Moving Away From Search Engine Traffic And Toward Independence

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 Monkey it’s time to Evolve

Link Pages are Dead – Long Live Content Pages
*Tip: Add this blog to your feed reader – you won’t regret it

Links Within Content, Linking to Content …. a Rant

Link Spam Detection Based on Mass Estimation

A Bad Reciprocal Link — And Reciprocal Link Request

Reciprocal Linking – Dead or Alive?

Risk vs Reward In Hiring a Cheap Link Monkey

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 ;).


I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.

7 thoughts to “Moving Away From Search Engine Traffic And Toward Independence”

  1. Hi Terry,

    The following of course is only my opinion.

    I’m not sure exactly what kind of Internet marketing you’re doing, your bio indicates you are doing some affiliate marketing which is what I also do.

    I believe your thinking here is going in the wrong direction. I want you to think about something for a second, if you are interested in buying a 19″ LCD monitor, and you are using the Internet to find out about it, how do you find such information?

    You use a search engine right? It might be MSN, AOL, Yahoo, Google, some other search engine. You might use the keywords 19″ monitor, or 19″ LCD monitor, or Sony 19″ monitor, etc.

    The point is you would use a search engine, so most all of your traffic is going to come from search engines, not forums, or links on other peoples websites, or even by writing articles. Your real customers are going to come from a search engine.

    The trick of course is to not try and compete with the popular keywords, and not try to compete with the popular products like so many people do. All you need do is to strategically find good keywords that may only get 20 searches per month on Google, but have very little competition. This isn’t that difficult if you aren’t trying to sell Auto Auctions, or Surveys, or some other highly competitive field.

    If you can get yourself 300 keywords that get 20 searches per month on Google alone each with very little competition, you can get pages within your website to get to the top or near the top on each of those keyword phrases, and grab a lot of the targeted traffic within those keyword searches.

    That’s how it’s done. It’s really not very difficult at all, but you need to know the tricks.

    1. How to find those quality keywords with very little competition.

    2. How to build the pages for those keywords without doing it by hand and without leaving obvious trails for the search engines to know the pages were machine generated.

    3. How to get the pages indexed fairly quickly.

    4. How to get the inbound links you need in order to give your website some weight with the search engines.

    5. How to setup your website and pages so that they stay fresh with content and keep the search engines attention and keep them indexed.

    It’s not rocket science that’s for sure, but there are many pieces of the puzzle that you must put together and then actually make it happen. The reality is most people don’t put the time and effort into making it happen. But that’s true with everything in life, 90% of all business’s fail, not just Internet marketing businesses.

    Where most go wrong is that they think they can just put up some websites, blog them, and they will rake in the dough.

    Guess what? That’s not going to happen. Like anything in life, you must know the tricks, if you don’t know the tricks, or you think you can learn them by buying a $49 ebook, then you are of course destined to fail.

    My guess is you know a lot about Internet marketing, but like most people you fail to put all the pieces of the puzzle together into a working system, and therefore struggle harder then you should.

    By the way, I’ve also noticed a pretty severe drop in revenue across my sites, mostly a drop in Adsense revenue. I think the time may be here to get going with Yahoo and Chitka, they will pay aggressively to get as many as they can to jump on board.

    Many of my recent clients have been getting turned down by Google Adsense for various bogus reasons, ranging from they don’t like Survey sites to they don’t like sites which promote clicking on affiliate links, to various other such bogus reasons.

    It’s my belief that Google has gotten too big for it’s own britches, and as in all things in life, first you have a start, then big growth, then eventual decline as too much regulation, oversight, and bureaucracy get in the way.

    Oh and by the way, if you are doing affiliate marketing and using PPC, you’re wasting your time and wasting your money.

    I wish you the best.


    David Kuvelas
    Web Auto Income

  2. Hi David, thanks for your comments.

    I agree search engine traffic is very desirable, but IMO it’s not the method to wrap your internet business around if you’re counting on a future online. It’s not traffic you can depend on and the engines are evolving at warp speed it seems.

    As I said above, my plans are to build myself into a position where search engine traffic is just gravy, with other traffic methods being my meat and potatoes. In other words – have an income regardless of what search engines do or do not do with my websites.

    What you’re talking about is what worked yesterday and what’s working somewhat today – but IMO will have limited success (if any) in the future.

    We’re stepping into a new web with new gameplay. And I refuse to be left behind :lol:. If I continue to get search engine traffic – great. If not – I’m still okay. But the best part will be an independence from Google.

    For me Year 2006 is Mission Critical. It’s time to firmly entrench and position myself online before it’s too late ;).

  3. Hi Terry,

    I’m interested in knowing what this “new gameplay” is?

