Outbound Link Strategy: Drudgereport Success Changing Perception


Courtesy the drudgereport.com

Perception in the real world is often reality. In the online world of websites and blogs it is often the rule that people rely upon to much. The perception that a blogger who provides too many links in a post will lose his audience is simply a myth. The best case study supporting this statement is the famous and very popular drudgereport.com. The drudgereport is an aggregates news feeds and links to some of the best sources available. They then position small amounts of text (description) around the outbound links. Yet with all of these pathways that lead away from the site, people flock(Alexa ranking 728) to the drudgereport for their daily fix of news.

My deansguide article (9-19-08) “Drudge Report: Proof Outbound Link Strategy Keeps Readers Coming Back” and the concept behind the article may be worth another look. The premise that most experts support:

1. Do not send your readers away from your site by providing outbound links

2. Sending readers away from your site means they will not come back to your site

3. You will be converting your readers into somebody else’s readers by linking outbound

Reality

1. Outbound linking does not mean your readers will always leave on each visit

2. Readers that leave will come back because you have established your site as a place that provides value and answers

3. Other site’s content becomes your strength as you help people find quality information

4. Outbound links will bring readership back to your site from the sites you link to

5. Time spent on your site will actually increase as readers bounce back from the outbound links to find additional information

The article published at the Business and Finance page on Reuters.com and on deansguide

DrudgeReport.com: Proof Outbound Link Strategy Keeps Readers Coming Back

Reuters.com published this deansguide article September 19, 2008

Scott Karp author of the blog Publishing 2.0 wrote a eye opening and somewhat startling report about the uber news site the drudgereport.com. In his article he is able to debunk aka discredit two major assumptions being pushed forward by marketing guru’s, website “experts”, and bloggers everyday: You should never send readers away from your news site by linking to third party content. Since we as bloggers are trying to deliver huge value, news, and new tips, the following is very important in your strategy.

Assumption #1

“You shouldn’t send people away or else they won’t come back to your site.”

Assumption #2

“A page with links that sends people away has low engagement, which doesn’t serve advertisers well.”

As Scott states, I support his statement 100%,: “But if you actually look at the data, both of these assumptions are completely wrong.”

Newspaper Association of America: Top 30 News Sites Ranked by Sessions per Person (May 2008)

Top News sites Ranked by Time per Person: Source CyberJournalist.net

The Results: Just the Facts

1. The top site has 2x as many sessions per person

2. The top site has almost twice as much time spent per person

Biggest Take Away of All

According to Scott and his logic is clearly supported here: But the most important difference between the top site and all the other sites, is that this top site — Drudge — has nothing but LINKS.”

That’s right folks the Drudge Report is essentially a giant blog built on links to other sites with a little content thrown in for direction. Drudge beats every fresh content news site by a 2 to 1 margin.

Analysis

More SEO gurus around the country are beginning to rethink the idea that fresh content is no longer king. Content in many ways is still king. What is important to understand is that it is better to send your readers away IF you provide them such great value that they will return to your site as a starting point for the quest for answers to their questions.

Note: Realtors need to understand that they can link to more successful agents, bigger companies, and experts in the field without fear of losing their readership–if they are providing great content even if it is pointing to other bloggers.

Scott’s Update to Objectors

Commenter’s objection “Drudge’s session numbers are worthless. Unlike every site on the list, Drudge has an artificially high auto-refresh rate of something under 3 minutes, I think it might even be as low as 2 minutes. The conclusions are fairly obvious– every person who leaves Drudge’s page open in a new tab, or leaves their desk for lunch created dozens or even hundreds of “new” sessions.”

Scott’s Retort

“I find it ironic that most of these commenters came here from Techmeme, a site that has nothing but links and that auto-refreshes. Techmeme, like Drudge, is INDISPENSIBLE for its users, something any news site should want to claim. And Techmeme has found the key to unlokcing value for advertisiers (hint: it’s not display ads) — sponsorships in the form of content links, just like Techeme’s editorial content.

And really, what news site wouldn’t want to be open in a reader’s browser being refreshed all day, instead of hoping for drive-by referrals from aggregators?”

In my opinion, there is almost always a hidden agenda or motivation behind many objections. Before analyzing and supporting objections, it’s always best to understand who benefits and why. I believe Scott did a fantastic job here.

Countrychasehomes.com Splog Site Has Been Reported To Google Spam-Black Hat SEO Department For “De-Indexing”

One of the best hyper local bloggers in the country, sent me what could be the solution to my splogger problem with countrychasehomes.com. The solution is a link to Google to report not only spammers but Black Hat SEO and rip off artists alike.

Here is the link to Google’s Spam Report: form. If anybody is plagerizing, outright stealing, spamming, utilizing cloaking, Black Hat SEO, or sending you fake traffic from a traffic generating software you can report these activities to the one place that matters the most–Google.

Let’s see how stupid these guys really are when it comes to monitoring countrychasehomes.com. They already placed my article announcing they are a splog. Let’s see if they place this article on their site announcing my attempts to have them de-indexed aka declassified and removed from Google search engine placement.

#1 Tip For Blog Traffic To New Bloggers: You Have To Become A Social Networker

If one thing has helped to elevate my traffic, provide incoming links to my pages, and make my blog https://deansguide.wordpress.com more valuable to my marketing efforts, it is social networking. The best thing a new blogger can do is become a commenting social networker in their industry blogosphere niche.

According to SEO expert Courtney Tuttle, www.courtneytuttle.com, new bloggers must perform the following:

1. Write 50-60 touches per day via email requests or comments on blog posts with your blog’s url embedded within the comment.

2. Write articles based on prominent blogger’s positions on topics important to your niche

How Do I Start?

Identify then target the top bloggers in your niche and region of the country. You can Google search the top keyword phrases for your niche

Then What?

Leave comments on their latest articles aka posts. Always remember to leave your blog or website url so that others can follow the link back to your site

Last Idea

When you find an article you like or dislike utilize the subject as a basis for your own article. Compare and contrast, analyze, compliment, or present an opposing viewpoint.

Always link to the article, preferably from a prominent well established blogger, as a way of paying homage to that person’s effort. By doing this you may then quote or copy small passages into your blog article without plagerizing their work. Always give credit where credit is due

Final Analysis

If new bloggers are unwilling to spend the time it takes to perform these “touches” and socially network in the blogosphere, their efforts to gain readership will be greatly hampered. Imagine writing great information with no audience–because that is what awaits without a action plan for social networking