This morning, during my continued quest for quality links I received an email from a prospective link partner, questioning, rather aggressively, exactly why he felt he should set up the link and in his words “advertise” another business for free on his website.
Before I sent my response, I wondered where the love had gone and why webmasters and their websites were becoming more like private residences and not the green open fields I once thought of.
Had the unforgiving and ever more complex spam attacks led webmaster to put up impenetrable barriers to genuine emails and communication from fellow web masters and marketers, who, unlike the spammers, wanted to recommend and raise the profile of established businesses?
I wondered if webmasters were now more concerned about recommending particular websites because of security, when referencing viruses and Trojans. Or was it the development of something a little closer to their chests?
Taylor, hailed as “The Father of Scientific Management” was perhaps right in his belief that it is money which motivates, and certainly with the development of affiliate marketing over the last ten year, Google’s Adsense and the popular Amazon Associates program many webmasters are recognising they can monetise their websites, including by selling links.
Whilst I am not opposed to webmasters selling space on their website, providing it is relevant and justified of course, I remain concerned as to how far the sale of links will go? Will a webmaster drop a good quality website in lure of a high paying poor quality link partner?
In casting my eyes back to the original email, I wondering why the sender had chosen to use the word ‘advertise’, particularly as I wished to gain a link on his resources page. I then questioned whether users would even navigate to this page, and if they did, why would they?
The answer was simply. Users would navigate to that page in order to find some more information on the subject, which the resources page currently did not offer.
Now I ask you to consider what you do if you are on a website which doesn’t fulfil your needs? I’m pretty confident you’ll leave it, right?
My belief with ethical link building sits firmly with the premise, not of optimisation and manipulation of the major search engine algorithms but of the optimisation of the user experience. If your website includes quality and useful content, in addition to, for example, a range of external websites where users can ‘find out more’ then you’ve adding value to your website and are acting as an authority as you clearly have an awareness of the key areas of your industry.
I count myself lucky that I get to relive my childhood whilst conducting my daily link research, viewing all sorts of circa 1994 (and near epileptic fit educing) animated gifs on rarely updated websites before finding a true diamond in the rough.
I only wish there was more of an understanding from webmasters of the true value of ‘sharing the love’ and adding reputable links to their websites. Ethical link builders, like me, are not second class citizens so why not join us. Let’s push things forward and make the web more useful for everyone!