    If you have to rely on getting traffic from other websites, personally I think that’s a losing game for sure. For one thing it takes forever to get link exchanges, as a matter of fact it takes so long and is such a chore you would spend all your time searching for link exchanges and no time for anything else.

    Then even if you got a link exchange with 1000 other websites which were all dead on relevant, you still would only get maybe 100 people per month to your website.

    PPC is a joke when it comes to affiliate marketing. Managing a PPC campaign takes forever, all the work involved isn’t worth it, you’re working for like $5 an hour with all the time you have to put into them.

    If search engines go down, or organic searches go down, the Internet will die as a medium for advertising. Everyone will have to compete for PPC and with everyone competing to win nobody will. Everyone will drive the price up so high nobody will make any money anymore. The only way to make money at affiliate marketing is to get organic traffic.

    I bought the Rich Jerk to see what it was all about. Giving people rebates for buying through you is a joke, obviously the guy has never done it in his life because if he had, he would know that this would be more of a hassle than it’s worth, with all the added record keeping and the time to give people back their rebates it wouldn’t be worth it. And relying on them not asking for their rebate is just downright dishonest, and unethical.

    Look, do you want to beg people to buy something? What kind of business is that? This business is a numbers game, you get 1500 people to your website each month and you can make roughly $150 per month per website, it’s really that simple. Begging people to buy from your link is not the way to go, taking the time to give them back a rebate is not the way to go.

    Playing traffic middleman like the Rich Jerk suggests is not the way to go. Why? Because it would take you forever, writing ads, analyzing which keywords are doing well and which aren’t, deleting the ones that aren’t, trying to figure out why some did well one month but didn’t the next and wondering if you should delete those too. Making up pages specifically designed for each keyword just to get them to click on the Adsense ads.

    Look, if you’ve ever run a PPC campaign you know how much work it is, and how much of a royal pain it is, and how much it costs.

    Besides, the numbers don’t add up either. If you get a 5% click through rate, which is considered very good, that means you got a -95% click through rate. So if you get traffic at .10 through Miva and then try to get people to click on your Adsense ads for say $1, you would do nothing but lose money every time at a 5% click through rate. So if 5 out of 100 people clicked on your Adsense ads, you would be spending $9.5 dollars to make $5 dollars, and thus lose money.

    And let’s just say you could get it to work, you could get traffic for $.05 and average $1 per Adsense click, and make money, great, but do you know how hard you would have to work at that? How many hours it would take just to setup 20 good keywords?

    No, I’m sorry, I don’t buy the Rich Jerks techniques, thanks but no thanks. I’ll stick with using Wordtracker to find keywords, I’ll stick with using an analyzer to find keywords that have very little competition, I’ll stick with a page generator that will make my keyword pages for me, I’ll stick with using a combination of affiliate marketing and contextual advertising on each website, I’ll stick with getting my pages indexed and making it so those pages stay fresh with quality content, and I’ll get each of my websites to make roughly $150 per month.

    No begging for people to buy.
    No paying for traffic.
    No wasted time on PPC campaigns.
    No wasted time on trying and begging other website owners to exchange links with me.
    No manipulating people to buy a product from my website, or offering some gimmick.
    No No No

    Just quality websites which bring in organic traffic which are useful to people if they want to buy some wine online, or a computer, or a monitor, or some airline tickets, or some software, or some clothes, or tens of thousands of other things.

    Anyway that’s my two cents worth, but there is no one right way in this business, and if you can make it your way then I say more power to you!

    As always I wish you the best, work hard, work smart, but most importantly, shut the TV OFF and WORK! Just get it done and make it happen.


    David Kuvelas
    Web Auto Income

  4. Good points David.

    Here is some further reading on where I’m coming from:

    I have no intention of putting all my biz in the hands of search engine traffic. Some traffic will be from quality link exchanges, paid links, ppc, and other marketing methods. But the game is definitely changing David, free search engine traffic is not something to build a business around IMO.

    I thought I had links to all the Google patents on the blog here, but that would be some great reading for you too David. It’s a great eye opener as to what Google’s plans are.

  5. Hi Terry,

    This is your blog, and you have a right to your opinions, and I truly honestly with you well, and hope you do very well in this business.

    But my opinion is there is no way in the world to make it at this game unless you can get organic free traffic for the search engines, if you can’t do that, then my opinion is you won’t ever make it. I mean, you might be able to work super hard and make $2000 month, but, I wouldn’t exactly call that making it.

    Anyway, good luck to you.

  6. Thanks David :).

    I wish you all the best too, and hope the search engine gods will forever be kind to you.

    I just have no faith in their perpetual favor and feel better if I have more than one base covered ;).

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