Viral Linking, Technorati Manipulation, and Blog CPR

It’s been one month since I launched The Indie Virus from a hotel room in Austin, TX. Looking back, it’s flat out amazing how one little idea can have such a powerful impact in such a short time. Simply put, I cannot believe all the wonderful things that have come about as a result of this experiment, and hopefully, you too will be inspired by what you read here today. Whether you’re blogging for business, pleasure, extra income, or plain old ego-stroking, you can learn a lot from the facts behind The Indie Virus. officially has a new relative time scale – BV (before virus) and AV (do you really need a hint?). The Indie Virus has proven so significant in shaping the future of this site that it now merits a time marker of pseudo-biblical proportions.

Without further ado, here’s a quick rundown of the good and the great from one month of viral linking, presented in fast-paced, BV/AV comparison format:


BV: Back in the BV days of yore, this site was pulling in 200-400 visitors per day. Although I had a couple of traffic spikes thanks to being an asshole and, umm, being labeled an asshole, I was never able to retain most of those visitors as readers. Sometimes you need positive signs in order to feel good about your progress, and I felt like I wasn’t getting enough of them…

AV: Everything changed – and I mean fast. Within a few days of launching the Indie Virus, I was getting inbound links, generating crosstalk, and gaining visitors. Next thing you know, I’m serving 600+ people a day, and referrals from RSS readers like kinja, newsgator, bloglines, and rojo have begun popping up on my site stats. I can safely say that when you’re just starting out as a budding blogger, this is invigorating stuff!


BV: This site had a ranking of 69,206 with 91 inbound links from 35 sites. Considering that I was ranked 150,000+ in early January, this wasn’t too bad…or was it?

AV: One month into The Indie Virus, has officially broken into Technorati’s top 10,000 with a ranking of 9,893! Now, I have 344 links from 153 sites, and the list grows every day!

Beyond the metrics…

BV: Pearsonified featured an encapsulated layout that looked like Alien meets Dr. Mario (remember that ?). Simply put, the more I sharpened my design skills, the more embarrassing the original design became. Also, its limitations became increasingly clear with each passing week, and I think my disappointment with the design affected the overall quality of my posts.

AV: Inspired by all the new traffic from the Indie Virus, I decided that I couldn’t hold off on a new design any longer. All these people were coming to my site and seeing me for the first time, and I wanted them to see something that portrayed both me and my work in a positive light. Enter Pearsonified version 2.0, which is what you see here! Personally, I feel like the new site has raised the overall quality of my posts and also enhanced the presentational aspect of what I write. While I certainly hope you guys enjoy it, I dig it, so no matter what, I’m happy :)

Indie Virus quickies

According to Technorati, a whopping 310 posts contain links to the Indie Virus. I think that’s pretty good for one month! Of those posts, 25 are considered to have “a lot of authority,” which means that the links therein are likely good for the SEO of those on the receiving end. Also, one thing that I have found particularly interesting is the fact that the Indie Virus has received links from some exciting places, including:

  • Paul Chaney, who moderated one of the panels I visited at SXSWi 2006! Sometimes the circular nature of the web is just amazing…
  • Lockergnome caught wind of the virus and hooked it up propa’. (One note of interest here is that Technorati did not find this link, and look how quality it is…makes me wonder how big the virus really is)
  • Another huge link came from Quick Online Tips, as this site has 1800+ readers via Feedburner and also ranks 6th on BlogTopSites in the “Internet” category.

Wrapping it up, sending it out

Although I haven’t made an effort in over two weeks to push the virus personally, I am going to pick it back up. To prove it, I’m going to drop a link to a site I just discovered this morning. I love the way these bloggers use big, bold pictures to highlight their posts, and I also think their choice of subject matter tends to fall on the side of intriguing. As a result, I’m sending The Indie Virus on over to Via Alley [link removed], a wonderful little site that I hope will cough on some deserving friends.