The 5 Reasons Why We Link

Love Linking

by Christopher Wendels on september 6, 2010

I love linking. I link to lots of places all the time. I have yet to turn down a link request that made sense. Sometimes it takes me forever to get it done, and sometimes I’ll forget, so I need to be reminded, but I’ll always link in the end.

PageRank | Link-Juice | Popularity
You can call this what you want. At the end of the day, a vital part of getting a website off the ground and into the SERPs is getting links. No secret. Whenever anyone tells you they know the secret to ranking number one in the SERPs you can call them a lair to their face. There is no secret. Just get the most links and you win. End of story.

OK… not the end of the story.
For so many reasons! First off not all links are created equal. I have seen websites with hundreds of low quality links be trashed by new pages (and don’t give me any of the QDF crap. Not that kind of keyword) with nothing but internal links.

zOMG! If I link to others I lose my PR
It never fails to amaze me how much of the Internet actually just is the bottom of the barrel scraped together and posted online. Monkeys could do a better job than many webmasters bloggers. When a site links to another website, it will not ‘lose’ any PR. The relative weight passed on to other sites linked to decreases. True, but internal and external links are still two different types of sides. Consider a page on your website a steak. You can have just the steak, which is fine, but rather dull. You put some internal links on that page to make it more interesting. We shall call ‘the placing of internal links’ your baked potato. If you are a meat and potatoes man, then you’re solid. However, what makes my mouth water is that little bit extra. You know, that little detail that makes me go,
“I’m going to have the steak”. Your external links, those are your extra side order.

Why I link:
I link because I care. People who do not link are evil, greedy, manipulative, and, worst of all, complete muppets. I shouldn’t have to be pitching why you should link, but since there seems to be a need for it I will. I wish I could post when not to link, and have the problem be too much linking.

  1. Links are free
    A link costs zero, nill, nothing, zip, zilch to maintain. You place it in a post or on a page that would be there anyway and it stays there. The only people who lose are the people at the other end of outbound links on the same page, but they’ve already won since you’re linking to them.
  2. Link out, link in (win if read in Miagi’s voice)
    The chances that someone will link to you, after you have mentioned them, increases by a factor of [insert insanely huge number]. Think about it. What were the chances of them linking to you first?
  3. Links are trust
    A link to another URL shows trust for that page. Trust implies friendship, or at least some form of a relationship. You want to build relationships, it’s how society works. learn2social.
  4. Relationships win
    You got it. The SERPs are all about relevance. When pages talking about the same or related topics link to each other it shows that they are connected. This builds authority for that subject. Even if the page is your direct competitor, linking to them when they have the number one site for blue widgets won’t harm you. Give them blue widgets and focus on green widgets where you have the better page. Focus on sharing where you can gain from it.
  5. Links help
    A relevant link helps users. Using weird words and technical jargon? Link to an encyclopedia. Writing in a foreign language? Link to a dictionary. Referencing another blog? Link to it. When a user can get more information by just clicking to a new browser window he is happy. When a user needs to take that action on his own, then he’s off to see a better website. Search Engines aren’t much different.

The more you link, the more you win.