Raffle Links!

August 16, 2007 at 9:05 pm (linking, SEO)

Today I was just messing around, checking out who checking whom out via the MyBlogLog on Syzlak’s SEM Blog when I stumbled upon this cat who may have found a brand-new (though probably short lived) way of getting backlinks. Is it genius? Perhaps, or perhaps it’s only genius to me because I haven’t seen it before and wish I’d thought of it.

Anyways, what if I told you that if you linked to my blog, I’d put a buck in the pot and enter you into a drawing for up to 500 bones. Would you link to my blog? Would you then go out and tell all your friends to link to my blog in the hopes of upping the ante to the $500?

That’s what the guys (or guy? Maybe gal? Hell, who knows. At any rate it’s these people who are putting on the contest) over at SiteFever.com are running a contest that is exactly what I proposed above. You go to the contest page, grab a bit of the link code they have there for you (there’s two versions – good thinking!), drop it in your blog and send them an email telling them what page or post you dropped the code in.

My guess is that after the drawing, the page with the contest details will go away. And hopefully, they’ve got a couple hundred links coming into their site. If I were them, I would have considered dropping that page extension into the robots.txt file they’ve set up just to keep the search engines from finding it. But then again that might’ve looked sketchy whereas making the page available to spiders shows they’re not trying to scam anything. To me, it’s kinda’ like snitching on yourself by leaving such an obvious trail that if they don’t follow it they’re stupid and it’s their own damn faults. Anywho, I digress.

So what kind of link would the search engines consider this to be? If you’re entered into a raffle for linking, is it considered a paid link? And you’re sure as hell guaranteed not to get a reciprocal link, so all the recent grumbling about Google considering reciprocal links as part of a link scheme are somewhat moot. However, while it’s not a reciprocal link, it is a link scheme. And I have a feeling that’s part of the reason this will be fairly short lived. That, and the fact if the contest is only over a short amount of time means there will be an influx of backlinks that would surely set off some sort of warning system. Add to it the value of blog links aren’t that powerful and all the incoming links will be from fairly random sources . . . well, you get the picture. Great idea, I just don’t know if it would help all that much in this context. Perhaps if you were an automotive performance parts website and you offered such a contest to other auto-minded sites and forums and you held that drawing in a year, you might have a positive impact. The links would be much more relevant, it would offer auto enthusiasts a reason to come to your site and by having it over the span of a year they might be added much more regularly.

Want the chance to see if you can win $500? Follow the link to the contest. If you have huevos, aren’t depending on the internet for a living and are interested in seeing if it would work, give it a whirl! Just be prepared for the consequences. 😉



  1. sitefever said,

    Thanks for mentioning our contest in your blog!

    You made some very interesting points regarding link quality, etc. One thing I must say, however, is that you will in fact get a backlink for linking to our site. Just go to the contest page at http://sitefever.com/contests/ and add a comment just like this one giving the URL you added the link to. For whatever reason, most of the blogs are not doing this…

    Anyway, the pot is up to about $120 do far so don’t be bashful! I’m glad you linked to my site because now I found yours! Keep up the good work and the great content.

    – John

  2. mrrex said,

    Heheheh, no problem, John. I think it’s a creative idea and I’d be interested to hear what the results are.

    $120???!?!?!?!? Damn! Not too bad.

    I do see in the comments where you can get a backlink from the comments, but they appear to be a nofollow. From an SEO point of view, it isn’t going to help much and I doubt you’d get much traffic from comments. (Though, Yahoo! does seem to be looking into nofollow links and counting them . . . . )

    So, to clarify, do people who link to the site still get entered if their link is a nofollow as well? It doesn’t say one way or the other in the rules.

    Either way, creative idea! =)

  3. sitefever said,

    Yeah, I guess the comments URL is a nofollow… I’m going to have to research this and see if there would be any reason why I don’t just change these links to not be classified as ‘nofollow”.

    In any event, however you want to link to the contest is fine, you would still be entered of course.

    – John

  4. MrRex said,

    Honestly, I don’t think the reciprocal link is necessary. The benefit to the linker is the chance to win up to $500. Again, which is the genius part of what you’re doing. I’d be interested to see what the long term gains or losses are in this – are you planning on doing a follow-up or case study?

  5. sitefever said,


    Yes, I would like to do a follow-up, but it is going to be somewhat difficult as many of the people who are linking to me are not reporting whether or not its for the contest, so I don’t know if they’re linking to me to just link to me or if its for the contest.

    In follow-up of our previous discussion, I have removed the “nofollow” attribute from all comments & pingbacks on SiteFever.com! I’ll be writing a post about it later today or tomorrow…

    – John

  6. fred333 said,

    Sounds like a great contest.

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