|Why do you link?|
What are your goals? How will you accomplish?
This stems from questions I posed in this thread [webmasterworld.com].
I think too many people start a link building project (or ANY project, for that matter) without figuring out exactly what they want to accomplish. "More links" is too vague of a goal. Besides being unquantifiable, one link is not always just as good as another. So figuring out what yuour goal is should be the first step in setting up your campaign. Once you have your goal, then tailor your method(s) towards that goal.
As I posed before:
|Do you just want links to your site? Or do you just want PR juice? Or do you want links that provide you with quality visitors? Different goals may require different methods. |
Are there any other goals you might want to accomplish from your link building campaign?
|Are there any other goals you might want to accomplish from your link building campaign? |
Longevity is at the top of my list.
None of those. I want links to boost my rankings. Which to me is not the same as PR.
And as P1R mentions, I do it so that my rankings are there for the longterm.
And that means that I have to build quality links that will withstand future algo changes. I sometimes will go after links that probably don't mean much right now, but I expect will in the future. Four things I look at:
-relevance of the site giving me a link
- trust of the site, basically determined by gut feel looking at backlinks to the site
- relevance of backlinks to the site giving me a link
-age of the site/age of backlinks to that site.
The age thing I look at right now because I think it matters right now, but long term I'm not certain it will be so important. Really the first three factors mean it's an old site anyway.
Wheel is right. In most cases, none of those. I was going to post in the previous thread that none of the objectives you listed matter.
>>>do you just want PR juice?
PR is an unknown quantity. What's in the toolbar does not correlate with how well you rank.
>>>Or do you want links that provide you with quality visitors?
This is called advertising. Doesn't have to be a direct link, either. This can be accomplished for the cost of producing a video and the time uploading it to YouTube, then put your link in the description field, making the link the first thing in the description field so it shows. It's nofollowed, but it's a link for traffic.
This is largely what most be people want.
Good points, but I still see the focus on the process, not the goal. So let me clarify a bit- in addition to the goal, what do you want to accomplish from achieving the goal? What are the end results you are trying to accomplish and what are the benefits that you expect to get once those results are met?
So, what do you accomplish by having links that stay there for a long time? (Which is what I assume you meant by longevity.)
|Longevity is at the top of my list. |
This is largely what most be people want.
"Ranking" is just as vague as "more links" to me. OK, so what good is ranking #1? Bragging rights? Isn't the end result behind having a high ranking to get more traffic from search engines?
[edited by: LifeinAsia at 6:57 pm (utc) on June 25, 2008]
|So, what do you accomplish by having links that stay there for a long time? |
Continuance. History. Mostly authoritative links. Link longevity today is not what is used to be. The churn and burn of the Internet makes it a rather interesting field of endeavor.
These types of links do not "usually" come from your everyday linkbaiting schemes. No, these are earned links over time, trust links, they also come with tenure. A new site is going to need to stick around a bit if it is to perform to the levels where Link Longevity comes into play. Information sites are prone to Link Longevity. Educational sites, Government sites, Organizations, etc. All of those are prime candidates for long term link relationships. Less maintenance, less headache and less chance of getting caught up in something that could trickle down your way.
Whois data provides a good starting point for domain history and trust when considering link longevity. I like to see how many changes have occured to that record over time. Whether or not the information is public, etc. Lots to be learned from the Whois information at a "visible" easy to access level.
Yes, I know, how does a large site with a large link portfolio deal with that? That is for you to decide. I will tell you that the "Human Touch" is the only way to go (from my perspective). Frontend automation is history, poison, stay away from it. Continual ongoing reviews of your outbound, inbound and internal links from both an automated (management only) and "Human" approach is imperative.
>>>"Ranking" is just as vague as "more links" to me.
It's the answer to your question of why do you link. WHY do you want to rank is yet another question.
|Isn't the end result behind having a high ranking to get more traffic from search engines? |
Isn't the reason one buys a beer and puts it in the fridge so that you can consume it at some point? It's implicit. One follows the other. ;)
Not always- high rankings do not necessarily mean more traffic, although often do. (You can rank #1 in all the search engines, but if most people know your site is utter crap, they're probably going to start clicking from the #2 results.) But again, is more traffic really the end result you want to achieve? What are you going to do with that traffic? Are you going to monetize it? If so, depending on how you monetize it, all traffic is not necessarily alike.
By the way, I'm asking this primarily out of amused curiosity. I have done very little link building on my own for my own sites. Other than some manual link submissions and a few personal requests from many years ago, I have done nothing to ask anyone for links for a very long time.
But I have seen such a frenzy about getting links, most of the time with no apparent goal or game plan- just a focus on getting links without any idea of what, if any, benefit will result from their work.
