The end of the road for "link back" subscriptions? Google's money grabbing knows no bounds, so webmasters need to stick together and fight the monster that it has become.
I want to introduce a new abbreviation and phrase into the SEO's lexicon: CTBLs - Cloaked Traffic Back Links. It is is an extension of the term BLs (Backlinks) - this is commonly used shorthand; check out Webmasterworld or any other SEO forum for lots of examples of BL in-use.
I'm doing it as a pre-emptive strike. Now that Google is advising webmasters NOT to create and distribute useful widgets for whatever service they provide and include a backlink, it is only a matter of time before Google decides that any "link back" subscription is "against the rules".
This is the same Google that monetised the hyperlink, sold out, became evil, made billions and is now wasting billions of hours of people's time as they have to scroll past adverts or watch video advertising. Google have disavowed their past and are trying to pull the ladder up behind them as their shareholders demand ever-increasing profits.
I'm an old master of the "link back" subscription model - in 2003 I started using it on my site http://www.bedandbreakfasts.co.uk - it's called the Free for Life scheme and it still running on there today. The site is number one on Google UK for the main keywords. The site offers Bed and Breakfast owners a completely free listing forever if they maintain the link.
This created what I call the "circle of love": Bed and Breakfast owners get on for free, Google sees all the relevant backlinks, we come top of Google for the relevant terms, and we make money from big-chain hotels who we could never get to talk to by using normal affiliate marketing links via people like Booking.com, Laterooms.com and others.
Will it stay number 1 there if my crystal ball gazing is correct? Who knows if Google will clobber the model. Their past history suggests they want us to play the game by their rules, not ours.
I'm not waiting around to find out.
For a new site of mine called 301redirect.website, which is a smart way for webmasters to migrate a complex website to a new host, I'm introducing CTBLs. I just want help in promoting my site, if the traffic is hidden from Google, so much the better.
So CTBLs can be links from private posts in Facebook or from logged in areas on a website that Google can't see, they can be emailed to people as recommendations in newsletters or even word-of-mouth discussions between people.
Cloaked Traffic Back Links - your new friend in online promotion.If you are a webmaster and have some clients who want to 301 redirect some site to another - you will have lots I'm sure - and don't mind bartering with me some traffic for the service, come along to https://301redirect.website and check out what it can do.