Got my main site up and been running it for years (linking is hard) but am fascinated by this massive link surge thing. Basically my question is "Does it exist for every website or only the few?......... Critical Mass A lot of talk surrounds link development these days, usually the same old stuff is being discussed, but does the mystical critical mass really exist or has the word be invented to wind up certain categories of webmaster? I personally do not believe anyone has reached this stage as having gained a massive amount of links myself, I know other techniques are involved besides ‘link swaps’. I think the whole idea is a reality for the very few and that a genuine conspiracy exists with the specific goal of 'slowing' down the progress of site owners by claiming the 'critical mass' technique - as by slowing down the opposition, an advantage is gained. But for those who don’t know what Critical Mass is: “It's where links that a site has gained, have reached a certain amount that those links are enough to 'auto' gain new links with no further effort on the webmaster's part. Link building effort is no longer needed to get new links - or something along those lines. Basically the idea is that a site gains more and more links, which gain more links etc etc – I suppose it’s a like compound interest. But having spoken to many a webmaster, their stories of such linking success are little or plain lies – so what does that indicate? Are they doing everything wrong, following the mountains of bad advice out there - more than likely. Link Theory Link swaps are just one way of getting links, but seems the main way it's done. One way links can just appear and hopefully the idea is for others to pick up on this, then 1 link leads to a domino effect and hey presto 500'000 of them. If that were true, then every site on the web would have millions of links pointing to them. That isn't true, so why do people go on about claiming otherwise - and a simple check on search engines will show who the players are or not if the case may be. Game Over. If getting links were that easy then how come the top 100'000 sites all do PPC on Google. Nope, free advertising stopped when Overture etc came along. My guess is the Amazons of the world simply got realistic here, and the link swap, surge boom stopped years ago, when businesses realised they could charge for links instead of giving them away. There aren't any secrets or free advertising anymore and the sooner people start simply building something useful for a business, the better. Can anybody link, sure - but reach that incredible amount of links everyone craves, I doubt it as it tough to do for any bog standard website. Or is it..