Linking for Traffic?

Rand Fishkin has an interesting post on the benefits of linking to other people.

It is actually quite a sterile look on the practice, and doesn’t mention one important concept.


Rand asks

Has anyone ever actively pursued this technique? Any success? I know it’s worked on us – I’ll link back to someone who linked to SEOmoz with a good idea or suggestion or topic; when it’s done right, it doesn’t seem like spam or marketing at all – just good inter-site dialogue.

My answer:-

I think every notable blogger peruses this technique, unless they are running a sterile corporate blog.

As an example supporting the Z-list meme meant I gave a lot of blogs some link love, but at the same time, many of the bloggers I linked to have visited my blog, and maybe a couple subscribed.

Another example was my support of WordPress Tutorials when they were having trademark problems.

When I took Robert Scoble to task on his promotion of Google Reader, I experienced a significant surge in traffic from his post, but very little of it stayed around as subscribers, or even read my first post on the subject.

Insular vs Community

I have written about my community aims for this blog in the past. This blog is an experiment in running a community based blog on internet and niche marketing. Most such blogs are very insular, with the aim to retain customers rather than be part of the blogging community.

In many ways it is an interesting experiment, because the views of an internet marketer in many ways are the opposite of bloggers, who don’t like being sold to.
My opinions are often quite the opposite of many A-list bloggers, as my commentary on subjects like PayPerPost have proven. I haven’t been dragged over the coals by anyone, but such views don’t attract link love.

The same can be true of my Disclosure Policy Plugin. Because it provides a solution to the controversy of disclosure on blogs, hardly anyone is giving the plugin any link love.

Trackback or Comment

Unfortunately in my experience, trackbacks in general bring in less traffic than a well timed comment, unless a blog is setup to emphasise trackbacks and you get in very early.

This blog is setup to encourage trackbacks. Trackbacks gain a followable link as do comments.

Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more. Follow


  1. says

    Well, I’m commenting late because I discovered your blog in January. I’ve also always interlaced comments and trackbacks. I consider trackbacks part of the conversation.

    I might separate the two if I were a huge-mega blogger who got tons of trackbacks, but I’m not! (I also give follow links to trackbacks.)

  2. says

    Around the time of this post I had 100 subscribers.

    I split things up when I felt a need, especially when integrating threaded comments. It seemed like the logical option.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on some of my Tumbleweed. I will return the favour sometime :)