About Ecommerce Sites and Link-Worthiness
Posted by Eric Ward on May 26, 2010 to Link Building
By Eric Ward, Link Evangelist
Some sites seem to attract links without even trying. But for every NationalGeographic.com or Discovery.com (for whom I built thousands of links in the 90's), there are a thousand other ecommerce sites that don't have the luxury of large editorial staffs and incredible content.
The challenge sales oriented web sites have are unique but not impossible to overcome. I hope you all will allow me to climb up on the pulpit again for a few minutes, because what I've seen through trial and error experience can teach all of us a lot about links.
Link Insight is, at it's core, a link building quality control tool based on rules. I'm not going to give away the secret sauce I worked on 15 years to help get Link Insight launched, but the site owner using Link Insight must understand is that Link Insight does not change your content, Link Insight does not make your content more "linkable", does not make it more appealing.
Any site created with the primary purpose of selling something is at a trusted link disadvantage because it is so hard to justify linking to such sites without a bona fide reason to do so. Site owners have to understand this going in. Here is a short story which I've used many times to explain this challenge to clients and at conference sessions.
There are two web sites. Both sell magic supplies. Magic tricks, hats, capes and wands, even the old saw-the-person-in-half gag. If your content is nothing more than an online magic store, why would anyone link to it?
You might get a few links from magic site web guides and link lists. But then what? If you are an online store with nothing but products as your content, then you MUST look to associate/affiliate programs, paid links or reciprocal links. Basically, negotiating for them, rather than attracting them.
But maybe there is something more you CAN do, if you are willing to roll up your sleeves. While I am not fond of the term linkbait, it has become part of the lexicon of link building. But, let us not confuse linkbait with link-worthy content.
What if, along with your products, you create a searchable database of information on magic. What if you had complete biographies of more than 700 magicians? What if you had a section devoted to magical world records, or a glossary of magical terms, or a directory of magicians on the Internet?
This would then be an excellent example of how a store site can add rich, relevant content, value, interest, and community to its web site, as well as sell merchandise. This site would be linked to by just about any writer who writes about magic and/or reviews web sites, and by any library with web content devoted to magic.
The above is not just a wide-eyed, hypothetical example. The site exists at http://www.MagicTricks.com
This site has been in the top five at Google for over ten years. Why? Trusted links. Look at the types of links this site attracts
That's nearly 300 highest trust libraries that have linked to magictricks.com. Those links never would have happened if not for their non-product content. Their non-product content is in fact the very reason they were able to earn those links. Links of merit. Links that Matt Cutts from Google might say "stand the test of time".
Here's an older article that touches more on this subject.
What Makes a Web Site Link-Worthy?
I'm not saying every ecommerce site must follow this blueprint/path. But sometimes an example is worth a thousand links, or in this case, a few hundred.
You have an opportunity with Link Insight to understand what a merit based link profile or link signature is and looks like. No other tool does this in the same way. Just as AdGooroo has created a one-of-a-kind keyword tool, they have done it again with Link Insight. But again, Link Insight will not make your site linkworthy. Anyone can launch an ecommerce site in a half hour. Millions of people have.
It's the passion of the content owner willing to do more than flip the switch that results in the depth of content that inspires links.
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