What Linking is all About

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Thread Title:
What Links Are All About
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DG has some good comments on a post i made here - That was just a passing comment but what DG has to say is interesting stuff, which i fully agree with:

Search engines first reduced the dependency on links for web navigation, then in a cruel twist, made links little more than capital. Since then I’ve seen the value of links become inflated, and now I think we’re headed back to a web economy in which links are becoming worthless. At least the variety of links that are prevalent are nearly worthless. We don’t trust in the value of the currency any longer.

We’re inundated with links to sites about diet pills, calling cards and poker. Instead of banner blindness, we’re becoming link blind. The search engines don’t trust the links either, now that they’ve had a hand in inflating their importance they’re forced to come up with solutions to devalue the importance they’ve placed on them. So we end up with odd solutions to problems like comment spam.

So, linking for the user eh? That may be a novel concept for some heh... but IMO it's not bad advice at all.

Linking for Users - Really?

Sure, why not? Here's a few questions to get this wagon rollin' as it's an interesting subject near and dear to all of our hearts:

  • Should you link only for users?
  • Have Search engines effectively ruined the internet with their reliance on links?

For me, as always, it's "horses for courses" - on a site like this then sure, link for users and link for users only - it's the only strategy that makes sense. On other types of sites though, im linking for SE's only, the users will be seemlessly passed on to wherever i need them to be...

Good stuff from Dean and nice to get a chance to introduce his new blog :-)


The other side of business

It's a bit of a catch-22 -- it's easy to find yourself building a site that's SE-friendly, at the expense of building a relationship with the user that encourages them to become a customer.

Affiliate sales and impulse buys aside for the moment, if you've got a website up to sell your own (or your client's, for many of us) goods and services, then old-school marketing logic says that you need to get that visitor back around 6 times before they'll even consider making a purchase.

To do that, you've got to offer content that will bring them back, and you've got to build a trust relationship with them. Good, honest linking that provides value can be a big part of that...

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