List Links: Can’t I Google For These Myself?

Filed as Features on September 21, 2007 10:13 pm

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Recently, after posting a long series of helpful links and excerpts on my blog, a commenter asked:

This is nice, but can’t I Google for these myself?

If the answer is yes, then why do bloggers spend so much of their time putting together such lists?

If the answer is no, then what’s wrong with their perception of the list?

Where’s the Value in Your List of Links

Why do you put these lists together?

What’s the answer? Is it because these are sites you found interesting and want to share with your readers?

Is it because the list consolidates scattered information resources into a single place holder?

Is it because the list of links connects the dots between bits of information that need collating?

Or just because you think it will bring in traffic?

Really explore why you are putting a specific list of links together. After all, anyone could go searching for the same information on Google or other search engines themselves. Why should they bother with your list?

Because your list is a unique collection.

That’s the key to creating value in lists of links. The collection of links is unique. If it isn’t, then why bother. Find a way of making the list of links find value in their uniqueness.

Uniqueness is a wide open description. The list of links can be unique because “you” brought them together in one place, with your unique perspective on the subject matter. Or they can be unique because no one has put together this particular combination in this fashion before.

Or they are unique because they have a common theme, a thread that connects all of them together, gathering information spread across the web into one place, making life easier for those searching for information on this subject.

If your list is no better than what others can find on Google, don’t bother. Make your link lists count. Make them matter. Make them have value. Make them unique, so we all benefit from your hard work.

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  1. By Kate posted on September 21, 2007 at 11:41 pm
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    Thank you for posting this.

    I was never quite sure why I felt odd about posting linkfests until now. A random list, or even a weak genre, is just not enough to tie links together.

    Reply

  2. By pelf posted on September 22, 2007 at 1:47 am
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    There was once during my blogging days when I experimented with presenting a list of posts that I find interesting in the blogosphere.

    But I did not receive many comments on those posts, so I thought, either:
    (a) my readers didn’t like those posts I put together, or
    (b) they were too assorted, and my readers didn’t know which one to comment on.

    I dissed that not too long after :)

    Reply

  3. By Brad Shorr posted on September 22, 2007 at 8:58 pm
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    Well stated! I make a point of reading links recommended by my favorite bloggers. If they like a particular post, chances are I will, too. Googling a topic means sifting through a lot of information. Links are more like endorsements – they save time.

    Reply

  4. By Jermayn Parker posted on September 24, 2007 at 12:33 am
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    The reason why lists are so helpful and popular is because we are lazy and would rather someone else find and give us the information needed.

    Reply

  5. Link Love # 1 - What do my Commentator Blogs About ?September 24, 2007 at 12:54 pm
  6. By cerebralmum posted on October 6, 2007 at 10:28 pm
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    I like some people’s random lists, but I don’t appreciate their blogs unless there is other significant content written as well. It’s my appreciation of their blog that will give me some respect for their links.

    Some of the feeds I read do a Weekly Wrap Up of links to posts they thought worthwhile. I appreciate it, as it has brought good traffic to my very new blog and it connects me to other blogs I might not otherwise have discovered.

    I think the key for random link posts is to always provide a description of the post and the reason it is worth a visit along with the link so people know what they are going to see before they click.

    It’s worth remembering that while a blog might have a particular focus that makes readers keep coming back, readers aren’t limited by that one interest.

    And Pelf, I wonder if comments can be a measure of a link post. Surely the number of clicks on the links is what tells us they are worthwhile?

    Reply

  7. Putting Value Into Your Link Lists : The Blog HeraldJanuary 14, 2008 at 10:05 am

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