Link Trains: Are There Any Real Benefits?

Link Trains: Are There Any Real Benefits?

Over the past month, the Technorati-Fave and MyBlogLog Link Trains have taken the blogosphere by storm. I was amazed to see how far these trains stretched and ultimately, how many people participated in them. A lot of people have been questioning the real benefit to these link trains and if any of the original sites in the link train are seeing any legitimate traffic increases.

The Technorati-Fave Link Train

Gary Lee was inspired to start the Technorati-Fave Link Train by Maki’s (Dosh Dosh) successful break into the Top 100 Favorite Blogs on Technorati. Gary Lee reported that he saw his number of favorites increase from 6 to well over 300 within 2 weeks. This was enough to put him at (presently) the 33rd most favorited blog on Technorati. Not a bad increase.

I have seen my blog’s number of favorites go from 10 to 189 in the past 2 weeks. I broke into the Top 100 Favorited blogs a few days ago and presently, I am at #85. According to Gary Lee, 12 of the original 23 blogs on the Technorati-Fave Link Train have cracked into the Technorati Top 100 Favorite Blogs. That is quite impressive.

However, the question still remains, are there any real benefits? Any additional traffic? Of course, all that participated has seen their Technorati rankings skyrocket. Many of the original members of the link train now have well over 300 blogs linking to them.

Aside from the ego benefit of being able to say “my blog is a top 100 favorite blog,” there are not any real traffic benefits. The number of traffic referrals from Technorati have been little, to none. It may be a different case with the top 10 or so favorited blogs, but they receive so much traffic as it is, it probably is still a negligible difference.

The MyBlog Link Train

Shawn Knight started the MyBlogLog Link train a few days ago and it has already taken off with incredible force. This link train seems to have more potential benefits. Of course, the aim is to increase your MyBlogLog community membership, and hopefully, propel a few of the blogs into the Hot Communities page.

I am happy to report that I have seen my commuity membership increase from about 40 to over 130 in the past few days. This was enough to send my blog to the top spot in the Hot Communities page the same day I posted the link train. That sent about 50 new visitors my way, and here is the amazing part – the average pageview per visitor from MyBlogLog was 9.77. That is insane. I saw about 500 extra pageviews that day.

Another great aspect of the MyBlogLog Link Train is that the traffic is often highly targeted, so the visitors will most likely stick around more.

The Real Benefit of Link Trains

Perhaps the real benefit to link trains are not the *amount* of traffic that it could potentially send your blog, but the opportunity to expose your blog to new people in the ‘sphere. Both Gary Lee and I agree – we have discovered some excellent new blogs this way. I also know that many other people have found my blog through one of the trains and I would like to officially welcome my new visitors now.

Only time will tell whether the link trains will have any other benefits, but so far, it looks like the exposure of many new blogs has been worth it.

14 thoughts on “Link Trains: Are There Any Real Benefits?”

  1. Very well said, and I am glad that others are feeling the effects as well. I think the reason the pages per visit increased is simply because these are all new visitors and they are checking out what your blog has to offer. Look for this number to drop slowly over the next few weeks… Or until the next ‘train’ is started heh…

  2. I agree that the Technorati train may not have all that much benefit regarding the favorites themselves but all those links add up to your new shiny PR5 at the end of the day.

  3. I guess the gaining of additional exposure is a good thing, however I disagree with your comment:

    “… the ego benefit of being able to say my blog is a top 100 favorite blog … ”

    The thing is, really it isn’t – people haven’t favourited your blog because it is truly one of their favourite reads, but rather because they are riding the train. OK for massaging egos I guess, but perhaps worth it for the additional exposure.

    1. Martin, I absolutely agree with you. I don’t find any value in saying my blog is a top 100 blog since it is simply part of the trains. I guess I was speaking for the other people who have been favorited not because of the link trains.

  4. nice writeup Nate . . . since Google just updated, I have noticed another benefit and that is the increase in the number of total backlinks Google is reporting to my site. I’m up to 413 right now.

  5. There is a very fine line of tolerance with link trains. Sure, you do gain the additional exposure, but to the existing people, it sometimes comes across as greedy and spammy. I personally don’t like them.

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