In direct referral stats it didn’t cause a shockwave until I looked at the specific pageviews of the page he chose to link to, my WordPress category.
My category pages rarely figure highly in the most viewed, so I could actually attribute the majority of the traffic to that specific landing page, even if the traffic originated from an email or RSS subscriber.
This takes me back to one of the discussions I had with Joost regarding his Google Analytics tracking from RSS Plugin – I am sure there must be some way to modify it so that when you link to someone, they can actually see the traffic you sent them, not just click-throughs from a blog page, but from subscribers.
This actually relates to link and traffic reciprocation, quite an important blogging concept.
People Need To See The Traffic
With an affiliate program it is easy for the affiliate program owner to see the traffic you send them. Everything is tracked. With blogging in general it isn’t so easy.
From the posts that appear on the Search Engine Land blog, I rarely see more than 10 visitors – but that doesn’t account for the traffic sent from the email newsletter which is totally invisible.
Frequently I see posts receive a flood of traffic where I don’t have a referrer, because it is coming from various email clients.
Danny actually faces a similar problem, as he has raised the question of cross promotion of conferences in a discussion on Sphinn.
The big problem? The email edition of Search Cap is invisible traffic.
If people see that a link made a significant difference to traffic and conversions of whatever kind, they are much more likely to reciprocate.
In many ways, measurable traffic is the only traffic that counts and where you are promoting someone else, they have to see it too.