Sunday, September 24, 2006

 

Why Link Building Is Tough, Slow And Perilous

It's a shame the internet is full of junk info about linking practices. Most of this info is either too slow for minimal gain, or it's the same old stuff doing the rounds. I just checked about 20 articles about link development from About (a resource I usually find respectable) and wasn't surprised to find the same link advice doing the rounds - justlike the rest of the web. These articles are written by non-experts in marketing, pr, communications, advertising etc, and are still believed, and labelled as experts when quite clearly their not.

These articles are full of damaging, unproductive and overused 'techniques' which will outgrow their usefulness once they've served the very basic purpose -and that's a fact.

(I've read them and that's why I can say this.)

I've thought about this quite a lot, and think the main reasons why anyone would use these time consuming methods are because they don't know how else to do this, or they don't have money or resources to make the techniques work. It's just wrong to fool people into thinking the link building process is that simple, and I think we all secretly know it's not.

Building links is real hard, time consuming work, and the successful ones (the few) aren't going to tell the world how 'they' managed to secure eg: 10'000 links - they just aren't. I certainly wouldn't share with people I've never met in the flesh before - and I'm pretty sure I still wouldn't let them know even then. A lot of these link development articles are purely written so writers can add their link, the article is merely a 'tool' for people to click links, quality isn't a priority.

I've seen too many articles with the very familiar titles such as:

Promotion is the Key

Boost your web profits with Links

Submit using links and 10 New ways to get a traffic Rush etc . . . (the above article headings are made up by me)

The disturbing thing about this Linking info/advice is why is it being repeated, when there's ample supply of it easily accessible - times up on that guess hehe.

Most of this advice on Linking has been done to death by most by now, and the writers only want to give readers the bare minimum knowledge as it's my theory they don't want competitors catching them up, equalling their efforts or stealing their hard won traffic. That's helpful to the writer as his/her link gets another visitor, but the content is too basic to help the reader to get to that next stage in Link development.

The information/advice seems to be based on common categories:

How To Articles Basic Linking Strategy

but hardly any mention on advanced techniques or proof of existence of what they say works. I've seen a lot of linking hints and tips and advice on the basics but little else to make me think the writers are Link Strategy experts, infact the more basic stuff they write, the more convinced I'll be to not accept them as experts - and I'm sure others take me point on this.

These link advice promoters say things like "Well you need to do this, and write articles regularly and submit to directories" But they don't tell you how to go about it step by step, or give thorough detailed explanation about why it works, or doesn't if that's the case. There's too much of this - yeah, do this as I've done and you'll get success. But what they advise is so basic and general it can't possibly fit in with everyone's web site plans or strategy - and thus must be pretty useless - 'it's a one size fits all' thing, and is why it will fail.

But they won't tell you how THEY got to where they are, and the problem with the web and link advice in particular, is that so many desperately want to make a million that they buy into anything that might make that tiny bit of difference. The site owner hopes it'll propel them closer to the desired level of traffic and the link advice promoter gets his/her recognition - plus a valuable weblink back to their site (I wonder which one is the most useful hmmmm). Because linking is one of the few options that is genuinely FREE, everyone seeks this advice with a vengence, hopefully finding that 'Gold', the gold doesn't exist, and if it does the owners of the gold aren't telling. People know these basics by now and have used many of them and (I'm guessing as this info has been utilised), due to the basic nature of the techniques involved they must become obsolete at some point and reach a certain success rate or form of usefulness eg:

recommend us forms - The form has served it's purpose and that's reached it's 'life', okay, this is just one technique.

Others are:

Link swap forms Auto submit programs email swap mailings viral

But they are all basic and have their limits to what can be achieved by using them. For instance email letters only have a 4% success rate and depends on the size of each list held. Most webmasters cannot afford £20'000 agency fees, or afford to rent lists to aid them or have the amount of contacts needed to make link emailing the success it needs to be.

The problem with most of these non-costly methods is once these are been placed on a site, the techniques alone aren't enough to give the advantage needed to get a surge of traffic to the site, and each method needs another method to promote that). I bet they don't tell you that when writing their advice.

People want fast results and major traffic, all the techniques I've mentioned (apart from viral) won't give that unless money is available to roll out what works on a larger scale. So naturally, people seek free options, but they are uncertain about what to use and all there is to go on at present is the very basic advice floating around the web. The reason why nobody's written some massive guide about these 'secrets' is either they don't know or their simply protecting themselves from theft and nearest competition etc.

Another thing I've noticed is that to give the correct advice, one must know a lot about the advice seeker's website - so the advice can be tailored, but that's impossible to do in an article or forum, and is why these articles are so general. Link building is so very personal and has to be tailored to an individual's requirements or it'll fail - er not deliver the precise results. It's the results that count, and so much lack of 'what is' the result exists, and will be different for many and impossible to advise on this without the full details of each case.

I think that's why these link development mail shots fail - as I cannot see anyone replying back to an untargeted mailing. Most webmasters that engage in this mailing practise probably haven't even checked out the sites in question, and have extracted a bunch of mail addresses, in the hope the site gets a load of traffic that may be of benefit to them. I always prefer to view a site before linking, it helps me get a feel for who and what I'm linking to.

In short there's way too much rehashed info about linking, but little to help really make that level of difference many seek from the web. Not surprisingly, the web can't deliever as the info doesn't exist.

I can't say this is fact - as the web is too big a place to be researched, but from what I've seen so far - it's disappointing. I'm saying don't hold on to the hope that maybe one day someone will release the secrets that made them rich and successful - I doubt it.
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