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Sustaining Growth through links



3:36 am on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I recently got a site off to a good start but traffic is levelling off and I'd like to know if link development will encourage sustained growth. Please could folks comment on this:

Middle of November: new site up
Early January: PR7
Feb 20th: add large quantity of content pages
Feb 28th-March 15th: traffic grows quickly to several thousand users a day, almost all from Google. Google indexes good portion of site quickly.
March 15th-20th: Traffic starts to level off at around two-thirds of peak level. Google continues to index more pages.

It's an encouraging start, but after the initial growth what do you think are the best ways to generally keep traffic growing rather than levelling off, and specifically would purchasing links or link development help? While these seem to be standard ways to acquire links, link development seems to be saturated with low-quality requests and building a reciprocal links directory doesn't quite match the quality image I'd like for my site. On the other hand though buying links is artificial (and often overpriced), so that there seems to be a vicious circle of strong organic link development being dependent on quality content, while simultaneously promoting content is dependent on links.

So, I've got the content but not the links and I'm wondering if it's links that are now the crucial factor in determining how well that content will continue to perform in SERPs, and what is really the best way to get strong exposure and consequent organic links to a site,

Thanks for your input,



7:18 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't have much experience with purchasing links and agree that reciprocal linking is not really ideal. One suggestion you might look into is creating a blog that goes along and acts as a promoter of your site. Many in the blogging community are not as concerend with PR but looking for good content to reference or interesting tidbits instead.

Getting involved in these commuities can be very helpful when it comes to one way links and site promotion.

hope this helps,



8:13 pm on Mar 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


It sounds like with a PR7 you have some nice backlinks already.

Two methods that work wonders for me are submitting to lots of directories, and getting my articles (with a backlink embedded in the bio at the bottom) syndicated on other sites.

Other than that, as long as you have great, updated content, you will pick up new links without asking (especially with your high traffic and PR7). Sometimes it's a waiting game.

I wouldn't worry about traffic spikes too much, that will happen, especially when a site is less than a year old. It will stabilize eventually.

Continue to add good content and you will have an evergreen asset that you can leverage for dollar$ indefinitely.


3:20 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

With a PR7, it's you who are in the position of selling links... not buying them! I second all what has been said. It looks like you only need to wait, and keep working on your inbound links, either by carefully selecting some link exchanges, or by acquiring (not buying) one-way links from directories and other good content websites.


6:59 am on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the replies, some great ideas for creating long-term, quality link popularity. So far I've got:
- Blogs
- Curiosities - Interesting info tidbits that bloggers love to link to (Boingboing.net built their site on this)
- Directory Submissions
- Syndicated articles with link in article
- Acquisition of general high-quality one-way links + exchanges

"Continue to add good content and you will have an evergreen asset that you can leverage for dollar$ indefinitely."
That's very much the plan :)

Thanks folks and good luck with your sites,


Robert Charlton

7:54 am on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Here's Brett's classic article on developing a site. While you're well ahead of many beginners, there are some points in the article that you might find helpful...

Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone
26 steps to 15k a day.

I'd resist temptations for too-quick capitalization on that PR7. Look for partners that make sense for the subject area of your site. You can easily turn off the right potential advertisers if you're not careful.

I'd also make sure the PR7 comes from a very broad base. You don't want to be dependent on a small number of high PR links.

I've also been surprised at the number of new directories I've seen that are so eager to capitalize on every link that they don't have any backfill. Good quality backfill not only gives a directory credibility and prompts people to use it, but it also will help keep the directory pages indexed.


5:01 am on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks Robert, good points. Can you help me understand "backfill", thanks :)


Robert Charlton

7:21 am on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Can you help me understand "backfill", thanks...

The listings you put in your directory pages until you get some good listings of your own are called backfill. Open Directory results are free, intended to be used by other directories, and have been used by many directories as backfill. Unfortunately, many of these directories go no further than cloning the ODP, and they end up looking all alike.

The Google Directory displays Open Directory results either alphabetically or in PageRank order, and is the most searchable version of the Open Directory.

I'd recommend using the Google Directory as your source for finding sites for each of your categories... maybe a half-dozen for each... and I'd select them and put them in manually. Perhaps also add some varied anchor text to the titles that is on-topic both for the sites and for your directory category. I'd also recommend writing (or at least rewriting) your own descriptions. A lot of work... yes... but ultimately you'd have the start of a decent and useful directory that's not just another scraper site or ODP clone.

Again, the backfill helps not only to make the directory useful and to make it look like a happening thing, important to attracting both visitors and submissions, but it also prevents your empty categories from being seen by Google as dupe pages and getting dropped, which is something that Google has been doing. It also makes your links more useful to those who get links from you... because they will have a relevant context, and one which is not scraper spam.

Another approach for starting up a directory is both to exchange links and also to charge for listings... Link exchanges result in free listings... The paid listings don't require recips.

I've seen too many sites recently that simply tried to monetize PageRank too quickly, rather than building their pages up carefully and selectively. Guess which kinds of sites survive in the long run.


5:36 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Some directories have a "new" page where a new listing gets featured for awhile. Maybe that's why your site got lots of traffic at first and has now leveled off.


7:14 am on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have a fairly large list of directories w/costs if you'd like, sticky me. It got removed when I posted it before.

Usual results from a full submission (+/- $1,700) are very positive.


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