Linktive tries to end the SEO gaming with a social network for site links

Next Story

Robo-fish swims like a real fish, tastes considerably worse than real fish when fried

It almost seems quaintly anachronistic, but Linktive is a self-funded startup today launching a public beta of its ‘social network of site owners’ who want to promote their sites. There are, as you’d gather, a few of those, but the idea with Linktive is to create a quality network of links between sites by giving them an easy-to-use online management application with lots of controls and in-built trust. There will be low cost premium services on top of the free service. Competitors range from traditional link networks to ppc networks. One that is close is Spottt.

So how is this not some kind of spammy SEO gaming platform? Well, Linktive says it’s an “intelligent link building network”. As always though, Linktive’s challenge is to get traction. And I’m worried for them that they won’t be able to stop the spammers who flood the system. But I can see how this could well have value.

The days of asking a site to link to you politely are long gone. I get countless requests to do so on my personal blog and they are almost always just spammers. What would be helpful would be a way to do this with with trusted sites and then measure the value, in a spam free environment amongst a network of blogs which are peers. If there’s no value then at least you’re in the know and can negotiate or just sever the ties. Obviously the end result might be better page rank and SEO for the sites done on a real basis not a spammy one.

Andy Clark Co-Founder Linktive says site owners get to authorise and approve all links in the same way you authorise friends on Linkedin or Facebook. The focus is on a quality network or neighborhood of sites rather than mass linking. Plus, there are restrictions on the amount of links the system will place on a page, it won’t allow the creation of link loops and it gives site owners the opportunity to monitor links to weed out spam. A link rating system has been built in to the service which will allow for the community to self police the network against attacks by spammers. They’ve also tried to work within the Google link-buidling guidelines to make sure the service does not go against these.

I think there really is something to this. There has been a lot of chatter recently about how people should start to go back to Blogs as a ‘social network’ which users can themselves control – outside of the Facebook and Twitter platforms over which no-one has control. Of course, this is fanciful for the mass of society that will never build a blog, but it does appeal to those who have.

Invite codes for Techcrunch users can use “techcrunch” on sign up here.

The startup is also looking for a first round round of funding.

  • http://www.voipuser.org Dean

    These kind of reciprocal linking schemes fail because by design they are intended to falsely boost sites in SE results pages. Google are far too intelligent now at dealing with this stuff. 3 or 4 years ago it might have worked, but now as soon as it reaches critical mass and is then worth anything, Google will clamp down on it.

    You can see their view on this here:-

    http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66356

    See in particular point #3:-

    “Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging (“Link to me and I’ll link to you.”)”

    Which is against their Terms of Service and can actually negatively impact SE rankings.

    Best to do it the real way still – build good quality content and do a good job of your site.

    • http://www.linktive.com Andy Clark

      Hi Dean

      Thanks for the comment. We have like you read the guidelines that google stipulates and in turn have developed this system which yes offers to opportunity for reciprocal links from a site back to another, it also goes a step further and bans links from one url out to another url and then back to the same url.

      We also pride ourselves on having built a service we feel will be strong enough to hold up to the spammers which will develop a safe neighborhood for site owners.

      Within Linktive you are not trading page rank it is up to the other users to personally approve your site nothing in this process is automated. Site quality and content is just as valuable in the Linktive system as they are anywhere else.

      We do now and will continue to in the future work with search engines to make sure the service doesn’t game any algorithms or create unnecessary spam.

      Thanks for your comment

      Regards
      Andy Clark

      • http://esseoo.com Phill Midwinter

        Hi Andy,

        As Dean’s pointed out I don’t believe Google’s going to be happy with this system. You say that it’s not trading PageRank – but a reciprocal link does exactly that? I don’t understand exactly why you think this doesn’t contravene Google’s guidelines.

        Cheers,

        Phill Midwinter

      • http://www.linktive.com Andy Clark

        Hi Phil

        Yes this is correct first I should clarify Linktive does not trade on pagerank it is not a defining element within our system. With that in mind we have no intention to intentionally to manipulate PageRank.