Before jumping into the lemming parade, I've been trying to analyze the entire process, look at the results I want to achieve, and see if the work put into it is going to achieve positive results, or if the time/effort spent doing that would be better spent doing something else with better returns. So I'm just trying to see what other ways people are looking at their link-building projects, see what their different goals are, and see how they are measuring their success rates for achieving those goals.
For example, for an e-commerce site, most likely the desired results would be more profit. This would come from either more sales or sales of higher ticket items. Looky-loos from Google may or may not help reach the goal, so rather than focus on trying to improve my rankings, a better usage of my time would be to get links from sites frequented by people interested in buying my widgets. Should beat my head against the wall begging and pleading for 3 months before I finally get a link on the most heavily trafficed site for widget lovers (including the research time spent to identify the top sites for widget lovers), or should I do things the easy way and just pay for advertising on the site? And if pay, what rate is going to give me a positive ROI?
If I have a site that just has content with a lot of AdSense advertising, my goals and methods are going to be different.
|or should I do things the easy way and just pay for advertising on the site? |
Can you do advertising at the local level? Can you get more local eyes on that ecommerce site which in turn will expand from there? Is it a viable alternative to the link hunting strategy? How much would it cost to do a local advertising blitz and get the locals over to the site? That is, if it is an established local business. But still, I think an ecommerce site might do well to focus its efforts at micro levels instead of going after the entire pie. Local traffic can generate quite a few links in return and you don't have to beg for the damn things, they come naturally! :)
|But again, is more traffic really the end result you want to achieve? |
But again, aren't you changing the topic of this discussion? You asked WHY do you link, that's the topic of this discussion. Now you are asking, "What are you going to do with the traffic."
|But again, aren't you changing the topic of this discussion? |
No, it's all related- I'm trying to figure out if there is any method to the link madness I see. I don't see any point in just getting traffic if you're not going to do anything with it. And again, the way you are going to try to monetize that traffic will determine what type of traffic you're trying to target and how to go about getting it.
For the most part, all I see is people focusing on getting links with intangible (if any) goals, and no real plan of what to do if/when the goal is achieved. As a link "outsider" I see everyone focusing on the process (researching WHOIS data), or intermediate goals (rankings). I've seen very little analysis on the end results (buying customers or whatever) and analyzing which process(es), if any, will best achieve the end results.
P1R's last post is about the onbly thing I've seen to any sort of detailed analysis.
So I guess the purpose of my post is to find out DOES anyone in link building actually care about end results, or is the focus completely on intermediate goals without any regards as to if those goals actually achieve a positive end result. And if the latter, what type of analysis do people do?
Maybe the problem is that I haven't been explaining myself well. Let me try a different track, using MB's analogy:
|Isn't the reason one buys a beer and puts it in the fridge so that you can consume it at some point? |
I guess it seems like I am asking why MB is going to that store, and MB answers "to buy some beer." The answer I'm looking for would be somewhere along the lines of "I'm throwing a birthday part for my beer drinking friend. I know he likes this local microbrew, and the only place I know to get it is this specialty liquor store." *THAT* is a well-defined end objective: the local microbrew. Only 1 store has it, so going to other stores won't achieve the desired results. He doesn't like other beers, so buying any other beer won't achieve the desired results. They don't deliver, so MB has to go directly to pick it up to achieve the desired results. Meanwhile, I see all the other link builders going to generic stores then not buying anything because they don't know why they are there in the first place (their only goal was to get to the store). Or maybe they did have a goal to buy beer; but it wasn't the one their friend wanted, so he's not very happy (and many of them are probably happy because they think their "goal" was achieved, yet in reality it did NOT get the result they ultimately wanted to achieve, because they didn't understand exactly what they were trying to achieve in the first place).
Not sure if that analogy helped, or just frustrated everyone more so all they want to do is go find MB's friend share his beer! :)
[edited by: LifeinAsia at 9:00 pm (utc) on June 25, 2008]
Of course, the end result is important. I don't think I have ever met a business person or webmaster who wasn't focused on the end result of their link building efforts. Even the newbie who states a goal of increasing their PageRank is actually doing it for specific goals, usually sales, not the actual PageRank increase. I've had newbies express that very goal to me, which was in the service of increasing sales. However it's a little more complicated than that, right?
That's the underlying point of the Link Pyramid post, matching links to pages that will convert or turn to clicks, whatever your goal happens to be. Thus, a link to the home page may not be the most efficient use of your link building resources. By combining a targeted phrase with a targeted page you're going to increase conversions and clicks. This is where effective keyword research and matching that to the link building and on-page SEO plays a role, which is an entirely different topic.
I link in order to bring traffic and rankings
I focus on aged, authority links and links which bring relevant traffic.
For me, there isn't too much more to it than that since I know what the focus is of my website and how to monetize it.
I look for high quality links that tend to make my site an "authority" in it's niche, thereby driving up the position in SERPS, and hopefully more visitors as a result.
just for make money :)