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How Linkbuilding & Link Flow Is Like Tequila At A Party


Back in 2012, nearly 10 years ago at the time of this post, I did a talk at SES Chicago 2012 on linkbuilding. I drew an analogy between linkbuilding and the flow of tequila at a party. I used props, with real tequila and exemplified many different concepts. I thought I would revisit those concepts here. While they may not be exactly what I said 10 years ago, it's close and these are all still applicable today.

So, here we might want to go grab a drink!


First, let's make some correlations. For this fun linkbuilding to tequila analogy you have to assume the following things.

A. Links you have already received is the bottle of tequila

B. Link flow is the flow of tequila

C. Pages (or more specifically URLs) are represented by humans/guests

D. The entire domain/website is represented by the party itself

Now that we have the setup down and you have gotten yourself a drink, let's start digging into how linkbuilding is like the flow of alcohol (in this case, specifically, tequila) at a party. Cheers!!

How Linkbuilding & Link Flow Is Like Tequila At A Party

  1. If you only half a fifth of tequila, use it sparingly. Limit how many people you’ll give shots out to and make sure no person gets more than their fair share. If you have a handle of tequila, be sure to flow the tequila to enough people that you don’t make everyone sick.

  2. Make sure everyone gets at least some tequila. We don't want anyone feeling left out, bored and in the corner of the room not making any connections.

  3. Figure out ways to give tequila to those that may go out and get you another fifth. These are the people that after just a little bit of tequila they'll be eager to go get you more. They become a hub of the party.

  4. Be cautious about not mixing tequila with most other alcohol. Some mixing works if it adds to the tequila in a known way (like orange juice) but most don’t. Clean, purposeful pours will make your guests the happiest. You can expect a gin and tequila shot will assuredly confuse your guests and have them looking for another person's party quickly.

  5. Don’t promote your party to the wrong people. You want a powerful guest list. You want to be sure your guests don’t bring along the wrong plus one, or worse…the wrong plus 10. We've all done it. Just wanted more and more and more guests but in the end, it ruined the overall party.

  6. Invite people that will get along easily. Similarities matter a lot. You need a diversity of personalities but they all need to have a common thread or your party will become segmented, siloed, cut off from each other…tequila will stop flowing effectively and your party won't be memorable.

  7. Make sure your party doesn’t get stale. Know when you should mix things up a bit with tequila flow. Do a 'just ladies' shot at the party, then perhaps analyze the room and discover what's going on with that rowdy bunch. Also, know when the party should be over for certain guests as perhaps they got a bit too stale or they just weren't blending in well with the rest of the party.

  8. Make sure it was a positive experience for everyone. If it was…the next party will be even easier/better. But only if you are smart enough to remind them later how great your last party was and that you have more of that great-tasting tequila ready to go for the next party.

  9. Be prepared to clean things up. Be ready to cut rowdy people off and redirect their tequila to a better person. Take that shot right out of their hand if you need know they don't need it, but that guy standing alone in the corner sure does.

  10. Have a budget to constantly increase your tequila supply as you find a larger and better audience to invite to the next party. Be always mindful of the balance between tequila availability and the number of guests at your party. Grown your party as you grow your tequila supply only,'ll have a lot of boring parties and that word gets around quickly. Cheers and, if you liked this analogy, feel free to give it some 'tequila'. I promise I'll distribute it wisely. (That means link to this post...just in case you dipped too much into the tequila while reading this post.)

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