To see large companies wanting to learn about how to behave and interact on the web is very exciting for consultants, but the answers we give are not always as exciting for the client.

This year we are already seeing a large increase in enquiries from clients who want to embrace social media to build links rather than risking the wrath of Google by buying their way to the top.

Some companies see social media as some kind of quick fix. They have heard about the fact that Digg can send 50,000 visitors and thousands of links in one day and then contact a few linkbait consultants requesting a quote for a linkbait article.

The problem is it just isn't that simple.

Most companies would die for an extra 50,000 visitors to their site; even bloggers love getting on Digg but it isn't until it's happened to you a few times that you realise just how short term this gain is.

Most visitors don't even stick around for a minute let alone come back another time. Even the links you get are probably not going to shoot you up to the top of Google in the space of a few weeks.

With this in mind, it might seem like social media is a hard product to sell. Quite the opposite in fact.

The issue is that every website needs some kind of strategy to automatically promote itself in the long term.

Some sites have very good customer service, others have great products, some have a blog with great content and a lot feature daily news.

Any site that has this sort of long term linkbait is almost guaranteed to ride safely over any Google algorithm updates and eventually rise to the top.

Creating a long term marketing strategy to take into account social media is the single most valuable tactic a website can implement in the present Google driven climate.

Adding a few linkbait articles and hoping for instant success isn't a viable strategy anymore.

Imagine you are launching a new site in a competitive industry. You know buying links is your best chance but you are also wary about a Google penalty.

The key is to make your site attractive to social media users and bloggers and build a solid base of natural links that way first.

Once you have thousands of natural links, adding a few hundred well placed paid links isn't going to raise any red flags at Google.


Published 18 February, 2008 by Patrick Altoft

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Comments (4)


Sheree Motiska

I'm always so happy to see that there are still some of us who haven't gone wacky over the web 2.0 marketing hype popping up all over.

It really does create great exposure, personal branding, and a sense of trust if done right and naturally and not like a traditional in your face ad campaign.

Great article!


over 10 years ago



One of the great things about teh Internets is that it's not all that hard (well, certainly not impossible) for retailers to make their own social media sites.

At Hen Night HQ we've created a social planning site for hen nights:

Retailers don't have to rely on other sites for traffic or to provide a platform to help customers connect with each other - the Web gives us the tools to do it for ourselves.


over 10 years ago


Lisa McNeill

Great post. There is definitely a balance between paid and organic. Certainly organic links through social media weigh more credible than paid for most audiences, but companies seek to use the same tactics for both: causing the use of social media bookmarking traffic for short term rather than long term communication goals.

over 10 years ago


Charlotte Britton

I have seen guerilla social media marketing used as a quick fix to drive traffic to a site - but there is no long term strategy to this as the fizz goes once the campaign has finished.  So for me social media is about the long term vision on how it fits into the online marketing mix.

over 9 years ago

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