Last week we talked about some different links and why they’re important. However, we mostly talked about why links benefit the linkee and not the linker. Let’s do the opposite today and talk about what happens when you link to other blogs.
A common argument I hear for not linking to others is that links are distracting. That they entice others to visit someone else’s content, sometimes without even finishing up reading what you wrote. This may be true, but I argue that if you write good, compelling, engaging content folks will stay with you to the end regardless. There are benefits to linking that far outweigh the chance that someone will leave your blog to visit someone else.
Get on Radar
When you link to someone else, you get on the radar. The blogger you link to will be curious as to why you linked and see what you’re up to. He may even become so impressed he’ll offer you link love or a retweet in return. At the very least he now knows about your blog and may subscribe or become part of your regular community. Ditto the people who read his blog. If he allows pingbacks to appear in the comments, you now have a link to your blog on his. Pingbacks send more traffic than you might believe.
Search Engines Take Notice
Linking to others awakens the search engines. They’ll notice you’re sending traffic to others and also get you on their radar. Inbound links are great but outbound links rock too.
Turn on Your Community
The best reason for sharing links is that your community appreciates when you share blogs and bloggers. Now, you may think you’re driving traffic elsewhere, and while that’s true, it’s also true that there’s room enough for everyone. People read more than one blog, you can embrace it or ignore it but the folks who do best are those foster relationships and spread the love.
Ok, this won’t net you any traffic or clout, but it’ll certainly make you feel good. When you share and link you pass around a good vibe. Beside, once we stop linking blogging becomes a vanity project. The first blogs were actually lists of links to cool stuff, the ultimate sharing projects.
Should you only link to popular blogs?
Your readers appreciate a good share regardless of where it comes from. Don’t discount a smaller blog because the blogger might not have a bigger reach. If it illustrates your point and is a terrific read, do share. However, you also have to be wary of the company you keep. Linking to spammers and scammers won’t do you any favors.
Inbound links rock, no doubt about it. But there are also benefits to sending it someone else’s way too.
You might also enjoy reading:
- Benefits and Tips for Outbound Links at Shout Me Loud
- Do Outbound Links Matter for SEO (and more) at ProBlogger
- How Do Outbound Links Affect SEO? at SEO Site Checkup