Are links, as we know them in online and affiliate marketing, done for?
In order to answer this question, I’ve narrowed the discussion down to three areas: Leverage, Authority and Long Term Encouragements. Certainly, there are other areas and in the editing process of this post I cut a few of these out and merged them with the three categories above.
However, as online marketing continues to mature, we have to confront this question about the long term establishment of links as the primary tool for connecting advertiser to publisher or merchant to affiliate or network to partner because links, by their nature, do not offer enough flexibility and data gathering for developing trends (RSS, social web adoption, social networking, more intelligent web users, uses of the internet outside of World Wide Web).
Should you ditch the entire concept of linking in order to be progressive? No.
Am I advocating the complete replacement of links with something that can accommodate for attention data? No.
However, online (especially the affiliate) marketing should realize the importance of the need to look beyond the link.
So, here’s your Holiday Homework:
Think about and respond to the notion that links are dead, especially in relevance to affiliate marketing. I’d like to prescribe the areas of Leverage, Authority and Long Term Encouragement as the fields of discussion, but if your point is valid you can certainly travel outside those lines to make your point.
Here are some connections you should consider when thinking about the issue:
-Page Rank Problems (or Alexa)
-Participation from Readers/Audience
-Types of Traffic Delivered (Sustained or “Digg Effect” waves)
-Relevancy for Consumers and Individuals
-Value of “Attention Data”
Leave your comments for quick thoughts, or you can submit a longer piece similar to last week’s homework submissions on CPA Networks and Affiliate Networks. I’ll be posting some of your results next Tuesday after the Holiday and include a link to your blog or company. You can email those in, or if you prefer you can send in a voicemail (828.338.2129) on my Skype line which I’ll publish as a part of the post. The deadline is 3pm
Friday Tuesday Nov 28 (thanks, Jonathan).
I suspect most of you will initially call me an idiot (I’m close) for questioning the present and future leverage and authority of links. However, put some thought into it, be creative and think of how using other means to reach users can enhance your program/network/platform/offer.