How does a simple Google search for say, effective marketing strategies, lead to three hours of learning about the mating habits of a Pygmy Hippo?

pygmy hippo

“Hey baby. Your mudhole or mine?”

The Link Hole.

The what hole? The Link Hole. It’s what we’re calling that distracted path of web surfing that so many of us get lost on while “just looking up something quick.” It happens to even the best and most focused of us.

You know, you’re trying to find local showtimes for a movie and wind up spending an hour on Tom Skerritt’s IMDB page.

showtimes to skerritt

“Oh I didn’t know he did an episode of Will and Grace!”

Or you’re looking for the DMV and somehow wind up on TMZ.

dmv to tmz

Both places make you feel icky.

Or you meant to go to but instead went to and, well….


NOT the place for learning about government.

Now we don’t have any particularly savvy advice regarding how to avoid falling down the Link Hole (or where to meet Russian brides)—you’re on your own there. But we do know that the Hole can be a friend as well as a foe.

If people are going to dawdle, dabble, and dilly daddle (and do we really need so many D words for this concept?) online, shouldn’t you take advantage of it? Indeed you should.

Let’s say you run a modest online shoe store. You might think your blog (if you have one, and you should) would focus strictly on new shoes, promotions, or maybe, if you’re feeling frisky, a top five list of the sexiest sandals for spring (whoa!).

But why not broaden your blog’s horizons? How about an article on how a pair of heels fared at a baseball game? “How My Jimmy Choos Handled a Day at Wrigley Field” might sound like an offbeat post, but by incorporating other subjects into your article (and headline) you’ll be widening your searchability and potential reader base—and customer base.wrigley jimmy choo

Is this technique a shoe-in for viral success? Heck no. But now your article might show up in a Google search for “Cubs,” “Wrigley Field,” and “Baseball,” as well as in all of the other shoe-related searches. Sounds good, right? Heck yes.

It’s all a testament to having quality, engaging content on your site, no matter what line of business you’re in. Diversify that content a little bit and widen your Link Hole status.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go submit this article to And hey, if you click the link, just watch out for that hole!