Taking the Link Bait

Link relevancy is a term I first heard back in 1998 when a search engine company I represented prepared to do battle with a rising Mountain View company that had yet to command a mountain view.

Today, of course, it does and much of the success of Google, the search engine, can be attributed to the algorithm that presciently included link relevancy as a determinant of a site’s ranking in the engine’s organic search results. The more inbound links, it figured, the more authority the site had and thus the higher the ranking it deserved. Made, and still makes sense.

In analyzing the motivations of tens of millions of unpaid, and mostly unheralded bloggers, we come back to the term of link relevancy. I mean how many times a day do we, the unpaid and unheralded, check in with Technorati to see who has linked to our musings?

It’s just human nature to seek affirmation from others, though I still can’t figure out “Todd And’s Power 150: Top Marketing Blogs” ranking on which this blogger lands at #100, while the Holmes Report, which has been dormant since February, comes in at #81. What algorithm is Todd drinking, anyway?

Anyway, the desire to climb in the rankings — any rankings — is not the exclusive domain of the unheralded. One famous blogging entrepreneur whom I remember as a fledgling New York Internet reporter back in the day, admits to checking in with Technorati, Bloglines, etc, some 28 times a day.

“I’ve developed some deep relationships over the past couple of years blogging and I realize that those relationships manifest themselves in the links I find when I do my 28x a daily ego search over at Technorati.”

Jason Calacanis, who sold his Weblogs Inc for a reported $25 million and did some other cool things in his digital career, appears to also like a little link love. Today he posts a tutorial on how to “link bait” him, without pissing him off too much, and perhaps even earn a reciprocal link.

“If you follow this ‘Calacanis Link Bait’ strategies I will link to you. If you just come out and beat me up I probably won’t… so, there you have it “how to get a link from Calacanis.”

For the tens of millions of bloggers not making a dime off your prose, at least there’s the prospect of link love to bring you back to your keyboards day after day. But remember, you’ve got to give to receive.