Derek Edmond at CapeCodSEO is hosting a conversation about the number of links that can realistically be gained in a month.
A lot of important points have arisen, including the fact that good linkbuilding efforts won’t show all their value within the month, the difference between linkbuilding for new sites and for established ones, and the importance of quality links.
But as I was reading, I couldn’t help comparing two linkbuilding situations I’ve participated in recently — not, in either case, as the linkbuilder.
First, I have a rash of spammy comments at a blog I write for a client. Someone presumably has paid some unfortunate creature to post this graffiti, and then of course my client has to pay me to find and remove it.
There are no lasting benefits to this for anyone. It’s a complete waste of time and money.
And yet, at the same time, I’m currently writing for a prestigious PR7 .org site. The team I’m on will be doing 300 pages in the next month, and each page has four or five links to other sites. I’m putting plenty of time into finding the most valuable websites to link to — not necessarily the first ones that come up at the search engines result pages, but the best and most useful sites. Not only will those sites get a PR7 link, but they can expect to gain traffic not only from the original site, but from hundreds of other high-quality sites that will link to it. Some of the people who visit will be inspired to link to the resources, too.
In other words, we’ve got about 1500 seriously juicy links to give out. This afternoon, I’ll be looking for excellent sites on the physics of sound.
If I had a client who made violins, I could write a page that would meet the needs of the page I’m writing perfectly, and thereby get that link. Since I don’t have such a client, I will instead be searching all over the internet for the perfect resource. If it happens to be at a violin shop, I won’t care; I’m just looking at the quality of the resource.
Now let’s compare those two options.
Comment spam comes cheap — maybe a dollar a link. It’s easy come, easy go, though, and won’t bring any lasting value. So a company that chooses this strategy can expect to pay repeatedly for something essentially worthless.
Valuable content doesn’t come that cheap. You have to hire someone, or take your own time and expertise, and create useful pages at your site. But a company that pays $100 for an excellent resource and gets just one really valuable link to begin with can expect to gain more links and traffic over a period of years — as long as they keep their resource valuable and up to date, it will continue to deliver.
What’s the efficient method here?