In Link Building, the Rich Get Richer – But Are You Getting Poorer?
January 21, 2009 - Written by Gyutae Park
“The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” I’m sure you’ve heard this cliche a number of times before, and it rings true in Western society. The more money you have, the easier it is to make even more money. On the flip side, the poor are oppressed by society with rules and norms stacked against them. It takes an extraordinary amount of hard work, dedication, and luck for a poor person to rise above the ranks and “get rich”.
Let me illustrate with a few examples.
Those who are well off and already have money can buy things and invest in assets that will make them even more money. They can buy a suit to go into a job interview, enroll in classes to earn a degree, invest money into stocks and real estate, and use extra cash to start a business.
On the other hand, those who are poor have nothing to spend other than their blood, sweat, and tears. If they want to be successful and make money, they have to earn enough with low-paying jobs to cover their expenses and save each penny to invest in other money-making assets. As you can probably guess, it’s not easy to make money if you’re starting with nothing.
How does this relate to Internet marketing?
So you’re probably wondering how this is relevant to Internet marketing and the online world. There are actually quite a few parallels.
Links represent the currency of the web. Links drive traffic, exposure, and branding power – which ultimately means money. Much like money for affluent people in the offline investing world, the more links you have to your site, the more links you’re able to attain. In essence, sites rich with links get richer, and the poor sites are cast away into oblivion.
How exactly does this work?
The 3 Multiplying Effects of Links
Let me explain to you the 3 powerful effects of a link to your website. Just 1 link can easily result in 2 or 3 more. Here’s how.
1. Links drive direct traffic back to your site.
This is obvious. If someone links to your site, a percentage of their visitors will click through and check out what you have to offer. If they like what they see, they’ll probably visit often and maybe even link to your site themselves. More traffic means more potential link opportunities from bloggers and webmasters. 1 link can turn into 2, 3, 4, or more over time.
2. Links signify trusted relationships – which increase brand recognition and word of mouth marketing.
Contrary to what you may think, a link isn’t just a blue hyperlink that takes you to another document on the Internet. It’s a relationship and a signal of trust that comes with a lot of value. For example, if CNN links to my site, I don’t just get a link and some traffic. I get a powerful recommendation from an authority that does wonders for my brand and reputation. This then could trigger a word of mouth marketing campaign that spreads virally through social media and results in thousands of additional links. A front page link on Digg, for example, usually means hundreds of links from other sites that pick it up as a result. As I mentioned, the rich get richer.
3. Links improve your search engine rankings.
Furthermore, inbound links don’t just bring your site traffic, they help with search engine rankings as well. The big search engines, Google, Yahoo & MSN, place a significant amount of weight on links in their ranking algorithms. All other factors held constant, the more quality links that you have to your site, the better your rankings will be for targeted keywords. What does this mean? High rankings for relevant keywords mean greater brand recognition and trust, which in turn means more links to your site. Imagine that you rank #1 in Google for the keyword “seo consultant”. How great would that be for business?
Just the other day, I needed an article about a study that I was researching so I could link to it. I didn’t have any in mind so I simply did a search on Google and linked to the first article that came up. Lesson? More links mean better search rankings, which ironically means more links. The top sites further pull away from the competition simply because they’re #1.
What does this mean for your business?
As I’ve clearly illustrated in this post, sites with links now have a tremendous advantage because they can leverage their assets to further build their businesses and gain a huge lead over their competition. How do you think huge corporations like Walmart and Microsoft were built? Would you want to compete with them?
The good news is that the Internet is still very young and it’s a relatively level playing field for everyone to compete. But it won’t last forever. The Internet will soon mature and begin to resemble the economy that we’re used to in the offline world. A small few will dominate and the others will never be able to catch up.
Start building links and marketing your sites like crazy now before the window of opportunity closes. Work hard to build links and have a system in place to take advantage of the ones you have. Keep churning out value, stay up to date, and add to the fire every day no matter how far ahead you think you are. Each of your actions have potentially huge implications. Strive to be rich and you’ll be richer. Slack off and you’ll be poor forever.
It’s do or die time, guys. Who’s in? What can you do to take action and prepare for the future growth and domination of your online business?If you like this post, subscribe to the RSS feed. Get the latest updates delivered straight to your email or news reader.