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Wow – 25,000 Surprise Backlinks

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This is something everyone can do. Yes, even you. However, the precise mechanics of it are available to you only if your website:

1) Is Canadian.
2) Features informational content, such as a blog, a photo gallery or an articles directoryThis being an SEO-related article, I assume you already know that “content is king”.

The first webmaster to notice 15,000 new backlinks from one domain was puzzled. He had only submitted two of his blog posts to the site.

The second webmaster described a “sudden increase of inbound backlinks – 25,000 brand new ones” – and all from the same domain. The support team at his stats tracker confirmed that the stats were correct (sound of scratching head).

So what gives? The site – or should I say “the domain” (I’ll explain the distinction shortly) – is Canadian news site, Zoomit.ca, a social bookmarking website just for Canadian news, blogs, articles, etc. If you are familiar with Digg and Reddit, you will understand how Zoomit works.

So the question you might want to know is how this might happen (and maybe how you could make it happen to you).

The answer is simple enough. Go right now to Zoomit.ca and look down the right side. There is a “Top Domains” list similar to the “Top Commentors” lists you’ll find on some blogs. That list appears on every page of the website.

But how did those domains get there? Did Peter Pan bring them magically from Never Never Land? NO, nothing that spectacular.

They submitted their blog posts to Zoomit

They did a little bit of networking (voting for/commenting on other people’s submissions).

They were surprised.

Because both webmasters submitted good quality content and supported the good quality content of others, other folks also voted for their submissions – enough to be voted “popular” and published to the home page.

And after getting on the home page a couple times, their domains became two of the “top domains”. And – Presto! – 25,000 extra backlinks.

The next question (so many questions!) is “What are these links worth, SEO-wise?” Are sitewide links worth anything? Or are these mostly worthless? This makes a great case study to separate fact from fiction. here are four things to consider…

First, 25,000 links from one domain are better than 24,000 links from one domain. And both are better than a single link from that domain. Yes, every link counts.

Second, 25,000 links from one domain are nowhere near as useful as 25,000 links from 25,000 domains. Link diversity does count for both Google and Bing.

Third, a sitewide link includes that very valuable link on the home page, a valuable placement in anybody’s book

Fourth, check out the Zoomit Canada architecture. Each province and each news channel has its own subdomain Subdomains are generally treated by the search engines as separate websites. In all, this website – oops, sorry… I mean this “domain” – includes 13 province subdomains, 21 channel subdomains, plus the main domain. That adds up to 35 home page links by being a “top domain” on Zoomit Canada.

Given the effort in building quality links, and the unlikelihood of ever being surprised by 250,000 new links from 25,000 different websites – and possibly not even from 2,500 domains, the effort to get those 25,000 links from one strong domain is worthwhile. Lucky Canadian webmasters who benefit.

If you don’t blog Canadian content, don’t worry. Social bookmarking and other social sharing is a great strategy, and every great piece of content (quality stuff, not $25 articles written offshore by someone who knows about as much of your topic as my neighbour’s cat and writes in something that almost exactly fails to resemble English) you create and promote creates links back to your website.

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