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The ‘blogroll is dead. Viva la citation!

Saturday, 7 July 2007 — by

As the web evolves, so do the customs that accompany it. And so it is that the humble ‘blogroll has had its day. I say this because there’s a better way of doing things, but only if you’re of a certain type of ‘blogger…

There are many levels of ‘blogger out there; some just starting out, some that have been around for an age but are happy at the level they occupy, and then there’s the likes of me who aspire to bigger & better things.

It’s to the latter I’m talking to, really. The rest of you may remain unperturbed by the rest of this idea of mine.

For quite some time, I’ve had a ‘blogroll down the right-hand side of my ‘blog entitled: “‘blogs of note”. But as of today, it’s gone.

However, I will be keeping: “SEO & SEM ‘blogs of note” because this does add a fair amount of value to you, the casual visitor.

I know this because the titles (anchor text) of the links are descriptive enough to leave the visitor informed as to what is at the other end of the link.

I’m also able to look back over my web statistics and know with a great deal of certainty that not people really bother clicking on the “‘blogs of note”, while the “SEO & SEM ‘blogs of note” do get a fair number of clicks.

That’s not to say that the regular ‘blogs don’t, because they do. But, they only add value when in context.

As a list, they lack context and therefore simply serve only to diminish their own value.

These guys have all had deep links from me in the past, and I’m always a good source of very strong anchor text to their articles. So in that sense, they get a very swift and deep doff of the cap in their direction.

A lot has been said about Google PageRank leakage and what can be done to mitigate it, a discussion which I’ve been a part of myself.

For the likes of Dan over at the Wrong Advices and myself, a solid deep link with good, informative anchor text is all that’s really needed.

For me to provide a list of people is quite meaningless and does little or nothing to endorse them as a ‘blogger of note, because I provide only a direct link and nothing else to describe them.

The reason that deep links and anchor text are of more value than something more immediately visible than a straight link in a known portion of a ‘blogs web page is that for the likes of me, I study the metrics of my ‘blog.

I can track who has linked to me and what text they used in a link to which article. So while this may seem like less of an ‘always on’ endorsement, it all depends of who’s looking.

If you’re getting a good in-bound link from a very busy website, news service or ‘blog, then you’re quids in.

Additionally, such strong in-bound traffic and linkage will most certainly pique the interest of the search engines, who are the lidless eyes of the web and are ever watchful.

Another reason for dropping the ‘blogroll is because it’s got to the stage that for me to revise the list with all of the cool people I’ve met in the last two months alone, my ‘blogroll would be massively unwieldy, diminishing those listed even further.

So the ‘blogroll is no more and the citation is the way to go…

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David Bradley → Thursday, 8 November 2007 @ 16:04 BDT

Just spotted this post again…quite timely to see a headline that asserts the “blogroll is dead”, as Google Reader just added functionality that allows one to export subscribed feeds as a blogroll, they’re usually sooooo on the ball.

db

Colin → Tuesday, 27 May 2008 @ 14:20 BDT

Good article. It’s a tricky one… a blog-roll link carries a lot of search engine weight… because it is a link from not just one page, but potentially, 100s or even 1000s of pages. I guess the normal rules do still apply, if it isn’t relavent, then it isn’t overwhelmingly effective… and I guess yes the traffic won’t follow either if it is just a random list…
Niceone!

Wayne Smallman → Tuesday, 27 May 2008 @ 15:25 BDT

Hi Colin, thanks for the comment!

Yeah, the conventional thinking is that blogrolls are PageRank gold dust, but it’s the exact opposite — they’re almost completely ignored for the very reasons you suggest that makes them so strong.

It’s because they’re repetitive and global, in terms of navigation, that the search engines really don’t give much weight to them.

That’s one of the reasons I don’t use a blogroll any more, because I’m not actually giving any value.

Thanks again!

SEO Master → Wednesday, 7 January 2009 @ 2:13 BDT

I think that the blogroll links don’t have their weight for search engines that they had in the past. But it is still a link (and a link is a link) with an anchor text. I prefer (and I think search engines too) content links with a great variety of related anchor text. But I don’t think that blogroll links have lost all their value like you said “I’m not actually giving any value”.

Great discussion! I prefer (and I think search engines too =) posts like this one.

Sorry Comments are close. Quite possibly for a good reason. Share your thoughts on some of my other posts or contact me directly.

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