        On the matter of buying and selling links we don’t charge for links we charge for the use of monitoring software.

        We by no means have all the answers but are building a service we feel will benefit site owners.
        Any feedback is more than welcome.

        Regards
        Andy Clark

      • http://www.voipuser.org Dean

        Andy,

        Thanks for taking the time to reply. Good to see you’re an engaging company. Don’t get me wrong, I wish your company success, I just feel that users may end up actually doing more harm than good with this type of reciprocal linking program.

        I accept that you’re not trading page rank, and from your perspective you’re inside the guidelines.

        However, this is googles problem, not your problem. They’re looking to produce “fair” and good quality results in their search results and of course everyone knows that link structure on the web is a large element of their algorithm and always has been since the start.

        If Linktive is a success and reaches critical mass, the impact on that natural link structure is affecting in a way that forces Google to change the way that they rank pages. The net result, and the reason why companies have failed previously in this space, is Google have no option but to ignore links that are aggregated through your system.

        Going a step further, if Google disagree with you and feel that actually sites using your service are in breach of that clause #3, those sites could experience a loss of traffic from traditional means like search.

        That’s where the danger lies for the website owner.

        If you are in any way concerned that may happen, and you truly are not seeking to influence search traffic in any way, then you have the Google supported option of using the rel=nofollow HTML tag in the links to specifically state to Google that you do not want it to pay any attention to the links.

        Then you’re truly into the space of traffic sharing rather than SE manipulation.

        Dean

      • http://www.linktive.com Andy Clark

        Hi Dean

        Thanks again and I fully understand your concerns.

        These are the most important issues to us above all. I know there is a fine line and I am happy to continue the discussions with all the major search engines. These guidelines were setup to guard the search engines and (it is said) users from spam or bad link neighborhoods that are only out to game search engines. This is understandable and has been respected in developing our technology.

        We believe we offer a service that allows site owners who are interested in building a link network for their site to meet with other site owners wishing to do the same. None of the process is automated, human interaction is still involved in making decisions.
        This is when the site quality and content comes into play. If a user is not happy with site quality or content the user has the right to deny the link.

        I feel we are a step that is enhancing the natural linking building process by offering the opportunity for people to create relevant links and good link neighborhoods around their sites.

        Because of the need for site owners to authorise the links created I don’t feel they need to be devalued in a SEO sense by having a rel=nofollow tag applied to them. The links are also not purchased.

        We will continue to work hard to make sure that no harm will come to our users in regards to banning or negative marks from search engines.

        Regards
        Andy Clark

  • http://www.pluginseo.com Dan

    Interesting idea. Building a link exchange network of sites who all want to exchange relevant links is vastly better than unsolicited spamming.

    However, “The days of asking a site to link to you politely are long gone” is not my experience. Where two businesses can link for mutual benefit it happens frequently.

    In this situation a handwritten piece of content detailing the others’ service is much more effective for SEO and visitor conversion than an adsense-like panel slotted into a page.

    Yes, it takes more effort, but bulk link exchanges are a grey area in Google’s treatment. Most likely is that negligable SEO significant benefit is achieved- but Linktive could be a good quality traffic generator. Certainly not a bad thing at all.

    • http://www.hendersonkena.com RJ

      “However, “The days of asking a site to link to you politely are long gone” is not my experience. Where two businesses can link for mutual benefit it happens frequently.”

      This has not worked as a means of boosting Search ranking for a couple of years. The reason it still goes on is down, I would presume, to website users not being aware of reported updates to the Google algorithm.

      Google realised that sites were ‘gaming’ the system in this way and therefore amended their algorithm so that reciprocal links would cancel each other out. There are other factors such as a sites ‘value’ e.g. if the BBC links to you and you link back, you should still get the kudos since the BBC website carries more value in Googlebot’s eyes.

      • http://www.pluginseo.com Dan

        Where site A has a product which site B’s customers are interested in (and maybe vice versa) the link takes place with a business motivation.

        The point I’m making is that link building should be done primarily with visitors and business in mind and SEO second.

