The results are in and I can now let you know what’s happened since I started this exciting marketing experiment!
As many of you already know, jimsmarketingblog.com offers everyone who comments here a special reward; something called a do-follow link. This is great for my readers, as it means when you comment here, your link actually tells Google to visit your website or blog; which can help boost your Search Engine Optimization.
The 2 main reasons people give for not offering do-follow links are as follows:
1. Google ‘penalise’ sites like mine, which offer them, by lowering our page rank.
2. Blogs offering do-follow links are more likely to be targeted by spammers, because links from do-follow blogs are so much more valuable to them.
So, what REALLY happens when you offer do-follow links?
I have seen no drop in traffic from Google. This blog’s only a few months old and it gets around 50 – 60 unique visitors each day via Google. When I started the experiment, I was getting around 40 a day. There are lots of reasons why this number has gone up – but for a very new blog that only posts a few times a week, that’s an ‘ok’ response from Google. I can’t see that I am being punished for offering the links; not yet anyway!
Spam? Well, 99.9% of the spam here is the kind of automated spam that every blog gets and it goes straight into the blog’s spam filter. There has been no increase in this kind of spam at all.
Spam from people using my comments section to pimp their website/blog has increased very slightly – but mainly because spammers know how well read this blog is. They see posts with over 200 comments and that’s like a magnet for comment spammers.
Thus, I can say with a high degree of certainty that the blog has suffered no ill effects from Google or from spammers, because of my use of do-follow links!
So, I am going to keep offering them to you – every time you comment here!
Benefits of offering do-follow links?
There are a lot of very compelling reasons to offer do-follow links. If you look at the kind of comments I got here when I announced what I was doing, you will see how warmly it was welcomed by the online community.
This blog is all about developing a community, based around our mutual interest in marketing and social media. So, what better way to show my commitment to our community, than to reach out and help promote everyone who comments here?
I have also seen a massive surge in visitor numbers, RSS subscribers and in the number of people who contact me via jimsmarketingblog.com. I believe a big reason for this, is that people really embrace the concept of a blog that actually gives them something tangible every time they comment.
We live in an age where marketing and social media guru’s keep on talking about how important it is to connect and share – yet they do so behind blogs that deliberately tell Google NOT to visit YOUR website or blog!
I really like the phrase that’s used to describe do-follow links. They call it Link Love. As we approach what is sure to be a very challenging year for small businesses in 2009, I hope more people reach-out to THEIR readers with links that are actually worth having.
Over to you!
So, what do you think about ‘Link Love?’ Do you find yourself more likely to comment on blogs that show they value your comments? Do you offer link love to your readers already – if so, what has your experience been? Whatever your thoughts are, share them here (and get some Link Love too!!)