I have a couple of websites that are current, One of them – dpii-Digital Photography & Imaging International (www.digitalphoto.com.nf) – has been on the web since late 1996. It was in Alexa’s top 1 million at one time (when Alexa indexed far fewer than the 30 million sites it claims now) and now languishes at 11,115,696 in world rankings, although it is in third place in Norfolk Island (that’s the nf bit).
dpii is a photography magazine that, originally, I posted a completely new version of every month and I worried about key words, links, meta tags and all the rest. Almost to the point of being beyond good sense. At the time I was still running a public relations consultancy and dpii was an extra activity.
To juggle the two I went online at 6am and closed down at about 11pm. The result was a heart attack, collapsed lung, bleeding kidney and pneumonia. There’s nothing like being on one’s back connected to drips and things that beep, to put things into perspective.
Thats’s why dpii is now a hobby site that I work on when the fit takes me, and as I’m not trying to earn money from it I don’t get the guilts. None of which is what I wanted to talk about, but on checking Alexa out of curiosity today, I noted that the site still has 119 active links to other sites – there were more in the past, but some have obviously been removed and some sites have simply ceased to exist.
I have never actively sought out reciprocal links, and even now seldom reply to requests to link as I have alway been suspicious of the claims made over the importance of links. Especially, as some time ago I discovered a link that was giving me a lot of traffic was linked to a porn site, which had the message “If you don’t want to enter this adults only site please click here to be taken to a very boring site” and the link was to dpii.
For the first time I went through the links one by one to see what the sites were like. Two points were immediately apparent – good design is not a necessary for lots of traffic and that a low link count wasn’t a real impediment to lots of traffic.
The initial impression was what an eclectic mix of sites. I was prepared for photography sites, educational institutions and those of search engines, but the personal site of a family? Or of a society raising funds for multiple sclerosis?
I don’t know whether or no I gained any benefit from any of these links but I feel a little guilty now, that I didn’t follow up on them. So I think I’ll add a “Thank you for the link” panel on dpii over the coming months as a sort of belated acknowledgement of their efforts.