        You’re correct that data suggests the direct SEO benefit from a reciprocal link is less than a one-way link, but that’s still no reason not to do it if you’re giving your visitors what they’re looking for.

        SEO follows when you demonstrate relevency. A link should always be surounded by original, good quality, relevant content and not as an afterthought.

  • Samuel Ryan

    Hi guys I’ve mad a crap website and instead of making something good and getting it legitimately to the top of google for whatever keywords are relevant I’m going to post it on some shit website and do link exchange to make it popular!

    yeah!

  • http://www.digitalmediabuzz.com/2009/08/linktive-tries-to-end-the-seo-gaming-with-a-social-network-for-site-links/ Digital Media Buzz - Linktive tries to end the SEO gaming with a social network for site links | Digital Media Buzz

    […] It almost seems quaintly anachronistic, but Linktive is a self-funded startup today launching a public beta of its ’social network of site owners’ who want to promote their sites. There are, as you’d gather, a few of those, but the idea with Linktive is to create a quality network of links between sites by giving them an easy-to-use online management application with lots of controls and in-built trust. There will be low cost premium services on top of the free service. Competitors range from traditional link networks to ppc networks. One that is close is Spottt……….[read entire story] […]

  • Anthony Oduu

    I think this is a great idea provided a very effective policing is put in place in order to weed out those spams and other unwarranted links.

    Otherwise this could be another good idea that doesn’t work.

  • http://blog.live-point.net/?p=1489 Live-Point Official Blog » Blog Archive » Linktive tries to end the SEO gaming with a social network for …

    […] See the rest here: Linktive tries to end the SEO gaming with a social network for … […]

  • http://jsmag.com/latest Michael Kimsal

    I’m probably *way* too naive about this stuff. I presume that sometimes, every now and then, people link to each other because they actually *like* some of the content on the other site, or because they think their visitors will find something on the other site useful.

    I realize this might be a radical or new concept to some, but not every single instance of people linking to each other has to concern itself with Google.

    Considering Google for a moment, perhaps a system like linktive could potentially be a source of good information *to* Google if the quality of the links it helps foster are proven to be of a certain quality.

  • http:www.software-m.com hover

    Good! Thank you very much.

  • http://www.thekettletheory.com Kun

    I work in the SEO industry and I’ve signed up to Linktive to put it through the paces and poke around a little.

    However, the experience has been less then impressive, with very slow operation and clear information about how to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

    I can see how getting links from quality and relevant websites can help with your SEO, but what I can’t see is where you draw the line between spam and quality site. And as far as I can make out, the relevancy of a website is solely determined by the tags and description your profile!

    To me, this site is no different from another web directory, with their only USP being the availability of site owner contact info. Not really a great selling point as most webmasters hate “link to me” emails.

    A one stop shop of link building will never work unless the focus is sharing content (hence social networks). However, Linktive just comes across to me as another “link to me” request site that will at best be used by spammers.

    • http://www.linktive.com Andy Clark

      Hi Kun

      Thank you for your feedback we take note on the slow server issue right now.

      I understand the issue of finding the wheat from chaff. Yes currently each your links (content pages) has a profile, this is matched up against similar profiles. This does take a degree of honesty to the person entering the profile. Our two security measures are human monitoring of what is entered and then a soon to be released ability for users to rate the links they encounter.

      I think the line is drawn between spam and a quality site in Linktive the same as a site determined to be spam or quality anywhere else. We give you option to go and view the site and make sure it is up to the grade of a site you feel is on your level.

      I beg to differ on our on UPS being the availability of other site owners contact info. And would interested in where you found any other users contact info? That aside I believe our UPS is the ability for site owners to maintain and monitor the links they create.

      While putting the service through it’s paces I would be interested in what you thought of the ability to accept and deny links?

      We agree that content is king and like all services they must start somewhere future updates will push past the point of a simple text link.

      Regards
      Andy Clark

      • http://www.thekettletheory.com Kun

        Hi Andy

        Thanks for your reply, I’ve had a chance now to use your service for a little longer to give a more rounded opinion.

