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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Problem with Links

This is just me thinking out loud...

It's funny how making a little money from blogging has changed the way people interact with each other and with their blogs. There was a time when people would link to each other freely and not even think about it. Then, I think, they realized they could sell those links and learned that links can be quite valuable not only in monetary terms but also in terms of page ranking which is what drives the cost of links and so on... it's a big cycle. So then people started getting stingy with their links, saving them for purposes more 'worthy'.

There are those who are savvy with SEO (Search Engine Optimization)tactics and tailor their links so that they will appear higher on search engines. Most bloggers are now learning that linking to the term 'here' is actually not wise so they've learned to link to actual search terms. For instance, rather than me saying 'check out the cool selection of patio furniture HERE' it is actually wiser to say, 'Check out the selection of outdoor dining sets from Cozy Days.'

Why not link to Cozy Days? Because unless someone already knows that Cozy Days sells outdoor furniture, they probably wouldn't type that as a search term. However, the more people that link to Cozy Days with the term 'outdoor dining sets', the more likely that the Cozy Days website will come up every time someone enters those search terms on a search engine.

So you now see how important back links are to websites, right? The thing is, because of this, I've noticed that old time bloggers, with this new found knowledge have become quite stingy with giving out links. Even when they mention a site directly, they don't always put a link to it. Has anyone else noticed this?

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