How Big Brands Funnel Traffic Without Google

Getting traffic to your blog without Google is not an easy task. To do that you will need some kind of budget to advertise or become a social media superstar.

I showed you before how you can drive cheap quality traffic to your blog using content suggestion engines, but that method is paid and it doesn’t work for sites in certain niches. To make that method work you really need to structure your site so that you can write on almost any topic.

There is a way to get free traffic though if you already have an existing site that gets decent amount of page views and I imagine it would work for any blog in any niche.

I have learned this method by watching big brands and some of the most popular blogs. They keep funneling traffic among themselves for free (sometimes it’s a paid deal) believe it or not.

The concept is actually quite simple. You basically need to create a group of partners in your niche and then display each other’s feed on every page or post of each site in that group. Sounds blackhat doesn’t it? It sort of is what I am against…and that is “you scratch my back and I scratch yours” idea, but it freaking works like crazy for all these giant sites.

Ok, so let me show you what I mean first.

For example, I went to FoxNews.com and browsed to their food category. In one of their articles I found a widget at the end that displayed latest posts from other sites.

It looked like this:

Fox does it with different sites in different categories. I would imagine some of that is paid but there is no reason for us to not be able to borrow that technique and funnel traffic between each other for free.

Then I went to Adage.com and found a similar widget with links to their partners that looked like this:

The funny thing about Adage partner links is that when I viewed the source I discovered that they were all dofollow links! So not only they drive traffic to each other but also boost their search engine rankings.

The other ones on FoxNews were nofollow but still even nofollow links do in fact help in serps.

Anyway, then I decided to visit HuffingtonPost.com and in their “Celebrities” section I found a post with links to so called partners as well 🙂

It looked like this:

They were also dofollow links so that’s cool lol

So I just kept browsing all the big sites and visited People.com where I found the same thing happening.

People.com is actually displaying them through an iframe but the links were dofollow on that page too.

I know that AOL owns a lot of these properties but still. They just funnel traffic from one site to another through simple nicely customized RSS feeds.

You or me wouldn’t be able to get away with dofollow links but I think it’s a killer strategy to strengthen your position in the marketplace.

Think about it…If you reached out to let’s say 4 of your competitors and convinced them to join your “partners group” where you would just funnel traffic between each other you could not only drive a lot of traffic for free but also increase your search engine rankings…even if the links were nofollowed.

This is how these guys rank immediately on top for many different keywords as soon as they publish a post or a news story.

For example, I could try to get other affiliate blogs to join my partner group and then just create a custom widget that would display each partner’s logo with their latest post below it.

The thing is that it won’t work unless you already get some decent traffic because otherwise there wouldn’t be any incentive for someone to join you as partner (or your syndicate haha).

But if you got a site or blog that gets at least 500-1000 visitors per day you could try to form an alliance with other sites in your niche with the same traffic volume and increase your reach by quite a bit.

The problem is that a lot of bloggers are closed minded and they wouldn’t see the power of it. They are also very opinionated so if they don’t like what you write about they sure won’t send you traffic for free. Another obstacle is that small publishers probably wouldn’t understand the concept of sending free traffic to their competitors no matter how hard you tried to convince them it’s good for business.

I guess that’s why big brands dominate while we slowly get squeezed out.

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6 thoughts on “How Big Brands Funnel Traffic Without Google

  1. Hi Pawel, Just found your blog a few days ago and you are in my news feed because I actually love your writing style and your awesome ideas. anyway, i think you are right – this is an awesome opportunity for many bloggers the thing is just how to convince others to do it. I’ve also implemented outbrain and looking forward to the results but i didn’t get approved yesterday (after setting up on sunday) so I wait patiently. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for stopping by. Yep, trying to convince others in your marketplace won’t be easy. Most bloggers work in a very closed environment.

  3. A seriously interesting post Pawel, I am fortunate as I know a group of bloggers that are not closed minded, not sure if we are the exception to the rule.

  4. “if you built a network of people who you know always offer good content then you are not necessarily ‘back scratching’ for the sake of it.” – I agree to some extent. I can see how it could help users discover content they otherwise wouldn’t in Google search.

  5. Interesting post however I believe that nofollow will not increase your SERP ranking and will not help a website from an SEO prospective. The reason I say this is because of the information available from Google as well as other websites such as Search Engine Land.

  6. Nofollow links might not have a direct impact on your rankings but I would think they still count towards your brand signals in some way which does influence your saturation in the serps…especially if those links are actually driving traffic and are on a trusted authority domain.

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