not stopped that well established principal, but I would argue that they have considerably slowed it down, and they've done so because of the business/market strategy they embrace so whole-heartedly: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD).
So whatever their intentions vis-a vis hyperlinking, the reality is they've hurt it to the point where many people will not engage in this important WWW practice for one reason, and that one reason is FEAR of how Google might react, and that's too bad. I won't repeat many of the arguments made in another thread (Google Used Analytics to Impose Penalties) [webmasterworld.com], but suffice it to say, I find it unfortunate that one of the founding principals of the World Wide Web has been severely wounded by one single company that profit$ so greatly from the blows they gleefully administer.
|feel about links from indirectly related sites |
If the link would reach users who are well-targeted for what you're offering, then consider it a good link.
If the link would make good sense to human users, eventually it will make sense to the search engines too, even if the relevance is indirect.
The first time someone with a page about "venison recipes" linked to a site about "hunting gear" or vice versa, the search engines likely didn't know what to make of it. But the targeting is logical enough that sooner or later a pattern would emerge which the algos could identify.
I do not bother either.
I used to try, but I got far more natural links.
If you want links, write good content and people will link to it.
|Surely people don't believe you can get lasting, strong rankings for something (for example) like 'mortgage rates' or 'car insurance' just by sitting by idly with some nice content. |
No, I don't expect that would work very well, car insurance data is pretty boring. I think you have to be in a niche where your content has entertainment or aesthetic value.
|You may get a wake up call someday if/when an SEO strong company walks into your niche and walks all over you. |
Hey, man, if you have any suggestions for how I can get better links more efficiently than what I'm getting now by focusing on content, I'm all ears!
However, I have a backlog of new, better quality content as long as my arm that I'd like to add to my site, and not enough hours in the day to put it up. My experience has been that in the long run, spending x hours doing that will generate more and better links than spending x hours "link building," and it also makes my site better and provides better value to my visitors.
I suppose that if I had infinite time to throw at the problem, I would get better results by doing both, but I don't. If somebody with deep pockets decides they want to dominate my niche, I'm sure they could do that, but they might find it difficult to recoup the large expense that would entail.
I would have to agree with Wheel here. It's really going to depend on your niche. I've seen some areas where great content and a handful of links will win the day and then visit those a couple years later and the story changed to where it's highly competitive for SEO.
You may want to continue doing what you are doing and also start pressing the gas on the SEO. FWIW.
One thing i 've noticed is a return to big sites ranking for queries where their content only has a glancing reference to the query, just happens the page is TBPR 4 from a TBPR 7 homepage,
You know, good old 2 year old news network article on green widgets, ranking number 4 for query specifically on green widgets
TBPR is looking mighty tuned up in google algo right now, IMHO
Well this is coincidental.
For the first time in my widget trade directory's life, today I have received a link removal request from a widget trade museum!
The reason? They claim they are getting too much spam.
But, there's always a but isn't there...just why did they buy an expired widget trade portal domain name and point it at their new site?
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