A Visit Is Not A Visit Is Not A Visit
from the rethinking-the-power-of-traffic dept
Along those lines, Fred Wilson has started exploring the value of links from different places, with a focus on "passed" or "earned" links -- basically links that someone "passed on" rather than were found via a search engine. The hypothesis was that such "passed links" were more valuable, and from a conceptual level it makes some amount of sense. If someone you know or trust sends you to a link, you're more likely to click and pay attention to that link. Fred does some investigating of this, with a limited amount of data, and isn't quite sure it's true (from what he's seen), though he admits that the data is limited.
I think this is definitely an important subject for websites to investigate -- but I find the initial suggestion (blocking one source because the "value" of those visitors is low) to be quite silly and backwards. That's deciding that because a certain type of user isn't worth that much, you should ignore them all together. I would think the smarter means would be to simply treat those visitors differently, and focus on recognizing where they come from, and then looking to provide value based on that fact. You won't capture everyone, but you can certainly do a better job of funneling people in a certain direction based on where they're coming from and what they're likely looking for based on that information. It's not something that we do here, but it's about to be added to the "things to do" queue.