The Relationship between Links and Blogs

By Amy Lupold Bair, Susannah Gardner

Links — you need ’em. You may worry that by providing a link to a news story or online article, you’re sending your readers away from your site into the black hole of the Internet, never to return. Your readers might, in fact, click the link and go read the article. But they probably won’t forget where they found the link.

When adding a hyperlink to your blog content, be sure to change the outgoing link settings to “open in a new window.” This keeps your blog post open on the screen rather than sends the reader away.

On a blog, links are just as much a resource as any other information that you provide. In fact, many blogs actually consist of collections of links around a topic or theme, pulled together to inform or entertain the blog’s readers.

If you’re providing good content and expanding on that content by using links, you’re doing your readers a service that they won’t forget — one they likely come back to you for.

Joey deVilla doesn’t shy away from adding links to his blog posts on The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

Links on a post on the blog Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.

In a September 20, 2007, post about the Canadian dollar’s parity with the U.S. dollar, he included links to bios of the U.S. president and Canadian prime minister in office during the last time the currencies were equal, and he provided links to pop culture references current at that time. Also, he collected a list of news stories that covered the event.

Speaking of dollars, links are the currency of the blogosphere. A lot of bloggers point their readers to blog posts that they find especially interesting, even going so far as to quote the other blogger. In the sidebars of their blogs, bloggers regularly build lists of links to blogs that they read. These lists are called blogrolls.

In general, bloggers are generous about linking to other blogs and websites because the favor is frequently returned. As the saying goes, “You have to spend a little to make a little.”

Adding links to your posts is a good thing… unless you’re irresponsible about what you link to. Take your responsibility as a publisher seriously and don’t send people to suspect resources or throw them into an adult-oriented site without warning.

When you link to a blog post, be sure you link to the permalink URL, not the blog’s home page. A permalink is the unique web address for an individual blog post — the permanent link to that page. You should use the permalink because the blogger might update the blog after you create the link, pushing the post that you mention down or even off the blog’s home page.