        My biggest concern is still the honesty of your webmasters. Other then community feedback, there is very little filter for spam. Once your site becomes very successful, I can see hundreds of link requests in everyone’s link request inbox, do you expect me to review each site individually to assess it’s relevancy and quality?

        I understand I can deny links but what if I overwhelmed by 100 websites all seeking my attention?

        That said, what are your plans on promoting content past a simple text link?

        Regards
        -Kun

  • http://newsunnetworks.com/wpmu/blog/linktive-tries-to-end-the-seo-gaming-with-a-social-network-for/4856 NewSunNetworks — Blog — Linktive tries to end the SEO gaming with a social network for ...

    […] more here: Linktive tries to end the SEO gaming with a social network for …  SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Linktive tries to end the SEO gaming with a social network for […]

  • http://www.killerstartups.com/Web20/linktive-com-create-a-link-building-network KillerStartups.com - Linktive.com - Create A Link Building Network

    Linktive.com – Create A Link Building Network…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brad_Redding/503355622 Brad Redding

    Hmmm, sounds interesting to see where this goes. I couldn’t agree more on the spammy link requests, are they all located in Scottsdale, AZ???!

  • http://searchengineland.com/my-favorite-link-building-lie-24493 My Favorite Link Building Lie

    […] forums, comments, etc., and you’ll find a reasonable and well-meaning  post, something like this beauty I read over at the UK version of TechCrunch. “The days of asking a site to link to you […]

  • Megan

    I think what some fail to realize is that the core benefits of services such as this is in the user interface. “spam free, topically related site recommendaitons, et. el .. that all seems like a false pretense to what really is an organization feature in a pretty interface. Which is great. But there’s no direct imapact on SEO unless you get the right links (high quality/authority, not just topic relationship) pointing to the right pages. I mean, no one needs help finding sites to link to. :) That’s silly. Search your target key phrase in Google to find link worthy sites. Explore your competitor’s back links using advanced search operators. Keep track of inbound links using Google docs, if you like. I guess I just don’t see the value beyond that which is already/readily accessible for free.

  • http://www.blogstorm.co.uk/linktive/ Linktive intelligent link building network

    […] Patrick Altoft on August 26, 2009 Techcrunch is reporting about a new service called Linktive which is “a fast, simple way to grow your business by […]

  • SEOjeff

    Google cautions against reciprocal link farms, but people still do it and it works…unfortunately. Until Google actually penalizes sites for doing this, it will continue. So much for the creating great content and the links will find you bs.

  • http://keywordperformance.com/seo-blog/?p=167 Using Linktive for Link Building | Keyword Performance SEO Blog, Internet Marketing Information for Search Engine Optimization

    […] or LinkedIn? A recent editorial by Mike Butcher for TechCrunch discusses the pros and cons of a website for link builders called Linktive. Not to be confused with LinkedIn for employment networking, Linktive is a social networking […]

  • http://www.faststreamofmoney.com/blog/2009/09/09/linktive-intelligent-link-building-network-20/ Linktive intelligent link building network | Reviews, Reviews And More Reviews...

    […] is reporting about a new service called Linktive which is “a fast, simple way to grow your business by […]

  • Alex

    I’m using this service to monitor my website’s position – http://monitor.mazecore.com . They provide rank and uptime monitoring with alerts, but position monitoring on free account is enough for me. I recommend this service with free tariff for your website.

  • http://mvolve.com Dominic

    So I tried to register today for our site and unfortuantely I have been unable to activate my account. Is the site still be operated?

  • http://mvolve.com Dominic

    So I tried to register today for our mobile industry site and unfortuantely I have been unable to activate my account. Is the service still operational?

    • http://www.linktive.com Andy Clark

      Hi Dominic

      Yes we are still operational more than ever you could say.
      If you are able to contact us at support@linktive.com we will be more than happy to help you through the sign up process.

      Regards
      Andy

  • http://3dwebdesign.org/ Web Design Seo

    You think that this is correct: SEO gaming with a social network? I no.

blog comments powered by Disqus