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There is also much talk of value of links, and nearly all of it is based on value of links in a search engines eyes, and how that will or will not improve your rankings. STOP!!! You need to get this!!! The value of a link is how many times it gets used, clicks and visits NOT rankings.
While many will object to this statement SEO is nothing more than educated guesswork, why do I say that? Simple because Google, Yahoo and MSN do NOT tell SEO experts how they order their results. Just opposite they regularly change how their results are ordered to stay one step ahead of SEO experts. Why do they do that? Because they do not want their results manipulating period! They want one thing, to deliver accurate search results.
Don't take my word for this, go and get words from horses mouth here.
Notice all advice is geared towards building your site for visitors not for search engines.
If you really want to build steady long term traffic to your site, then advertise your site in every legal way you can. Yes it requires time and a consistent effort. As a wise man once said " The only place success comes before work is in dictionary". In closing, how many of following have you used to advertise your site? If you haven't done them all maybe you need to.
Have you?: Listed your site in a couple of hundred directories? Exchanged quality visible links with at least 200 sites? Exchanged banners with sites in your genre? Started a small pay per click advertising campaign? Written articles to do with genre of your site and offered them to other sites for free inclusion in their newsletter or on their site? Had your site reviewed by a review site? Donated a product or free membership to a competition on another site?
These are only a few promotion methods that will bring visitors to your site. There are many many more if you use your imagination. This is also advertising that will not be undone in one minute by a Google algorithm change.
Am I saying don't optimize your site? NO I am saying don't rely totally on SEO for your traffic.
Are you putting all your promotional eggs in one basket? If so, isn't it time you stopped and gave your site best chance of success
Gary McHugh is co author of HonestLinks.Net , a site dedicated to teaching webmasters to exchange links that bring traffic. He also runs his own web design and hosting company 2001web.com