Ah, the World Wide Web. It’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Most of us can remember the days before there was such a thing, although young readers may have known the Web throughout their lifetime. But, what does the name mean – “World Wide Web.” Why is it a “Web?” Well, it is because websites link to other sites, and the sites that they link to link to other sites. Everything is interconnected, much like a spider web.
Linking to other sites is what the Web is all about! If nobody linked to other sites, navigating would be very difficult. If you are interested in Living in the Philippines, perhaps you visit my site on the topic. While you are on my site, you will find that I have links to other sites that are of interest. So, when you go visit those other sites, you will find more links to even more sites. It’s a never ending thing.
I get e-mails every day from people asking me to link to their websites. If it is a site that is well written and on-topic, I have no problem making the link. If., however, somebody wrote to me at this site and asked me to link to their site about the US Civil War, I probably wouldn’t do that, because it is a completely different subject. My readers on the whole, would probably not be interested. Did you know that if you link to non-relevant sites Google can even penalize you for that? How do they penalize you? Well, they move you down in the rankings. If people do a search, you will be further down, thus harder to find.
Another thing that is important is to be sure that you are linking to quality sites! Google has a thing that they call “bad neighborhoods.” What is a bad neighborhood? Well, things like online gambling sites, porn sites, scam sites and that sort of thing are bad neighborhoods. If you link to these, not only will you be penalized, you might be dropped from Google’s rankings altogether! You don’t want that!
One thing I hear a lot from people is that they want to link to their “friends.” Well, I am a guy who enjoys a good friend, but I don’t link to them if their topic is not relevant to my site. Why? Well, it is just not a good practice to do so. Do you want your site to be successful? I must assume you do, or why would you go to the effort? Think about this, on the big sites like Yahoo, Google, CNN and such, do they have links to their friends? NO, of course they don’t! If you went to CNN.com and to Larry King’s section of the site, do you think their is a link to his son’s website? No, it will never happen, because Larry King’s kid’s website is not relevant to the TV show Larry King Live. So, if you want to achieve success, you should emulate these people who already are successful on the web. Now, if you write about what it is like to live in the Philippines (as I do on another of my sites) and you have a friend who writes on the same subject, a link is then relevant and the right thing to do!
What I am getting to with all of this is that you should keep your blogroll clean! Be judicious in giving out links! Given a link only when it is deserved. When it is deserved, though, be generous!