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My Link Lust for Lifehacker

LifehackerOver on my link lust post (thanks to everyone that contributed) a reader asked me to name my own lusted after links.

My answer was that while I could think of sites that could send larger amounts of traffic that one of my favorite places to get a link from was Lifehacker.

The reasons for this (in addition to it being a great read and it being an honor to be featured) are:

  1. It sends a nice first wave of traffic. The numbers of visitors from one of their links varies but it can be in the thousands over a 24 hour period.
  2. It is ‘nice’ traffic. One of the problems with sites like Digg and Slashdot (who can send ALOT of traffic quickly if you get a well placed link) is that there’s a certain element of users of those sites who have a rather cynical and snarky way of interacting with the content that is linked to. While it is a minority it can be a little overwhelming as the total numbers of their users are so big.
  3. Secondary Links. I don’t know their exact demographic but I suspect that a reasonable number of Lifehacker readers have blogs because the numbers of ‘secondary links’ (ie links from bloggers who find the content from Lifehacker) is quite large. This happens also with other large sites but for it’s size Lifehackers secondary link levels seem pretty high.
  4. Social Bookmarkers. Similarly I suspect that many Lifehacker users must be pretty regular users of social book marking sites – particularly Del.ico.us. My reason for thinking this is that when Lifehacker links up to one of my posts I notice that a few hours later it will usually appear in the delicious popular page. Often there is a flow on effect from this also including a third wave of link ups as well as other social bookmarking sites picking up the story (especially those that feed directly off del.ico.us.

In effect what happens when Lifehacker links us is a viral wave seems to kick in that can last for a few days. It might not be as spectacular as some other links that you can get but the impact is significant and I suspect has a profound impact upon things like increasing loyal reader levels and helping a site to become established in search engines.

Of course it’s worth saying that the impact of a LH link will vary considerably from time to time depending upon how they link up and what the topic is. Life hacker readers are obviously big on some things but not others and I’m sure there are other sites around in different niches that have a similar impact when they link.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Kevin says:

    I’ve posted some articles on their Community Beta section at lifehacker.org, and noticed an increase in traffic when they get posted to the front page.

    The nice thing about that is not a lot of people post articles in that section, so your post can end up hanging on the front page for a long time.

  2. Brian Clark says:

    This happened to me last week. 37 Signals linked to my Copywriting 101 series, which brought tons of traffic, subscribers, bookmarks and secondary links. Then Lifehacker picked it up, and it started all over again.

    700 del.cio.us bookmarks later…

    Lifehacker really is one of the Holy Grail’s of linkage. But 37 Signals is no slouch either! :)

  3. Blackbeard says:

    In my experience working with various blogs, I’ve also found some problems with Digg users sometimes being a bit on the snarky side. However, in the arena of a spreading links to your site, Digg can be very effective. Actually, I think the secondary links that Digg inevatibly brings are more valuable traffic-wise than the short-term burst of traffic. The more links you get from blogs and message boards, the higher your site will show up in search engines, so while the Digg effect might not bring in a lot of advertising revenue at first, over time the links that Digg helps to create will have a very positive effect on your blog’s advertising revenue.

  4. Doug says:

    Yeah, I’ve noticed your digital photography blog getting a couple links there too – congrats. Must be a nice boost. Lifehacker has 8,072 subscribers on bloglines alone. Those are big numbers compared to the sites I subscribe to.

  5. 5 months ago, LifeHacker posted a link to one of my Data Recovery article, and the effect was quite spectacular. I received A LOT of traffic from them, and now, almost 6 months later, I still receive some pretty decent hits from them.

    I prefer to be on DIGG anyway :) the “collateral” effect they cause are a lot more important.

    Kiltak

  6. Darren,

    Do you tailor your content to specifically try to attract links from them, or is it just something that happens?

    Darren M.

  7. Darren Rowse says:

    it just happens Darren

  8. Ironic. I just did a post about Lifehacker and an underappreciated article. Sure, I’d love a link. But I really just want to be able to comment! However, I guess I am going to have to earn it.

    - Dan

  9. Hmm….You are right Darren… I’ve got a link from LH once about a keyboard shortcuts post of mine and the inflow was steady for the first week and now & then I still get three. Lifehacker has a good stream of users.

    On the other, comparing recent trends, it would be interesting to check how a link from Techcrunch affects people, though it’s a shame that Techcrunch hardly links to other blogs. :( Infact not many blogs do that either.

  10. Gina Trapani says:

    Wow, thanks, Darren! This post is such a compliment.

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    Lifehacker should give you a home page link for life, considering the wonderful piece that you wrote about them.
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