Why Some Experts Are Completely Wrong About Linking
If you have read some information about reciprocal linking and other linking tactics in order to better promote your website, you have probably found some seriously differing opinions as to what the purpose of linking is. There are a wide range of articles and books about linking that come from polar opposite views as to why and how you should conduct a linking promotion campaign. Most people, to this day, think that linking is solely for search engine results and link popularity as it is defined by Google. In fact, that is the sole reason thousands and thousands of webmasters exchange links. They think it is for "pagerank" and link popularity as a boost to search engine rankings. One of the biggest misconceptions about my own courses, Power Linking and Power Linking 2: Evolution, is that what I teach is for the purpose of manipulating search engines. Not at all! I have said many times over the years that search engine positioning and traffic come as an added benefit to a solid linking campaign.
Although I teach what you can expect from a good linking campaign with regard to the search engines, there is no reason to go out of your way to get good rankings - they are automatic if your site is basically optimized and has good content. What isn't automatic is the spread of your URL across the web on thousands and thousands of real websites. (Not FFA pages or junk "neighborhoods") Hard working webmasters and business owners are missing the boat due in large part to the misinformation and misguidance of hobby experts who think they know what the real power of advanced linking tactics are all about. Someone wrote to me today and said "If you are the linking expert, why don't you have a lot more backlinks? I just checked Google and they only show…" This is the problem with so many people expecting that the world revolves around that search engine.
I love Google and the traffic I get from them. I think they are the best search engine hands down right now. But judging my success through them and what they deem as important is a big mistake. Here's Why Google only counts links that have a certain pagerank. Everything else, even if it is MORE relevant and sends me MORE traffic than the links Google chooses to show you when you check backlinks, is left out. Well, that's because Google wants to show stats that way. It's their search engine and they can do what they want.
But from a Power Linking perspective, the stats you get when checking backlinks at Google are totally irrelevant. I never use them to check how many people are REALLY linking to me because I am not playing the "linking for ranking" game the majority of other website promoters are. I am interested in links from sites where my target market surfs and will likely SEE my link and visit. This was the original intent of linking since the beginning of the internet. And it will be no matter what any search engine deems important or not important in the future. I try not to link with sites that hide their partner directories. You can see my explanation of this at one of my new partner directories here: http://www.jackhumphrey.com/marketing-resources/index.html Linking is the only constant in website promotion.
It was the first form of promotion and it will always and forever be the core of any successful website promotion campaign. I have a piece of software I use to find ALL the links to my sites regardless of their pagerank. For one of my sites Google shows only 243 links - this software shows all 3900. It shows ALL the people who are linking to me, which is so incredibly more important than just the links with a pagerank of 4! You can download the software for free here and see for yourself with your own site: http://jackhumphrey.com/linkcheckersoftware/LPC.exe The software above will not only tell you exactly how many links you really have pointing to your site(s), but it has very valuable and useful SEO and linking resources. Chances are you never knew just how many people were already linking to you, even if your site has been only marginally visible on the web for 6 months or more. Now you can clearly see why there is a glaring lapse in lo
gic in the argument that a site is not important if only so many backlinks show up in Google. My stats are showing me that, on my Power Linking site, I got traffic from over 3000 referrers last month. Google was ONE of them. If Google goes down, a LOT of people are going to be out of business until they come back up. Not me.
Not ever. People who practice Power Linking using way more than just reciprocal linking directories never have to be slaves to the search engines or be fearful of changing algorithms and search engine updates. I don't pretend to be a search engine expert by any stretch. I dabble in SEO tactics. I have business associates I trust who know way more than I would ever care to about search engines. My principle purpose in promoting my site is to get visitors (and send visitors) to and from my linking partners and from non-reciprocal links I place all over the net every month. In many peoples' search for the "holy grail" they have completely skipped over the basics of website promotion and usually they end up nowhere. You cannot grasp the higher end stuff if you have no concept of the basics. Linking, even in advanced tactics, is far safer, more stable, yet far easier for the layman to understand and implement.
And it takes you less time to learn than trying to constantly reverse engineer search engines trying to "break in" to the top ten. Lots of people found out what a waste of time that was when the Florida update came around. All the work thousands of sites put into their rankings vanished in the blink of an eye. Because they didn't have any backup source of traffic. Because they only did search engine marketing and optimization. My site, surprisingly, stayed right where it was through the whole thing. It didn't move up, but it didn't go down in rankings either.
(Not that it would have mattered terribly much since most of my traffic comes from other sites anyway!) I don't pretend to understand why my sites all pulled through that big update and I don't much care. A visit to a few of the top SEO forums had me more confused than ever. No one ever seems to agree what's going on, nor can they accurately predict what will happen with the search engines. Many of them carry titles of "SEO Expert" yet the experts are all fighting each other over how to get high rankings. I just leave them to their arguments and keep Power Linking. Links are and always will be the lifeblood of any website. Sticking to a well-planned and constantly implemented linking campaign grounded in proven results, time and again, will always get your business through the massive changes that seem to come and go with the search engines. Search engine companies have a job to do which is provide results people are looking for.
That is not our job. Ours is to provide visitors with good content and products and get as many "avenues" of traffic coming in from as many different static, relevant sources around the net as possible. If you do your job properly, the search engines will reward you with traffic by default. If, in fact, your site is one of the most relevant to a particular search phrase, you WILL show up. You don't have to understand intimately all the workings of the algorithms and programs that make it happen. That's not your job. You just have to know that your site should have good content, be basically optimized, and have as many links as you can find pointing to it, and all the other great things will follow. Only working on the parts of linking that affect the search engines is leaving out a free traffic bonanza and putting you in a position of depending solely on the search engines for traffic. Lots of people take that risk.
I have sites I risk with just engine traffic too. But I knew the risks going in and for those sites, if I lose my rankings because of a new shift in policy in a big engine, I am able to take the loss because they are not part of my core business. Plus all of the sites I have that fall into that category are being developed to be power linked so that they evolve into solid sites that don't continue to rely just on search engine traffic. Many search engine experts are more comfortable in the lopsided focus on search engines marketing. But they are experts and know what to do to roll with the punches. Most people are not experts and should focus on a well-rounded promotion campaign so that you are never at the whim of a single or just a few traffic sources. It seems like common sense when you look at it that way, but it is so easy to get caught up in the allure of search engine marketing and leave your other responsibilities on the sidelines while you focus all your attention on understanding and playing the
search engine game. That is not something, especially if you have a board of directors, that would be approved of in most businesses. You owe your business more than that.
Being responsible and covering all the website promotion bases is what gives your business stability and provides growth in the long term. For further insight you can navigate to my marketing web log and check out a telling statistical study I did on one of my sites to see where my traffic comes from. You might be surprised at the results! See the report here: http://snipurl.com/8omn
Copyright 2004 Jack Humphrey.
Jack Humphrey is a linking and website promotion specialist and author of Power Linking, now in its third year and 4th update.