Blogrolls – Yes or No?

January 25, 2011 in Blog Tools, Blog tips by Diane

While there are many blogs in the blogosphere, there are certain people that I follow on a daily basis.
There are those who give me my daily dose of inspiration, those that help me learn more about the craft of blogging and some who share my personal likes and shared interests.
Should I be putting every blog that I like on a blogroll?
To answer this question, you need to understand what a blogroll is and why you should have one ( or… maybe not have one )on your blog.
Lets go back a moment and define what a blogroll is.
According to Wiktionary a blogroll is  (Internet) A blogger’s list of hyperlinks that are recommendations to other blogs.”.  Well that was pretty dry but to the point!
I prefer this definition by Jade Blake which is:
A blogroll is an addition to a blog that benefits the blog’s owner, visitors and other blog owners. The main purpose of a blogroll is to refer readers to blogs containing similar content that they might enjoy. In time, other blogs might add your blog address to their blogrolls. This will bring more traffic to your website.
–oh and as the Wiktionary points out they are indeed links.
Is that it?  If that were the case my job here would be done and everyone could go on their way and create a blogroll of hundreds of links  um I mean blogs.
The fact is, that is exactly what many people do!  they create a blogroll without thought and many have blogrolls so long you have to wonder…wow does that person really read and like these blogs?
The fact is blogrolls can have great advantages.
For example:
  • If you have a blog on something like aging, then linking to other blogs that have similar interests  that will help your readers.  You are providing value, something your readers will appreciate.
  • when you align yourself with other bloggers and especially if they link back to you, then you have created more traffic to your is all about recipocity and that is nothing to sneeze at.
Like anything though Blogrolls also have a downside and you need to know that.
  • Blogrolls need to be kept up.  You need to keep checking to see if these people are still blogging or that they are still active with their blogs and staying with the same topic.
  • In terms of SEO, well it is like this, while you may have a persons blog on your site…are they returning the favor?  If they are not, you are passing traffic to others, but they are not passing it back to you.
  • If your blogroll is too big, then what is that saying? Speaking only for myself, when I see a huge blogroll list, I walk away from that blog as to me that blog is not showing any credibility and is just putting links in for the “link juice”.  Am I wrong?
Now that I have told you my vie
w on the good and bad points to blogrolls, I do have a few suggestions to hopefully guide you to creating a blogroll that will do your blog  justice.
1.How many of you use the word “blogroll” on your blogs?  Did you know that you are wasting your real estate value of your blog?  Think of a wording that would best suit your blogroll in a way that will convey interest to your readers. Think of keywords or a keyword phrase that people would be searching for on the net, that will lead them to your site.
2. How many of you just put in blog links, one after the other?  Your time would be better spent categorizing your links.There are a couple of reasons to my blogroll tip. a) when you use a keyword as a category, you stand a chance of being noticed by the Search engines and when you are providing good content to your blog, then it is not only your readers that will notice you.  - When you categorize your blogroll, your readers will be able to find what they are wanting and the blog authors will also thank you for taking the time to say what the topic of their blog is about which is great SEO for them and also for you.
3. Keep your blogroll relevent to your site.  Depending on your blog topic or niche, this can get a bit tricky especially if you have a blog on lets say aging and you are linking to a site about mechanics ( just an example).  Is there a way around this issue?   To me the answer is yes, you can do one of two things, keep your site pure to the topic in all aspects and not link to those style of blogs or you can make a personal catchall category – think of a good name and put in those blogs that you just really enjoy.
4. Not every blog that wants to link with you is going to be suitable.  Yes I know that sounds terrrible,but it is true. When someone wants to link to your blog (blogroll) or if you want to link to them, then you also need to know if it is a good blog.  Now everyone thinks of their blog as a “wow”, but the reality is that if a blog is not indexed ( page rank), then it is a useless link. Now you don’t have to ignore these authors and in fact I would say, especially if they have written a good article/post, then link to them within your post.
I guess in the end, you need to weigh the pros and cons when creating a blogroll.  While the internet is very impersonal, it is wise to remember that when one is being social and personal,  the rewards will come back to you ten fold.
Todays post is about blogrolls and to that end the free tools that I can suggest, will help you find those blogs that have a good page rank.
SEO for firefox
this tool will give you loads of information from Google PageRank, Page links,age and so much more. ( I personally use this tool and it is easy to use and gives a lot of good information)
This is a SEO tool for Google Chrome and a I have to say that the information that you will get is comprehensive to say the leart.  It also enhances tools such as the Google Wemaster tools with links anchor text and pagerank.  I have been trying this extension out for a while now and have to say I like it!
SeoQuake firefox extension
seoQuake is one very powerful tool for any or all of your SEO needs. Not only will you get the pagerank on any given page or blog you are on, but you will also find out about such things as back links, keywords, sources and the list goes on.
Have fun with these tools and let me know how you are getting on with your blogroll