Link Love - What is Link Love?
8 years ago Posted in: Link Love, Personal 0
What is Link Love?
Has the world wide web forgotten about link love?

Well if you ask Google you will get a small definition which has been sourced from one of the most link loved websites on the internet, boasting a huge amount of articles on pretty much all of the sane thoughts you may have – after all it is written by you. I’m talking of course about Wikipedia and it’s page on link popularity and methods.

Link love is a term used in the fields of search engine optimization and blogging to describe the effect that web pages rank better when they have more and higher quality links pointing at them.

So that’s what link love means then? If you get a lot of link love then search engines like Google will start to love you and place those web pages higher in its rankings.

Where is the love?

In a bizarre twist this kind of goes against the word love doesn’t it? Google, only loving a website if it is well loved by everyone else. And Wikipedia, which is well loved by everyone else, seems to not love anyone but itself as it nofollows all of its external links! Fair play though, as like real love it is open to abuse.

So what is link love?

My definition of link love:

Link love is a term which describes the process of one website linking to another as it benefits the reader and acts as a compliment to the website being linked towards due to it’s content, without the need for anything to be given back, and passes value to the other website.

Well I didn’t set out to create an SEO Glossary here but I did want to point out that it is much more than just increasing rankings. It is natural and the backbone of the web, nevermind what a big part of Google’s algorithm actually works on.

The great usability expert Jakob Nielson told of his thoughts on fighting linkrot many moons ago and I believe the following quote very apt:

Even worse, linkrot contributes to dissolving the very fabric of the Web: there is a looming danger that the Web will stop being an interconnected universal hypertext and turn into a set of isolated info-islands. Anything that reduces the prevalence and usefulness of cross-site linking is a direct attack on the founding principle of the Web.

With the web connected together by cross-site linking it is important this continues to play a bigger part than those who are afraid to link out to resources. It can be argued whether this is even a problem, as many of the industry blogs tend to link out favourably to good resources and aren’t concerned about other factors like link juice. However, it seems as if some people and perhaps new SEO bloggers may not link out as much for methods such as link hoarding.

It seems I am not alone with these thoughts as others at Webmaster World have been talking about inter-linking a few days ago, with some of the first post highlighting current issues:

Google’s reliance on links for it’s algo, and our (webmasters’) resulting hunt for links has completely screwed up interlinking.

Used to be if you had a good resource, you could actively hunt and find good quality links.

Today, that’s pretty much dead. Quality websites either ignore link requests, or demand cash – the end resource is no longer a factor in people giving out links.

In short, this merry go round has distorted every webmaster out there, turning links into currency. And all of Google’s guidelines and nofollow crap and everything else has only made things worse.

Admittedly, this has probably arisen from the need of link building to boost the ranking of a website but if it is being linked towards because it has good content then I don’t see anything wrong with that. As Jakob Nielson puts it, it is the founding principle of the web.

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