The Link Experiment (Part 3)

17 04 2008

Quick Recap
We’re now well into April so I thought it was about time I wrapped up my little Link Experiment. My apologies to all those who were waiting to hear the results of this in March, but an unfortunate series of events meant that I have been ‘offline’ since the end of January. But I’m backon the straight and narrow and I intend to update this blog more on a more frequent basis over the coming months. Thanks for your patience.

Let me start with the good news. Traffic stats for the FingerMonkey arcade are up since the last count in December last year. They have increased from an average of 30 uniques per day in December 2007 to an average of 140 in April 2008. Granted, that’s not a huge traffic increase by any means, but given that I have done little to nothing with the site since December, it’s not too bad at all. See the graph below for March/April stats. The site also now has a Google Page Rank of 3 and an Alexa rank of 1, 522, 661. Again, nothing to write home about, but it could have been much worse.

Now on to the ‘bad news’. The link experiment fell way short of my expectations. As you’ll see in the next section, after a frantic Christmas period of countless directory submissions, the net result in terms of traffic is trifling.


(click image for full view)

Link Experiment Results

In case you’re still wondering what this whole ‘link experiment’ is about, you can get up to speed by reading the first two installments in the series here and here.

At the end of December 2007 I had submitted FingerMonkey.net to over 180 directory sites of varying rank and quality. From unknown PR 2 sites to the most famous of them all, DMOZ. The process was painful. No the process was excrutiatingly painful, even with the help of this nifty little form filler app. But It was the vacation season and I had time on my hands and I did it.

In the table below you can see the top 25 sites that refer to FingerMonkey. Of the 180+ directories I submitted the site to, only 1 appears in the top 25 referring sites. It’s called Free Website Directory so if you’ve looking to gain one extra visitor, go submit your site there now 🙂


(click image for full view)

It is absolutley astounding to realise just how ineffective Web Directories are in terms of driving traffic to your site. Fortunatley all the directories I submitted to were free. Needless to say that there’s no point paying for directory links. Perhaps the only thing a directory is good for at the present time, and probably the only reason why people submit to directories, is building backlinks for a stronger page rank.

My advice to anyone launching a new arcade website and looking for zero-cost ways of increasing traffic is not to waste time with directory submissions. Seek alternative routes.

Weblink Directory Alternatives

  • Set up a WordPress blog and tie it in with your arcade ‘brand’ like I’ve tried to do with this one.
  • keep that brand moving round the web and make it appear on busy sites such as game forums and other larger gaming sites by using your brand image in your signature.
  • Post new arcade entries to microblogging services such as twitter and pownce and make sure you activate the links back to your arcade;
  • use a free screen capture service such as Jing and make a screencast of a really hot flash game, insert your own music, branding etc then launch it on youtube, revver, daily motion etc with links back to your site.
  • Don’t buy a typical arcade script to build your arcade, try using a WordPress theme that supports flash embed such as this one for example. WordPress will give you much better SEO capabilities and an all round better coding experience.
  • Above all, be original, take risks and don’t follow the herd. As you’ve seen here, it doesn’t pay off!

Visit FingerMonkey.net for some free flash gamer madness!

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2 responses

20 04 2008
Buy To Let on The Finance World For News and Information Around The World On Finance » Blog Archive » The Link Experiment (Part 3)

[…] The Link Experiment (Part 3) Thanks for your patience. Let me start with the good news. … Don’t buy a typical arcade script to build your arcade, try using a WordPress theme […]

23 09 2008
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Hi, I thought it was common knowledge that you don’t submit to web directories for traffic.

The only traffic on most of them is people looking to submit a site – if you were looking for a plumber or ipod would you search a web directory??

Of course not, but some do rank for a range of keywords and therefore have more of a range of traffic. But I reckon the vast majority are aimed squarely at SEO’s and webmasters.. (the only people likely to submit – although less likely to click an ad!)

Anyway, interesting work – I’m not criticising. Although I did wonder how much indirect benefit there was, i.e. you got only 1 visit from the dirs, but did your rankings or overall traffic improve following the dir submissions??

Crap directories can still have a place in a balanced portfolio (imo), but better to focus on those with some pagerank/age/backlink/trust. And if you can get a listing on a page which matches your target phrase, or if the whole site is dedicated to your niche – even better.

In the uk at least, many of the top level dirs (which rank well for consumer/joe public searches) don’t offer direct (dofollow) links – so they may be ok for traffic but they won’t help you rank or raise pagerank. And some charge an arm and a leg!

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