Thoughts on Traffic

Google. Yahoo. MSN. Independent engines. LinkLists. FeedLists. Social Bookmarks. Link Trades. Link Dumps.

If you took 1 (one) blog or site and promoted to the nine options above everyday do you know what you would have? About three hours less a day than you have now. Not much else.

Let’s look at these options that we all bow down to.

Link Dumps/Social Bookmarks/Link Lists—- They will generate some traffic for you while you stay close to the top of the list. Is it solid traffic that you can convert? Not unless you are paying the surfer to sign up. The surfers that visit the Dumps and Bookmarks are just one rung above purchased tgp traffic. They are looking for free sex. And they are on a page with a couple of hundred links to what they want. The only thing you will be able to interest them in is a rag to clean up with. Sometimes one of them will actuall buy a subscription or a download—but the ratio has to look like the national debt.

Link trades—- Someone looks at a blog and sees your link there and clicks it. Now the surfer is on your blog and the place he just came from has experienced “Traffic Drain”. And that is exactly what happens to you when someone clicks off your site. Your traffic, your possible customer, is gone. They won’t be back.

I am not saying link trades are bad. I am saying be cautious and try to make every trade work for you in some other way. And for goodness sake! Limit what you do. Basic business again. Your blog front page has posts and some ads. If you count them up you will find that, on average, your surfer has 20 to 30 chances to leave your blog GOING WHERE YOU WANT HIM TO GO. Now if you have 50 link trades on there then you have a 60% (approx) chance of losing that surfer to someone else.

So do link trades because it IS a good networking tool. Do them for a bit of exposure. And keep your possible traffic drain below 15% (thats 3 trades for every 20 of your links that are on your page). (And BEFORE anybody says anything—yes I have 50 to 60 link trades on all my blogs. BUT I own the top 48 that are there.

Which brings up cross linking to your own blogs. If you do it fine. If you are not doing it–why the hell not? I followed a surfer one evening. Was in an IM with him and give him a site to look at. For an hour and 20 minutes I pinballed this guy between 87 pages (all his doing–clicking links) of my site before he broke down and bought a 1.99 trial. That was a year ago–he is still rebilling. Get everything you own on your blog or site and cross link like your income depended on it. It does.

Feedlists—- can be a very useful tool if you don’t whore it out. It is yours. The search engine spiders will pick it up and so will a lot of independent lists. Give it a month or two and it will send great traffic. But, again, don’t whore it out. Do trades with it but keep your possible traffic drain down to below 5% (3% is better). Keep it yours. It will come to be a flagship site for you.

Independent Search Engines—- 6% of the web population does NOT use google/yahoo/msn. Thats 6% of 9 Billion web visits a day. Thats 54 million people. You think NONE of them buy porn?

Google/Yahoo/MSN—- If you are a typical blogmaster then 20% of your day is spent working on SEO AND PR. Thats a lot of time working for results that are hap-hazzard at best. SEO and PR do NOT make sales. They deliver traffic. Sometimes.

The big three (google/yahoo/msn) remind me today of the “used to be” big three automakers in the US— Crystler/GM/Ford. The big three automakers enjoyed a fantastic hayday but were destined to decline because they thought too much of themselves. The same with g/y/m. They are so bloated with what they think they are (and SO interconnected) that daily they lose a little ground. They all tell you that in order to succeed you HAVE to be with them. That’s true to a point, RIGHT NOW. You do HAVE to be with them. But you do NOT have to cater to them.

Again—SEO an PR do NOT make sales. The quality and content of your blog or site and the closing ability of your sponsor make sales. If you concentrate on the quality and content (the elements that you control) then the search engines will pick up your page and will list it. Don’t believe me? Google any damn thing you want and view source on the top ten listings. 30% + of them will not even have meta tags. Odds are at least one of them will not even have a title. And only 30% of them will have a PR. Yet they are in the top ten and you are on page 48 with 18 lines of code dedicated to SEO.

It has been said here before and merits a re-statement. When you BUILD your blog/site do it smartly and follow the search engine guidelines completely. Then FORGET about SEO and PR and just concentrate on quality and content.