Eric Ward has published a new article titled, ahem, Are You A Link Whore? (My quick answer before I even read the article: YES!)
His philosphy is one that I think has hit webmasters harder than ever with the latest of BigDaddy.
Google is algorithmically rewarding my good linking behavior over the course of the past 13 years.
There can be no other explanation. Google doesn't like link whores.
His choice of language sure makes him a link baiter, but I don't think anyone can argue with his point.
I can say with 100% confidence that you can be successful and rank well without having to do anything even close to slutty.
- How does this philosophy change if you can't/don't want to wait 13 years (or even 3) to rank?
- Why does everyone seem to ignore the "other two" engines? As far as I can tell they like their links 'fast n loose'. They also send visitors that convert very well, especially for affiliates in many profitable sectors.
Which I guess leads me to a third question. Are we getting to a point where it's more cost effective for affiliates to take an either/or approach to ranking in Google or MSN/Yahoo! ? In my experience, if you target both, it's hard to do GREAT in either (For simplicity's sake I'm lumping Yahoo! and MSN together as they both seem to reward linking in the same general way.)
Whereas if you target only one (either Google, or MSN/Yahoo!), you can focus in like a laser and get rankings pretty predictably. (Usually, that choice is dictated by domain age -- 2 year old domain? Go Google. 1 year or younger? Go for MSN/Yahoo!)
(And by the way, I'm ignoring 'brand' sites and ecomm sites, because they a) are inherently less risk-tolerant than affiliates so are more prone to a 3-engine, non-aggressive strategy, and b) the stakes are possibly greater as getting banned/filtered in one engine would result in not showing up for 'brandname' searches, and of course c) they are less likely to be launching new sites.)
But back to my question: you readers who have recently launched new affiliate sites -- are you doing 'tri-engine SEO'? Are you taking a Google-centric approach? Or is MSN/Yahoo! your bread and butter?
I'll go first: MSN/Yahoo! is my bread and butter for new affiliate sites. The tradeoff always comes down to this: I can do XYZ and it will probably screw the site in Google, when it may have ranked well there 2 years down the road -- but I'll rank in MSN in a month, and Yahoo! in three months. Or I can skip XYZ which will make ranking in Yahoo!/MSN impossible but hey who knows in 2 years Google may want to rank my site! Doesn't even seem like much of a choice, to me...