Your Take: Do You Have a Linking Policy?Does your blog have a external linking policy? (or linking out policy)
When I ran Bargaineering, I didn’t have a linking policy. Back in the days before search engine optimization was a household word (the “good ole days”), people linked based on merit. They linked to a site if they thought it was a good resource, legitimate, and were comfortable sending their readers there. It was truly a vote of confidence and search engines relied on those links to build their search results.
For what it’s worth, the early days of search engine optimization were about on-page factors since people were building some horrific websites. Now that a lot of that stuff is baked into content management systems, like in WordPress, much of the focus has shifted to off-page stuff like links.
Nowadays, everyone is paranoid about linking to the wrong place because it might impact their search rankings. I know several bloggers who refuse to link to homepages, they will only link to deep pages on a site. I know other bloggers who refuse to link out anywhere, for fear of “leaking” their “link equity.” There are even more that that will only link to a site if it has a minimum Google Page Rank of 6, a metric that hasn’t been updated in months.
When Bargaineering was acquired, a relaxed linking policy was introduced. It was relaxed in the sense that no one was watching over my shoulder but it was understood that I wasn’t supposed to link to competitors, which included other personal finance blogs, and certainly not for any competitive terms. Now I wasn’t going to be linking to anyone for competitive terms but the idea of not linking to blogs didn’t sit well with me. Links are the currency of the web and I saw other personal finance bloggers as friends and colleagues, not necessarily competitors.
That made me wonder, how many bloggers have linking policies? What is in your policy and how did you determine what that policy would be?
And Happy Friday the Thirteenth!