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October 16, 2013

Why Outbound Links Matter For Bloggers

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outbound links

For as long as search engine optimizers have existed, they’ve focused a huge amount of time and resources on obtaining inbound links for their sites. There’s a very good reason for that: among the 200 or so signals that Google considers when determining ranking positions in the SERPs, inbound links are of vital importance. However, there is considerable diversity of opinion when it comes to linking out from a site to other sites. SEOs are often concerned that outbound links will degrade their site’s standing and prefer to link to their own content, keeping the link juice they gather to themselves. They are also worried about giving away link juice and hence ranking potential to other sites within their niche.

In fact, outbound links can be beneficial for SEO, so it’s worth thinking about the ways in which such links can both benefit and harm a site’s status in the eyes of Google and other search engines. read more

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December 29, 2008

Is “Deep Linking” in Trouble?

Linking directly to individual pages on a Web site instead of the home page, also known as “Deep Linking”, is a staple of blogging and the Internet in general. It is used as a means to reference sources, forward interesting articles and, generally, get information out there on the Web.

Without deep linking, social news would likely not exist, many Web 2.0 services (such as Delicious) would have to close and even Google would have to drastically change the way it operates. The Web would, almost overnight, become a much more difficult to use and less efficient place.

However, a recent lawsuit filed by GateHouse media has asked new questions about deep linking and its possible legal implications.

Though the lawsuit is clearly misguided in some ways, including the claim that the site loses advertising over deep linking, it is worth taking a quick moment to look at some of the potential legal hazards that come with deep linking and how to avoid them. read more

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December 16, 2008

Exploring Social Media: Promoting Your Link Backs to You

Exploring Social Media article series badgeYesterday in Exploring Social Media: The Power of the Link Needs Content, I introduced the most powerful social media tool in the world, the link, and explained that unless you have make the link direct people to valuable and useful content, you are shooting blanks. The link makes a lot of noise with nothing to show for it.

The impact of linking to yourself is magnified in value. When you email or publish a link to something you wrote, recommending it, you are telling the world:

  • I know that which I write about.
  • I am an expert in the subject.
  • I have the experience to back up what I’m writing.
  • This is the best I can do.

Do your links qualify?

When you contact a blogger or anyone to encourage them to link to you, do you keep these things in mind? Are you offering your best work? Does your blog or social media tool show the world you are an expert in this?

If you have the proof behind your link, then maybe your failure is in the presentation of that link, especially when directed towards bloggers, the most capable of spreading the word far and wide about you and your blog. read more

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December 15, 2008

Exploring Social Media: The Power of the Link Needs Content

Exploring Social Media article series badgeIn The Power of the Link and Don’t Guest Blog Until You Have Content, I talk about two very important subjects that apply to our ongoing discussion and Exploring Social Media Series.

First, a link is a door people open to your world, be it a world within your blog, social media tools and services, or a recommendation to visit another world, one you hope your fans will enjoy so much, they will return to your world with joy, eager for more and telling the world about what you have to offer.

Second, if you link without anything worth linking to, without anything positive to offer people, without anything worth recommending, without anything worth returning to, you have lost the power in social influence within the modern online world.

If you link to yourself, then these two characteristics are magnified. You are offering people a gateway into your world, one they expect is worth linking to, deserving of attention, exciting, and worth telling others about.

The link is the most powerful social media tool of all. read more

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August 8, 2008

Blogging Ampersands

I agree with Gruber, this is truly a focused blog! The Ampersand blogs about, you guessed it, ampersands. Only ampersands. And you know what? It kind of works, because we’re linking it and so does Kottke and Liquidicity, and probably even more than that. The design twist of it all makes it something anyone remotely interested in typography, logo design, or just ampersands I guess, can at least take a quick peek at. Got to love niche blogging, right?

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April 21, 2008

Do You Take Links for Granted?

As a blogger, links have been part of my daily blogging rounds. I click links on blogs to check out references and sources. And I use links on my blog posts to provide readers relevant information or alternative sources of information. Links have been so prevalent in the blogging culture that sometimes we tend to take these for granted.

However, not everyone is familiar with links, and the relevance of hyperlinking in blogging and the Web in general.

For instance, consider someone from the traditional media. How would they consider links? Would they think of links as relevant or important, even? Formal studies and print publications would usually include footnotes or even endnotes with references. Or, sources can be referenced in the bibliographies or appendices. But what about links? Well, you can’t hyperlink from paper, can you?

In fact, I have a few colleagues whose background involves traditional media of all kinds (print journalism, radio broadcasting). They’re prolific writers, yes. But in a way, they are still not that familiar with using links when writing blog posts. Or perhaps they are, but they just prefer to stick to their way of citing material. The way they reference sources and related information is a bit different. But that is not to say it’s inadequate. Being from traditional media, they tend to be able to do better research, and to dig deeper into the facts.

Referencing Jonathan Bailey’s recent post about lessons for and from journalism, I would think that effective linking is another lesson that journalists can learn from the bloggers. Having good sources and references is one thing. But giving your readers easier access to these would definitely be better, especially in a more interactive environment.

However, this should be the case for bloggers, too. Effective linking would mean using links more sensibly and reasonably, and thus ensuring the quality of the links. Just like how a journalist wouldn’t cite bogus information, we bloggers should try our best to link only to the good stuff. You wouldn’t link to a scraper site to cite information, would you?

So here’s a challenge I pose to our dear readers. Whenever you see a hyperlink on a blog or a webpage, don’t just click on it blindly. Try to think about the relevance of that link. Why was it there in the first place? What was the intent of the author? Is it relevant at all? Is it even appropriate?

The search engines have been looking into quality of linkages (both inbound and outbound). Shouldn’t we humans start doing the same?

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