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Google Blog Trackback Update

July 17th, 2007 · 6 Comments

It’s been over a week since I posted my tip to increase blog traffic by using trackbacks on official Google blogs so I thought it was about time I shared the results with you. Not only did I drop some links into the original post but I also wrote an article on my cricket blog a couple of days later so that we had two sets of data to look at.

The two sites have a completely different user demographic – one technical and one not – so which one would perform the best? Did the experiment generate a bucket load of traffic or did it fail miserably?

So let’s look at the results from the Not All Pink Links Stinks post. The figures are a wee bit skewed because I was lucky enough to have a couple of posts getting some good traffic via StumbleUpon but, overall, 11.3% of the traffic to this site July 6-15 came via the trackbacks left in the post.

I was expecting that the majority of that traffic would come from the Webmaster Central blog but it didn’t. The best performing trackback was the one to the Google Reader blog which generated two thirds of the traffic.

The traffic that came to the site wasn’t overly sticky either but that was to be expected. I didn’t link out with any specific purpose – I linked for the sake of linking. On average the Google blog traffic viewed 1.3 pages which was well down on the site average of 2.4.

So let’s move onto the post on the cricket site. For this experiment I was very selective in which Google blog I targeted, I chose a headline which I felt would illicit clicks and wrote about a technology subject in a way that I hoped would relate to the target audience. As you can see from the graphic, it worked out pretty well.

The post in question was entitled Google Don’t Give A XXXX which was in response to the story that Big G were opening up in Australia. Why did I think this headline would work? Well not only would the XXXX part stand out from all of the other links but Castlemaine XXXX is a brand of Australian beer. Add into the mix that Australians are mad about their cricket and a quick hover over the link would reveal that the site was cricket related and I was hopeful that it would be a success.

Nearly 70% of the traffic to the cricket site came via the trackback. In fact more people visited the site through this one link than the five links combined on Twenty Steps. In addition they tended to view more pages (2.1 compared to site average of 1.8) so the lessons learned from this experiment:

  • Linking back to official Google blogs does work
  • Make your headline stand out from the crowd
  • Research your target audience
  • Write an article that relates to them

Another interesting result of the experiment was that the Alexa rank of the cricket blog improved by nearly 100,000 in the last week as a result of the trackback so making it more attractive to potential advertisers (see previous post about using your Alexa rank to make money online).

My thoughts are that this isn’t a method that you should rely on exclusively or, more importantly, that you should consider spamming in the hope of getting a few extra dollars of AdSense revenue. Let’s face it, if you get on the wrong side of the Big G, you’re looking at a pretty bleak future online! However if you keep abreast of the latest Google blogs, write an article which fits the target audience and adds value to their browsing experience then I think that this is a pretty good way of boosting your blog traffic.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried this approach in the past and got some success stories to share? Got any tips or advice on how to leverage the power of the Big G?

Tags: Blogging

6 responses so far ↓

  • Blog Bloke // Jul 24, 2007 at 3:31 am

    What’s a google? Just wondering. Sorry, once a smartass always a…

    YES, I have had great results from linking to Google Blogs. And who needs trackback when you have Google’s auto backlink technology. Free traffic doesn’t get any easier than that.

    Great stuff.


  • Mike // Jul 27, 2007 at 12:43 am

    Any tips you’d like to share with the Twenty Steps readership, BB?

  • WordPress Guru Advice // Jul 30, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    It really makes me wonder why are you sometimes distracted when you have the ability to produce gems like this. There are posts from you like Get on Front Page – Gaurentee .. and then you wrote this gem.

    Please Keep your focus on the ones everybody loves, like this great tip.


  • Mike // Jul 30, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Distracted? Me? Surely not…..

    I hear what you’re saying and I’ll try to keep on discovering these little tips and snippets.

  • Tudor // Dec 27, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    As a reader after I read an article, if it was really interesting I read to the comments too (lets say less then 10-20% of the time). I see some trackbacks usually with articles related to what I’ve just read or simply a rephrasing of it. Trackbacks usualy contain so little further information that I’m better of googleing the subject on my own. I almost never click those links. I admit I did once (only once!) But if it’s traffic that you want I don’t think this is it.

    Your results look promising though so I’ll try. It may turn out I’m actually the only one twisting guy in the universe that has such a mentality 😛

  • Mike // Dec 28, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    It certainly will provide you with a brief spurt of traffic if you write a great headline and if you add value to the reader (i.e. not just recycle the original post) then there’s a chance of picking up more RSS subscribers – folks who might never have discovered your site otherwise.

    The key is a cracking headline – it has to be something that induces you to click on it.