Backlinks / Blog Promotion / Blogging Tips / increasing traffic / memes / Social networks

More Traffic and Backlinks for Your Blog: Awards and Memes

heartTrying to describe what an internet meme is to a great grandparent may be a challenge but you definitely know one when when you see one.  A blog meme is a viral game wherein baclinks are generated through relationships with other bloggers. The most common kind of blog meme is an award used as legitimate means of securing backlinks.

Links  to a site represent the relationships that site has with other sites. From an SEO (search engine optimization perspective) backlinks are like votes for your site. All bloggers want more traffic to their blog and more backlinks to their content.

A backlink is defined as a link from one website pointing back to your site , and what every blog needs is one-way non-reciprocal backlinks. The value of that backlink is related to the PR ( pagerank) of the site linking back to yours.

A site with a lot of backlinks implies that many other sites link to that site ie. popularity. The more of these natural (unpaid)  backlinks your blog receives the higher it will rank in search engine search results.

The higher your blog’s positioning is  in  SERPS (search engine page results) the more traffic you site will receive from readers seeking the content your blog contains.

Participating in a blog meme is aimed at benefiting your blog in these ways:

  • increasing traffic (connecting with a larger audience);
  • increasing comments;
  • securing more regular readers/subscribers;
  • generating backlinks to your site.

5 Tips For Creating Memes

Memes have two important properties that make them the ideal tool for social media and link building campaigns. 1) Memes Are Viral and 2) Memes Are Easy To Make.  Read more here >  How To Use Memes to Build EASY Backlinks & Traffic

If you would like participate in the

♥Favorite Valentine’s Day Song meme ♥

Please click and share your favorite here

Paul McCartney’s ‘My Valentine’ Featuring Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp

(This is the seventh article in a series focused on increasing organic (unpaid) traffic and natural backlinks to your blog.)

30 thoughts on “More Traffic and Backlinks for Your Blog: Awards and Memes

  1. Why do I always learn something when I come here?? It’s uncanny!! I’ve steered clear of awards because of the ungodly time and effort required, but had never considered the backlink connection. Once again I’ve woken up and smelled the coffee– thanks for roasting up another batch o’ beans!! : )

  2. Interesting article – Roughseas gave me the heads up. It’s tricky. They aren’t real “awards” – but are sort of recognition and, I guess, gives some publicity. They do seem a bit chain letter-ish. Don’t want to insult any one sending one my way – but my biggest problem is responding to them – it takes time – and writing an awards post means you don’t get to write about something else you had planned to write about. Worked for years writing what was needed as a job – and the blog is a chance to write what I want to write about and in a fashion I want to write – not AP at all. (Selfish, I know.)
    Thanks for the post – stuff to consider and think about (one of the best reasons for reading blogs!)

    • I agree that it takes time to participate. What I found every early on is that suddenly my blog got an award and to participate I had to drop everything and play the game. For the exact same reason you posted above I chose not to get involved. It’s not selfish to choose not to be pressured into game playing.

  3. Good morning Time Thief and may I say that reading your warm informative responses to your commenters was as much an education as your actual page. You have raised some points i have not considered. Awards pages are so positive and take so long to make that i always feel dreadful when I cannot reciprocate. In fact my NY resolution was to at the very least thank the award giver, but even that has been hard to keep up. My blog goes up at dawn every morning, it is all about my tiny farm. Every image is from the previous 24 hours and it is written that morning. After I publish – out I go to feed the lambs and milk the cow and get chased around the field by my playful one ton Hereford!. So as you can see an award post does not really fit. Of course when I was starting I accepted and passed them all on! However my question is .. is there a wee badge or text box that i can put on the site that would say I am award free zone without being unkind? What an excellent blog you have. thank you.. celi

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  5. I used to entertain these memes. I had some awards like this and have done this for others on a former blog. I sensed a lot of pretense in the practice and discontinued it. My blog today is used more in the capacity of a repository than a blog per se and am no longer active in the blogging world. The whole subculture simply requires far more attention than I can afford to put into it.

