I realize the seductive pull of Google can be very powerful to webmasters, but here’s a question:
If search engine and ppc traffic didn’t exist, what methods would you use to drive eyeballs to your websites?
At what point is it time to get back to the basics and get back to what works?
I realize the word on the street is that link exchanges are dead-done-over for jacking up your site within Google SERPs. I’m not convinced, but let’s pretend it’s true. I say: WHO CARES!
By focusing on building quality link exchanges as a method of driving targeted traffic and not a SERP manipulation tool – guess who has primo traffic that’s not dependent on Google and SE algos?
There’s a smart way to approach link exchanges, and then there’s the waste-of-time way.
The waste-of-time method is to do link exchanges with websites that are completely off topic and won’t drive any targeted traffic to your websites at all. Junk-O-Rama, off topic link exchange sections are *ugly* and cheapen your website in the eyes of your visitors.
Now what if your links section was a rocking resource for your visitors? I say that *enhances* your website.
One thing I’ve learned with the minimal link exchanges that I’ve done is that good, on-topic link exchanges can and do bring you nice, juicy traffic. If you forget about the SERPs benefits or non-benefits, forget about what goog says and does, and focus on collecting targeted traffic with your link exchanges – you win.
When that freely driven traffic comes to check you out – those eyeballs are *interested* eyeballs. They bookmark. They buy. They surf around your site.
If you do have the infamous link exchange sections that link out to anyone and everyone, I say strip-it-out. Be brutal. Leave just the goodies that are relevant and start fresh. Go after the targeted traffic and skip the junk. Build a links section you can be proud of and one that your visitors will *benefit* from.
When you’re at the bottom of the SERPs and goog isn’t being kind to you – you’ll be glad to have the traffic your link exchanges are bringing you. I’ve been-there-done-that.
Recent discussions of link building and recip links:
Link Pages are Dead – Long Live Content Pages
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This is webmastering 101 from 1995 I’m sure, but ppc and Google aren’t the only two games in town – so why tolerate it ;). I want to build myself into a position where search engine traffic is the gravy, but other methods of gaining quality traffic is the full meal deal.
Next year I plan to be right on track for quality link exchanges, article marketing and text link advertising (NOT ppc) to drive quality, targeted traffic. Ooops. Is text link advertising not too Google Kosher either?
I’ll say this again: Google *is not* the boss around here ;).