Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A little about Linkreferral.com

A blog for Linkreferral.com has been long overdue, I've just been so busy with everything, it's always been on the backburner, which I hope to change now. Along with what's new, and current topics regarding the site, I'll also attempt to touch on other general topics around the internet.

So a little history.... Linkreferral.com (actually the first year under a different domain name) went online originally in 2000, with the one basic component of referral traffic, and has expanded over the years to include a peer review directory, active forums and several other components. It first started when in '99, I was looking for traffic for my own little web development business, I came across a crappy little multi-level advertising page, whereby signing up and referring others would create this cascade of traffic. It didn't work of course, but it intrigued me as to the fact that I signed up for it. I figured if it were presented better, there may be promise. And so after some work, the site with the referral component was launched, with mixed success, as getting people to sign up was not an issue, but to sell a high enough percentage of them on doing the upfront work to gain referrals was a difficult proposition, although some individuals in the know do very well in this regard. Additionally, no one had a reason to come back - hard to build a following without that. And so it was necessary to add the additional component of the 'directory' to balance the referral component with something that would produce more conservative, but predictable and immediate results. In order to get people to keep coming back, it seemed to make sense to get them to earn a high ranking by visiting other sites which would in turn fuel others to do the same. It was a big success, and funny enough, although the concept of this 'directory traffic' component is similar to 'traffic exchanges' (although every will agreed it's much more targeted, transparent and user-friendly) I never knew about them until after the fact and I'm not even sure they were around when I first came up with this. later, A 'review' link was added, but there was rampant spamming abuse and little participation, and so it was revamped to be included 'for ranking credit'. This helped, although the quality of the average review was still poor and so a 'quality' grade was included as well. A similar story with the addition of the linkreferral forums a few years ago, as initially it was unmoderated and a spam haven. It was revamped to be included as 'for ranking credit', moderated, and now one of the most valuable parts of the linkreferral program.

Many pieces have been added, the latest has been the much requested 'search tool' to find sites within our database by keyphrase. If you don't know what I'm talking about, log in, hit the 'directory traffic' tab, then looking underneath the listed categories. The reason this was so long in coming was due to concern over cannibalizing the nature of how earning credit within the directory works, however the search results have been set up as such that the integrity of the credit system should be kept safe.

Linkreferral.com is a small site no longer, and now runs on two, well tuned dual xeon servers, serving over 20 million pages and 5 million visitors per month (although one of our 3rd party tracking services puts us at 4.5 million pages and 2.5 millions visitors per month) the discrepancy would make for a good separate post. Also, we see over 200 new accounts registered per day.

Linkreferral.com's Alexa rank is currently 3,655 (meaning we are the 3,655 most trafficked site in the world, out of 20+ million ) We've doubled in the past year, and 10-fold in the past 3. We're looking forward to being an established and household web presence in the next couple of years that will have an impact on how the average user finds new sites, and gets exposure for their own online endeavour.