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Old 25th May 2007, 04:21 PM   #1
thejenn
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Default New Article - Link Bait Is The New Reciprocal Link

Authored by: Stoney deGeyter

Full Text: http://www.searchengineguide.com/degeyter/010081.html

A Snippet:

Link bait and reciprocal linking programs have quite a bit in common. Without disparaging anyone who engages in link baiting strategies I do believe that many forms of link baiting are just a dressed up version of reciprocal links without the reciprocation.

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Old 2nd June 2007, 04:12 AM   #2
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I don't really get what a reciprocal link means?

I am still new to this forum but I want to learn how to boost the traffic

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Old 2nd June 2007, 07:00 AM   #3
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Inova,

A reciprocal link is where you would link to a website and in return that website links to you. The Search Engines are now not as interested in reciprocal links, a one way inbound link (ideally from a site with a related topic) is more advantageous now.

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Old 3rd June 2007, 03:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
The Search Engines are now not as interested in reciprocal links, a one way inbound link (ideally from a site with a related topic) is more advantageous now.
I wanted to offer an alternate opinion/comment on the issue of reciprocal and one-way links...

Google representatives make and post comments on their various official (and unofficial) blogs about reciprocal and one-way links and I can't find a mention where they're not interested in recip links now or in the past. Here's the latest recip link post I can find:

Quote:
As Google changes algorithms over time, excessive reciprocal links will probably carry less weight.
Bold mine. The fact it's a reciprocal link isn't the issue here, it's the idea they're used exclusively and excessively to manipulate search rankings. As I am fond of saying - reciprocal linking isn't dead, merely the poster child for stupid linking if it's all you do.


As for one-way links being more advantageous - that's true and it's always been the case especially when when "earned" on merit. However, there's an exception here in paid links.

Google represenatives have openly stated that paid links are NOT considered earned on merit and could/will be devalued. Since paid links are typically one-way, these aren't as advantageous to a webmaster.

Of course your goal should be to get as many quality inbound links as possible, that's a given in search engine marketing but linking out helps establish your place in the "neighborhood" as much as inbound links do.



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Old 4th June 2007, 10:43 AM   #5
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Good post Debra, and I agree with everything you've said except -

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but linking out helps establish your place in the "neighborhood" as much as inbound links do
My experience hasn't been the same. For example, a link from yahoo's home page provides a different impact on search rankings versus linking to the yahoo home page.

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Old 4th June 2007, 11:50 AM   #6
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I agree that reciprocal links are not useless as many were once claiming. In fact, I have done some research to verify this. However, the reciprocal link schemes that were so prominent several years ago are all but completely worthless. You remember these... your link would be added to a "links" page with hundreds, or dozens of other links. These reciprocal link pages, I do believe, are just about fully dead and worthless.

The point of my article was addressing the similar intent of these old reciprocal link programs and current link bait programs. The intent of both just seems to to be about links for the sake of links. it doesn't work any more on the reciprocal side and I'm willing to bet that it won't work for long on the link bait side.

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Old 4th June 2007, 07:19 PM   #7
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Good post Debra, and I agree with everything you've said except -
"but linking out helps establish your place in the "neighborhood" as much as inbound links do"
I realize I cut my post short with that statement, should have elaborated a bit more, sorry.

I was trying to make a point about establishing a site within a community by the type of inbound and outbound links. As part of the whole authority/hubs issues, good sites point to good sites who in turn are pointed to by good sites.

Quote:
The point of my article was addressing the similar intent of these old reciprocal link programs and current link bait programs. The intent of both just seems to to be about links for the sake of links. it doesn't work any more on the reciprocal side and I'm willing to bet that it won't work for long on the link bait side.
Agree Stoney, the intent of any linking scheme is to secure links. For what purpose varies (SEO or publicity or branding) but there's an intent regardless or the tactic wouldn't be launched.

As for link bait (LB) losing steam.....I'm not sure. The engines keep pushing this tactics as a preferred method becuz the links are attracted on merit versus a handshake. You're right, the old recip link programs and link pages have little to no value but for some reason page upon page of cute articles telling us the top 15 ways to peel an apple - do.

I for one wonder when people will tire of reading top ten lists and want informative editorials again. Granted, there is some good content being generated but if you look at whats popular on digg it's heavy on the top ten list type articles.

On the bright side, people are being more creative and writing again which is good. But I think we have the blog phenom to thank for that, not LB.

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Old 5th June 2007, 09:18 AM   #8
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As for link bait (LB) losing steam.....I'm not sure.
Not sure I would phrase it as losing steam, but I think it will have to change (i.e. become more relevant) in order to say, um, well, relevant. Reciprocal linking is still a workable strategy, provided its done with relevance, rather than just going for mass links. LB, in its current form, is, by and large, all about mass links. LBers will have to figure out how to make those mass links much more relevant if they want those links to provide value.

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Old 5th June 2007, 02:25 PM   #9
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LB, in its current form, is, by and large, all about mass links
Yes, but mass links secured by merit!

When you're doing business online you have to use a lot of different marketing tactics to constantly attract new business. I guess the issue I take with focusing on top ten list article writing strategies is - you only attract a certain audience and after a while, they start to become indifferent to another article. Then what?

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Old 5th June 2007, 02:53 PM   #10
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Ok, gotta weigh in here.

You're both right and you're both wrong. :-P

Here's how I see it...

Reciprocal linking still has it's place. In fact, it's typified in the concept of BlogRolls, which are an important, even an essential part of blog communities.

Two sites linking to each other when it makes sense are wonderful and will certainly help each site out. I mean come on, Google (and others) are smart enough to tell that a link is reciprocal, but there's also smart enough to tell whether or not the link is on topic. Is it so hard to believe that relevant reciprical links will count more than irrelevant reciprocal links?

With link baiting, yes, it's overhyped, over-used and misunderstood. There's no doubting that. Put together the right piece of tripe and you'll gain eleventy billion links and a front page spot on Digg.

But will you gain customers? Probably not. Matt B and I have looked at the analytics for quite a few sites that have had big link bait hits and social bookmarking traffic tends to be horrible when it comes to engagement and conversion. So, that tends to put traditional link baiting (social media link baiting anyway) into the category of Stoney's interpretation of reciprocal links...sure, they're links, but what are they WORTH?

On the other hand, link baiting is just the sexy new way of saying "great content that draws links" and in many cases, those links produce on both the search and direct traffic front.

When I had my pork board fiasco with the Lactivist, we had a boatload of data to analyze. There were oodles of links.

Many came from social news sites like Digg, or from Search, Branding and Law related blogs. They generated the link because of the "bait" but there wasn't a high engagement rate or conversion rate. The links were there...but they weren't topical or really "worth" much.

On the other hand, the incident also introduced my site to tons and tons of mommy blogs and parenting sites. Again, tons of links generated by the exact same content, but in this case, engagement rate and conversion rates were high. The topical connection was also high, so the links were there, they counted and the traffic counted too. Those links were worth a LOT.

There's very little cut and dry on these issues...everything has to be evaluated for what it is. Companies that understand how to use these tools and more importantly WHEN and WHERE to use these tools are the ones that are going to come out on top.

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