    Timethief, love that new picture of you. You’re looking better than ever!

    • Connecting with you is always so good. You look lovely as always. You’re still so blonde whereas my hair is graying as the lock that’s always in my face demonstrates. It’s an airbrushed avatar with dark circles under eyes and wrinkles removed. Me – vain? No way … lol :D

      When it comes to awards memes I believe most who participate are well intended. What’s better by far is receiving a backlink to a post one has published, but these days those are rare, even from bloggers in the same niche and comments are likewise rare. The blogosphere, like all other spheres, has been changing and evolving. We have entered the age of like button clicking and I have succumbed to their use. I don’t have any opportunities to backlink to my follower’s posts in mine because they aren’t in my niche and the same is true in reverse. Hence, when I read posts I really do like I click the like button and I share them on Twitter. I even click gravatars and attempt to locate the blogs of those who click like buttons on my posts.

      This whole blogging subculture can become a time suck and an energy suck. We all want more friends but how much time do we devote to those we are face-to-face with? Unlike those who say online friends are as close to them as offline friends are and they don’t differentiate, in all honesty I can’t say that. I invest more time and energy into my relationships with those I am face-to-face with. Bless them all for being there for me in 2012 when I lost my mom, my dear friend and my brother unexpectedly. Bless my blog followers, who did not ditch me by unfollowing because I could not overcome my grief and blog more frequently in my personal blog and keep this one up as well.

      Bless you also and thank you so much for brightening my day.

  6. I have received for more than 200 awards from November 2008 till now on my blog. I don’t blog about them anymore but I am grateful. A lovely read, my friend!

  7. I understood the backlinks. Like cross-referencing to good resources.

    I’ve given up on meme awards. But they are nice at times to be granted them.

    • Hi Jean,
      As you are a Librarian and have written many papers you understand that backlinks are synonymous with cited references. I have been surprised to find how many new bloggers don’t have much experience at all when it comes to essay writing. Those who have the kind of background we have are off and running right of the mark. Those that don’t have that background need a little help from blogging friends. Sadly, some of the help I see offered online day in and day out is less than helpful. Passing a variety of awards (memes for generating backlinks) back and forth between the same little circle of friends over and over will have a stultifying effect on a blog but woe betide anyone who dares to say that.

  8. I was, and still am, always flattered when someone gives my blog one of these awards. However, as noted by others, the awards seem enough like chain letters that I don’t participate. I beg off by saying I know of so many great blogs that I can’t single out just a few for the award.

    • It’s difficult to decline an well intended beginner blogger’s earnest desire to present my blog with an award but I do as politely as I can. I don’t want to lecture anyone presenting my blog with an award on what are natural linking patterns are, and why we ought to avoid all reciprocal backlinking schemes. After all they are mewbies. Consequently, I tend to use the same excuse you use for choosing not to participate.

      There are memes like the post-a-day meme here at or the weekly photo one that do generate tonnes of traffic. The majority of participants tend to be new bloggers and the memes are aimed to be motivators and traffic generators. While the meme host is a multi-author Staff blog with a PR of 6/10, most of those who participate have blog that is either unranked or has a low PR ,so those blogs benefit from the big PR blog backlink and the multiple little ones. The fact there are so many blogs in the memes, despite the fact most have no or low PR, also benefits The Daily Post simply due to the volume of all the backlinks pointing to that blog.

  9. My problem with awards was that by the time any began to trickle my way, they were coming FROM the very people I would have happily passed them along TO – my pond was so small!
    The very nature of awards seems, to me, to contradict the one-way non-reciprocal backlink so valued by PR . . . .

    • Hi Patti,
      Exactly! I’m in the same boat too. I read many blog but have the time to comment on only a few.

      The very nature of awards seems, to me, to contradict the one-way non-reciprocal backlink so valued by PR . . . .

