Me me me: Why linking is NOT all about you

Written by Tom Greenwood - September 4, 2012

Whenever people talk about linking with regards to their website, the conversation always focusses on “How can I get more links?

And when it comes to linking to other people’s websites, the attitude that we hear most often is, “I’m not going to give away links for nothing.  What’s in it for me?

Here at Wholegrain Digital we have a very different view.  Linking from our website is a great thing to do, as long as we are linking to a site that we respect and trust, and that the link is relevant to the article and useful to our readers.

5 reasons not to be a tight-arse linker:

  1. It doesn’t cost you to give a link, so if the article needs a link, why are you being a scrooge?
  2. It’s good karma.  After all, if you won’t link to others, why should they link to you?
  3. It’s helpful.  If you reference something, then linking to it helps your readers find out more.
  4. It’s polite.  If you’re talking about someone (or their work), then give them some credit
  5. It shows that you’re not obsessed with manipulating your search rankings, which is generally a good thing for your search rankings

That doesn’t mean that you should hand out links willy nilly.  They should always be relevant and appropriate to the content of your web page.  An example of inappropriate linking is blindly linking to the websites of commenters for no reason. Too often the links are just not relevant to the article in question.  Relevant links within comments on the other hand can be really useful to your readers and show that you care about your readers and are open to engaging them in conversation.

In summary, don’t be scared of linking to others

  • If it seems appropriate, link it.
  • If it seems inappropriate, don’t link it.

Go with your gut and don’t spend too much time worrying about it.  Just remember that your website is the face of your business, so a positive attitude to linking will give out a positive impression about your business, and vice cersa.

Scrooge comic cover design
Don’t be a scrooge

Photo credit: RIPtheskull –