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Am I the only one here who doesn't do "link-building"?

7:31 pm on Oct 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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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?
10:27 pm on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You're quite right martinibuster, it's important to disclose certain details as a disclaimer so as not to give new webmasters the wrong idea.

I started my main site in 2004. At that time I obtained two PR5 homepage links, one from another site I controlled in the same niche, and one from a former employer in another niche. I also traded links with several dozen other sites and directories, which got me some more very good links.

Since my niche was not very competitive at the time (it has since become much more so because people figured out that you can make money with adsense, whereas before adsense there was virtually no way to monitize my sort of content), this was enough to get me to the top of a handful of medium-traffic SERPs. That got me enough traffic that people started using my content and linking to it.

After that, it took several years to reach the traffic levels and rankings I have now. That traffic is now enough to provide roughly the income of a single full-time job.

Certainly if you are in a big-money niche or promoting a large business or both, you will obviously have to be more aggressive in some way. Maybe that would mean doing traditional "link building" or maybe it would mean doing other forms of advertising and promotion, including social media, offline advertising, trade and business associations and relationships, networking, guest blogging etc.

And let me be clear: I'm not just sitting back and waiting for people to link to me voluntarily. My terms of use require that people link to me if they use my content, and I require them to explicitly agree to do so before they can download it, and I actively seek out people who are using my content and politely but firmly ask them to link.

So I for one didn't mean to imply that I think you can succeed by just putting up some great content and sitting back and waiting for links. As I said, you have to get the ball rolling.

What I am saying is, at least in my niche, once you have achieved a certain critical mass you can build links more effectively and efficiently by posting more and better content than you can by actively seeking out links. At least, that's been my experience. YMMV.


12:33 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thank you Martini buster . This thread was starting to depress me, your contribution is a prime example of why I returned to reading this forum. And read it through and through each day
5:18 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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And on second thought, your site may be in the same situation as one of my sites in that it is already established and does not need to build any more links that it already has to sustain itself.

but where does one draw the line? at what point one determines whether the site is established enough so as not to build/solicit any links? If one stops building links, is there a possibilty that the value of links naturally obtained might be less overall than, if link building was continued as earlier? wouldn't the establishes site benefit more if link building continues in addition to getting the natural links?
5:32 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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wouldn't the establishes site benefit more if link building continues in addition to getting the natural links?

Yes... and no... and maybe. :)

You're right, yes, even for an established site there can still be areas of improvement. I can't agree with you more on that point.

However, as I mentioned in my previous post, an established site is one that has reached the point where it can sustain itself without additional effort because it ranks so well across a range of short and longe phrases and is so well linked that it is daily accruing links naturally from media sites, educational sites, blogs, directories, forums- pretty much everywhere, all without lifting a finger to cultivate those links.

One site can't be everything for everybody. So while I can work to obtain more rankings across a wider range of phrases, my site may not necessarily be the best fit for the top, especially if there are niche sites that do it better. But I guess the point where one feels satisfaction is different for everyone.
5:58 am on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yes... and no... and maybe. :)

thanks martinibuster for your answer. I was struggling to give a link building direction to a nearly established site but your reply has definitely given me food for thought and put things in the right perspective. :)
1:01 pm on Oct 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I guess the take away from this discussion is that every situation is different so link building activities may vary.
8:54 pm on Oct 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I occasionally link build, in the product sector I am in it is hard not to, otherwise I will sink without trace, but I try not to overdo it.

Its not easy to write about products that you can describe perfectly to your customers in 2-3 sentences, especially if you sell 500+ different types of them, so my pages do not generally get natural linkage, so yeah, it depends on the theme of your website I suppose.
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