      You nail the reason why these memes are not highly valued by Google. They are not natural links. In essence, they are reciprocal link schemes.

      Quality reciprocal link exchanges in and of themselves are not a bad thing, but most reciprocal link offers are of low quality. If too many of your links are of low quality it may make it harder for your site to rank for relevant queries, and some search engines may look at inlink and outlink ratios as well as link quality when determining how natural a site’s link profile is.” — Reciprocal Links from the glossary

      Read more here >

  10. I think the “chain mail” awards are a bit tacky, but once a year I like to do a “Top 10 Blogs” awards. I write a quick review of why I like it and a snapshot of their logo. It’s been very well-received. My 2013 list is here if it helps anyone spark up some ideas.

  11. Recently a post was published saying that it’s not so good to participate in the awards as they can be construed by Google (?) as something bad and lower the amount of traffic they bring to you. I am still trying to figure it out.

    • Superficially blog awards are a means of locating blogs to read you would not have otherwise located and making new blogging “friends”. But the actual purpose underlying any award meme is to accrue backlinks.

      Natural backlinking pattern to authoritative posts in related blogs in posts on your own blog are what Google is focused on. Yet IMHO these memes are the opposite of natural linking patterns, which is one reason why I don’t participate in any of them. However, I have not seen any official statement from Google Staff negating them.

      I’d very much appreciate a link to wherever what you stated above was discussed. Would you be kind enough to do that for me please?

  12. I would love more traffic, but I hardly know what a “backlink” is. I’ve had the odd “repost”, award and the rest of it like all of us, I’m sure, but I’m not certain it’s had much long term effect on my figures: more’s the pity. I love the writing bit, but I really suck at the marketing bit :(

    • Hi there,
      I think your blog is coming along very well. Hopefully, some of your commenters will choose to blog on a subject you have blogged on and backlink to your post in theirs.

  13. This is a very timely post for me as I was going to write about some awards today. This may sound naive but I never considered them of any value apart from a bit of publicity on someone else’s blog. I hadn’t considered the backlinks aspect of it, so that was a very helpful explanation. Thank you.

    • Hi there,
      The word ‘meme’ as coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. The term Internet meme is used to describe a concept that spreads via the Internet.One of the earliest internet memes is the “7 things about me” meme.

      Award memes are not exactly the same a chain letters but for the sake of explanation a chain letter is a written text advocating its own reproduction and an award meme similarly requires reproduction to some degree or another. For example, “Please copy this message and send it to 10 other people,” or “Forward this to everyone you know!” are common in chain letters. (Note: that solicit money are against the law in the US and many other countries.)

      What common in blog memes is that the creator of the award or meme requires one to backlink to their post and then link to several other blog posts. o participate as well as linking to the creator of the award’s posts, the recipient usually has to answer certain questions in a post of their own and link to a certain number of other blogs.

      In light of the facts (1) backlinks are the currency of the blogosphere and (2) memes are designed to solicit backlinks, it’s not surprising that search engines don’t place much value on those solicited links, so the good they do your blog is minimal.

      I have no desire to insult anyone who has nominated my blogs for awards, however, I struggle to create enough time to blog in, and participating in memes is a distraction that removes my focus from the subject matter I blog on.

      • I pretty much agree with everything you have written there. Awards are indeed like chain letters, ie passing them on to X people, and thereby touching more and more blogs. But as I never participated in chain letters, my involvement in awards is invariably a thank you (usually extremely late for exactly the same reasons as yours) and backlinking to theirs. The exponential increase of ‘award winners’ says that everyone will get one at some point, so it is hardly of literary value (a bit like being Freshly Pressed! although not for the same reason – but they are both totally subjective). If people want to read the blogs that I like they can check them out on my pages.

        • The exponential increase of ‘award winners’ says that everyone will get one at some point, so it is hardly of literary value (a bit like being Freshly Pressed! although not for the same reason – but they are both totally subjective).

          Well said. :)

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