How long should I build links for? and when should I stop building them? Both frequent SEO questions, with the answer "it depends."
Automation as a Non-strategy
Many people are interested in automating as much as possible and doing it as easily and quickly as they can. The problem with replication and doing what is easy are that if it is easy for you to replicate
- it may leave an unnatural footprint
- it is typically easy to replicate
- it leaves you heavily reliant on a single technique that may get cleaned up (like directories did last year)
- if you are working on 30 sites at once you do not get to take best practices learned from sites 1 through 29 and apply them to the 30th site
When Being Lazy is OK
I have sites that I have left virtually untouched for years because they fall into one (or more) of the following categories
- they enjoy a self reinforcing ranking effect
- they got as far as they are going to without significant capital expenditure and opportunity cost that exceeds the potential rewards
- I was just too lazy to keep working on them
Beyond those types of sites I look at link building as a proxy for relationship building.
The Coming Wave of Competition & Creativity
I think when you look at the more creative parts of the web, those foreshadow what the battle for hearts, minds, and eyeballs will look like throughout the rest of the web in the years to come.
Well Marketed/Open Software
With programming you see lots of the high risk heavy capital expenditure business models giving way to lighter, simpler, and more open frameworks. Many of the lighter, simpler, and open frameworks allow users to create plug ins and evangelize the systems. Some even have programmers work on the core. Many also offer free trial versions which reduce marketing costs to ~ $0 and build goodwill. The software companies which are not seen as free and open need to lash out against the competition in an attempt to gain marketshare.
Music is another industry undergoing gigantic business model shifts. Sigur Rós is a well known Icelandic group, which created a 97 minute documentary about their homeland named Heima. Then they uploaded it to YouTube and were featured on the homepage of YouTube for a day, along with some of their fan favorite short films. Their documentary got over 600,000 views on YouTube in the last 4 days, and you can watch it on this page for free:
Update: They set the Youtube video to private. I believe someone also uploaded it to Google Video, but that might be a copyright violation. You can view the trailer below & here is their official website. I liked the Youtube version well enough to buy the DVD from Amazon.com
In spite of their success, they are still building links. And if you want to watch the video somewhere other than YouTube it only costs $15 on Amazon.com. On their next tour they could probably double or triple their ticket price and still sell out stadiums, largely because they kept building links.
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