The indifference of “linky love”

Getting linkage from other blogs, says Louis Gray, doesn’t contribute as much to your traffic as you might think:

At one time, I thought being linked to by the most prominent bloggers could have a significant impact on my traffic. And for a short time, it did. But now, I’ve seen traffic from other blogs to be driving an ever-declining percentage of visits to my site, swamped by social media tools, aggregation sites, and of course, Google search.

Is the Instalanche, for instance, dead? Maybe so.

I know links power Google juice, and they enhance Technorati rankings, and if done well, people can find new sources of data, but the ability for even a so-called A-List blogger to deliver a windfall of visits is much less than I had ever expected. It is now more important to be part of the social media sites that drive strong traffic — the Twitters and Techmemes and FriendFeeds and Stumbleupons and Reddits, if traffic is your goal. Those sites, combined with RSS activity in Google Reader and other programs are what will drive traffic.

I’ve long since figured out that I have more readers through the feed than I do through the actual front page. Occasionally I’ll draw a Stumbleupon; I’ve never seen any readers from Reddit. Googlers, however, contribute at least a third of the SiteMeter total. (Which doesn’t bother me, since they also contribute blogfodder.)

But consider: apart from RSS, for this month the single biggest source of traffic has been Ace of Spades HQ, which picked up on this post and sent roughly 1300 visitors my way. Which suggests a modification to Mr Gray’s premise: if you’re as far down in the hierarchy as I am — my Technorati ranking hovers around 35,000 — the occasional link from the A-list is still very much a factor.

(Also discussed Outside the Beltway.)


  1. Jeffro »

    8 July 2008 · 3:36 pm

    I know this is just anecdotal, but when you, McGehee and Steve H. have linked me in the past, my stats have gone up.

    But, it’s nothing compared to what I got when Tam linked me once.

  2. CGHill »

    8 July 2008 · 3:55 pm

    The Tamalanche is something to be cherished. I’ve had a few of those, and they’ve always rolled the numbers nicely.

    Besides, there’s the Smucker’s factor: if it’s Tam’s, it’s got to be good.

  3. Jeffro »

    8 July 2008 · 7:46 pm


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