A Disturbing Trend in Reciprocal Linking

In the world of Internet Marketing, and Web site promotion, nothing changes faster than the parameters that rule good Search Engine rankings and placement.

This has led to a developed new science in the last few years, SEM (Search Engine Marketing). This new science, SEM, has been a boon to both Web Masters and the merchants that maintain Web sites as a way to increase exposure and revenue for their products and/or services.

SEM has become a much sought after entity, with SEM specialists, who focus on optimization of a site, routinely adding linking campaign management to their overall repertoire of services. This has resulted in a large influx of Web sites focusing on linking campaigns and reciprocal linking as it has been established that good, solid reciprocal linking campaigns increased traffic and visitors to a site exponentially.

However, like with everything else online, the idea of SEM and linking campaigns has spread like "wildfire", with sites seeking links seemingly endlessly. This has led to what can only be termed, "linking explosions", with many sites posting links to everything and anything in an effort to increase their Search Engine rankings and placements.

The actual attainment of effective linking campaigns, is a work oriented, tedious undertaking, with literally months spent developing a good campaign. While a good linking campaign does increase rankings overall, with the Search Engines, the question remains, "does it increase sales"? After all, consumers are the ingredient that facilitates the sale of a product/service in the long run, not the rankings or placement of a site. Questions about whether linking campaigns increase revenue for a site are coming into play now.

Recent data (courtesy: WebSideStory) has shown that consumers, now more than ever, are arriving at Web sites via "search features", not by direction to a Web site via another Web site link. The use of "search features" to arrive at a site has increased by almost six percent in the past year. In addition, direct navigation by visitors to a Web site, has also increased from a year ago, by almost ten percent. In direct contrast, Web link "arrivals" of visitors has dropped in the past year, by a somewhat staggering, twenty percent!

The World Wide Web quite obviously has now become more utilitarian to consumers, and linking campaigns, as a result, may become more ineffective as time goes on. Linking campaigns, by their very nature, promote "browsing" and time-consuming "visiting" of many sites, before the product/item/service, is found by the consumer. As the Web progresses and consumers become increasingly discerning in their overall approach to the Web, they are now going right to the source, more often, via "search features" and direct navigation.

Accordingly, then, the "digging around" on other sites, has diminished over the past twelve months, and in all likelihood, will continue as a trend well into the future, hampering the effectiveness of linking campaigns overall. This trend reflects an international shift towards this method of finding information on the Web, and is not localized whatsoever, crossing many demographic and geographic barriers.

It's really difficult to effectively pinpoint the cause in this shift for consumers. However, the sheer magnitude of the linking campaign craze that is so prominent now, may account, at least in part, for the shift in the attitudes of consumers. Because of the popularity of linking campaigns as a method of increasing rankings and placement, attaining "quality" links (those with a Page Rank of 5 or higher) has become more difficult for Web masters. In addition, the sheer volume of linking requests to pages with a high ranking, has also increased, to the point where higher ranked Web sites are inundated daily with linking requests, interfering with their ability to attend to their own business.

Web masters have now oftentimes taken to using any links whatsoever, as long as the links added have the appropriate Page Rank. Little thought seems to be given at times, to the theme of a links page or the relevance of links that have been added, leaving visitors to some sites confused and frustrated. This will in all probability lead consumers to turn to the Search Engines and direct navigation even more in the future, not less.

This could have dire consequences for many Web sites down the road, as those at the bottom of search listings could conceivably be forced out of business.

There are methods however that can aid in the retention of top rankings and listings with the Search Engines, in and above linking campaigns. These methods would also hold greater appeal for consumers in general, as they would add quality to a Web site, as well as content, something that will add "longevity of appeal" to a Web site:

1. The writing of good, content oriented copy which imparts value to a Web site. Good copy has always been utilized to establish good overall traffic and conversion patterns. Even Search Engines seem to understand this and routinely rank Web sites with good pertinent content, higher than other Web sites.

2. The placement of ads on high traffic sites. Just one good ad, placed on another Web site with good overall traffic, will significantly increase rankings and placement by the Search Engines.

3. The submitting of a Web site to all possible, pertinent directories. Directories were always a good method of increasing rankings and placement, and they still, to this day, are a good choice.

4. The optimization of all other aspects of a Web site, from the meta-tags to the design. Meta-tag optimization, like directory listings, continues to be a good overall optimization technique. The design of a Web site can also enhance rankings and placement, as the site needs to be "readable" to the Search Engines, and some flash and other enhancements, can prevent "readability", thus hampering rankings and placement.

5. The enhancement of traffic by offline marketing campaigns. This is one facet of Web site traffic management that many individuals neglect, but that can successfully increase rankings significantly.

6. The use of PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns. While these can be expensive, if care is not given to the bidding, they can also enhance traffic to a Web site, as "traffic begets more traffic", establishing a ranking pattern for the Search Engines.

7. The addition of keywords that are relevant to a site, throughout the copy, the title, and the meta-tags and any other text, such as articles and reports. Keywords are the "guides" that the Search Engines use to find a site and rank it. The addition of good relevant keywords always enhances rankings and placement.

Linking campaigns, as you can see, while having their overall place in effective rankings and placement within the Search Engines, are not the "be all and end all" of optimization or rankings. Many various fundamentally sound methods of optimization still exist, and should be utilized in any well-rounded Search Engine Marketing campaign.

Vishal P. Rao is the owner of: http://www.work-at-home-forum.com/ An online community of people who work at home.

