Chase Traffic Not Backlinks

by Jim June 25, 2018

I’ve been interacting with more and more SEOs lately, swapping viewpoints and ideas, and it’s evident that there are still many people in the industry that consider backlinks to be an integral part of digital marketing.

What I learned

  • Question why you want to get a backlink
  • Backlinks are counterintuitive to your business
  • The three things you should be focused on building
  • Do you need a big budget to build your brand?
  • Focus on traffic


Hey! Welcome back, Rankers. I was wrong last week. I’m off to Helsinki tonight, and that is for the SEMrush Summer Jam. So a lot of fun last year, and it’s where SEMrush do this really smart thing, they basically get people from around the world, there’s 40 of us that they look at or ask to come along and basically talk about their product and get some feedback on their product. Now we haven’t used SEMrush recently. Go have a look, it’s really come a long way in the last 12 to 18 month and certainly I’m really enjoying the ordered product. Puts everything in one dashboard really, really quickly and you don’t have to wait for your crawl to finish because it’s already done. I wanted to talk to you today though about backlinks because I’ve been talking to a lot more SEOs lately, trying to be more social and every second SEO that I’m talking to is talking about backlinks and how they get backlinks.

Why do you want backlinks?

And someone said in one of the groups I was in, “I wanna get this backlink,” from a particular site, “Would it be worth it?” And my point was, “Well, why do you want the backlink?” And his response was to send me to an article that said that links count for ranking and it’s like saying applause counts to a good performance. Well, no, applause is the result of a good performance, it’s not the other way around. And I just wanted to show this graph because it’s such a counterintuitive thing for me now and look, we used to build backlinks back in the day but it’s counterintuitive now because if you were focused on your branding, the user experience, you’re working on the entirety of your business. If you’re building backlinks, you’re focused on building backlinks, right? So it doesn’t affect any other part of your business except it may hurt, you get a manual penalty and you might lose all your rankings and some people have lost their business because of that. Whereas if you were focused on building that brand, building that end user experience, doing the good technical SEO, that’s where the user experience stuff comes in, right? But this is two search phrases.

We’ve got Skinnymixers and we’ve got Thermomix recipes. Now in case you don’t know what a Thermomix is, it’s a two and a half thousand dollar blender that burns people and I’ve got two of them and they were really good, really good to cook with. They actually are awesome. So this line here is Thermomix recipes, right? That’s the big hero phrase for a lot of the people who are selling Thermomix recipes. You can see here, Skinnymixers launches here. I got involved here and what I’m doing is basically tidying up the site, getting the user experience right, getting the Google Index free of index bloat, those sorts of things.

Brand doesn’t need a big budget

And then you can see here, Skinnymixers really takes off and this is just for the brand, right? So at this point here Skinnymixers had 37 backlinks, right? So at its highest point of search of the brand, it had 37 backlinks, right? So that is not a lot of backlinks and now it’s got about 300 since then and she’s won all the awards and all sorts of things. But a lot of them are from just things like Pinterest, people sharing stuff from Pinterest, other bloggers, and other Thermomix sites talking about it. So she hasn’t done any backlinking, right? And she’s getting 250,000 visits a month. And now look at this here. So Thermomix recipes, the novelty has kind of died off a little bit but not Skinnymixers.

Skinnymixers continued to grow and that’s all you have to do. She’s been building a business, she’s been building a brand. A lot of people say, “Oh, to build a brand you need big budgets.” Well, Nikki was working from home in L.A., she did it herself, she started up Facebook groups. And even someone else, an SEO, I think it was from Sydney, just came out and commented on one of our sponsored posts and said, “Oh, these are the guys. I reckon you don’t have to buy backlinks.” “Backlinks are the foundation of Google.” It’s like, “No. Backlinks are the history of Google.” When Google first started out, what they did is that they looked at sites or pages that linked to your pages and they counted it as a vote for their page. And then there was a thing called PageRank, which was basically just a calculation of the PageRank of other pages linking to your page. Now, we know that there’s plenty of examples and I can give you hundreds of examples of sites that have millions of backlinks and sites that don’t have millions of backlinks yet rank higher than the ones that have millions of backlinks, right? It’s not about the backlinks. You will go crazy thinking about the backlinks. If you are doing backlinking, if that’s your business, I don’t mean to be rude but maybe focus it a little bit differently. Maybe focus on traffic, delivering traffic. If you can focus on traffic and looking for traffic, that is what you need to do because you’ll get some backlinks from that but invariably you’ll just get traffic and build your business. Hopefully that’s helpful. We’ll bring you some more from Europe next week and we’ll see you next week. Bye.

« | »[fbcomments]
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.