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

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.

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