In The News:


AL.com

Hurricane Irma: post-evacuation traffic building in Mobile
AL.com
Seen from the ninth floor of Mobile's Government Plaza, eastbound traffic on I-10 moves slowly but steadily toward the Wallace Tunnel on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Authorities attributed the high volume to the passage of Hurricane Irma, ...


WPXI Pittsburgh

Street opens to traffic after building collapse closed it for more than ...
WPXI Pittsburgh
A major roadway in Washington has just reopened more than two months after a building collapse shut it down.

and more »

WIRED

'Freeways' Is a Mobile Game That Lets You Play Traffic Engineer ...
WIRED
The air sings with four-letter words. The iPad sits stoic as fingers poke, jab, and prod at its screen. Traffic engineering, it turns out, is a difficult job, even when ...
This Game Simulates the Absurdity of Designing Freeway ...Motherboard en_us

all 2 news articles »

amNY

Traffic light near UN building in midtown collapses onto street during ...
amNY
The fallen light stretched across half of Second Avenue's crosswalk.

and more »

The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego keeps building despite density, traffic concerns
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Lucky for me — except that the times I can visit my families in North County and La Mesa are strictly limited, due to traffic, of course. It takes more than an hour to get from UC San Diego to my Clairemont neighborhood during the 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m ...


Curbed LA

Redondo Beach is extending its mixed-use building ban—for nearly a year
Curbed LA
The Redondo Beach City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to extend the city's moratorium on mixed-use developments for 10.5 months, the Los Angeles Times reports. The votes comes amid resident concerns over a scourge of traffic, and extends a ...


Wicked Local Belmont

New retail building approved for 344 Pleasant St. in Belmont
Wicked Local Belmont
He believes the improvements they are making to the site will make traffic issues better. Planning Board member Charles Clark assured Leo a traffic study could be done if it is determined the new building has a negative impact on traffic in that area ...


Los Angeles Times

Redondo Beach halts mixed-use developments after residents raise concerns about traffic
Los Angeles Times
But with vacant land increasingly rare in coastal counties, often the only opportunity to increase the supply of housing is to build denser development — an unappealing prospect for many residents in areas already clogged with traffic. Redondo Beach ...


Dothan Eagle

Dothan traffic: There are no easy fixes
Dothan Eagle
Soon, crews will begin work on building cul de sacs on Moore Road, which will essentially split the road and continue to allow access for residents who live on the road, but prevent motorists from using the road as a cut-through to Southside WalMart ...


Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

Contour confident in bid to remain Tupelo's air carrier
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
“We only began service 17 months ago and to still see traffic building is fantastic ... We want to continue that momentum.” The other airlines with bids are Air Choice One, Boutique Air, Sky Value Airways, Southern Airways Express and Via Air. They're ...

Google News

How To Generate Targeted Traffic...and Cash In On It.

We all know that generating traffic to your site is... Read More

Linking is Queen

If content is king, then linking is the queen that... Read More

How to Run a Successful Link Exchange Program

Link Exchanges are a very time consuming project. The time... Read More

Why Resources Added to a Web site Increase Revenue!

There are literally billions of Web sites online now offering... Read More

Website Visitors - Building Strong Website Traffic

It is worth looking at some values and strengths of... Read More

If you need More Targeted Visitors to Your Site this Will get the Free Traffic Flowing

If you don't know by now one the best ways... Read More

Back Door Google via Overture

The importance of link popularity is widely known and many... Read More

Guerilla Marketing: 4 Ways To Generate More Traffic Next Week

You can create more traffic for you and your business... Read More

7 Great Tips on Driving Targeted Traffic to Your Website

We all need traffic. It's the life-blood of an online... Read More

Proven Traffic Generating Techniques

What good is a website without traffic? A website without... Read More

My Top 12 Web Site Marketing Strategies - Part 2

Part 27. Ezine Ads - create an ad for your... Read More

How to Get Free High Traffic Links to Your Website

Today I would like to talk about an easy way... Read More

Quality Traffic & Website Promotion Helps Websites Grow

Quality traffic, website promotion and product and service advertisement is... Read More

Free Traffic Course - Day 2

This is the 2nd day of "Free Traffic Course" and... Read More

Reasons Why You Should Have A Weblogger Installed On Your Web Site

I don't know about you, but when I built my... Read More

How to Generate Traffic on a Zero Budget

One of the most popular ways to generate free traffic... Read More

Web Site Marketing: Give Away Softwares And Generate Traffic And Sales

If you want to get something from others, the fastest... Read More

Sources for Targeted Web Site Traffic

Qualified traffic is the lifeblood of any web site today,... Read More

Traffic Generation: The Number One Skill That Will Generate Cash Flow. (Part 3 of 3)

If you're feeling a bit of confusion and frustration about... Read More

How to Draw Traffic to Your Website - More Steps

Web site traffic refers to the number of times your... Read More

Power Packed Linking Strategies - Part Two

The keyword marketing guide to a linking strategy that packs... Read More

A Simple Guide to Analyzing All Those Web Traffic Ideas - Part 2

Just to recap - Part 1 of this article outlined... Read More

Baxter Grabber - Advanced Landing Page Strategy

What you are about to read is the strategy for... Read More

10 Ways To Have People Keep On Coming Back To Your Site

1: Original and Fresh Content Present your visitors content they... Read More

Guidelines To A Successful Link Exchange Program

Webmasters look for ways to get a higher ranking with... Read More