Sunday, April 5, 2009

Top Sites Lists: Heart or Hate??

Top sites lists. We have a love/hate relationship.

While doing the webmastering for Boutique Baby Toddler & Little Girls' Clothes by Pixyworld, I have joined quite a few of them. They are, of course, a free inbound link to my site. Hopefully they are also a little bit of advertising, allowing visitors to see a banner and description of my site.

But here's the catch: My theory is that you pretty much have to be on page one for your link to be found by google; also, you have to be on page one for your ad to get decent visibility.

The top site list moderator is usually more than happy to offer you a paid spot on page one. But if you are doing your business on a shoestring, as many of us are nowadays, you are depending on the free spots.

Many of the lists are ranked by "votes," (clicks to the list from your site.) This is to the advantage of the top sites list moderator, who likes to rack up traffic stats in order to sell more paid ads. But you feel a little silly "voting" for yourself once a day just to keep your spot on page one.

The other way sites are ranked, occasionally, is by traffic. They have a nifty traffic counter you put on all pages of your site (which, incidentally, gives the top site list hundreds of inbound links rather than just one,) and your site goes up and down in the rankings all day long, based on your site traffic.

Now, this type of top sites list I find irresistibly interesting. I have to confess to checking Top Baby Boutiques several times a day to see how my traffic stacks up. And that means -- you guessed it -- more traffic for Top Baby Boutiques!

Well, they are a clever idea. It can't be denied. And who am I to knock them, when they are undeniably helping me too?

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