A Blogroll of links to the sites you read is a way of acknowledging those sites you value and also recommending relevant content to your readers. The rule of thumb is: link to the most authoritative related references in your posts, and to the most authoritative sites in your niche in your Blogroll.
For reasons revealed below many bloggers are no longer choosing to have blogrolls loading in their sidebars or footers on every page of their blog. Where widgets display can be managed by using widget visibility settings. But first let’s be clear about what we are discussing.
How to create a blogroll in WordPress
In WordPress blogs you can import or create a set of external links, also known as your blogroll. The Links Menu is where area you enter all links and assign each link to one or more Categories. All WordPress.com blogs have only one Blogroll which may appear to be multiple Blogrolls as it will be divided into sections in accord with the Categories assigned to the links. Understanding the relationship between blogrolls, links widgets and categories widgets is a must for mastering wordpress blogging. The links you enter into your Blogroll are displayed only after the Links widget is placed in your sidebar. Also note that there must be at least one link assigned to a Category before it will appear in your sidebar.
Reciprocal links are based on an agreement by two webmasters to link to each others’ sites and small sites enter these arrangements to increase traffic and link popularity. So if you plan to enter link exchanges it’s important to understand the implications and the realities.
“The blogroll can be set up based on each blogger’s personal preferences, and it can be updated at any time. … There are many reasons why you may decide not to reciprocate a blogroll link, but it’s good blogging etiquette to at least review each blog that links to you through its blogroll to determine if you’d like to add that blog to your own blogroll or not.” — Susan Gunelius in What is a Blogroll?
“Anybody who knows me also knows I am the enemy of reciprocal link building, this is due to many reasons, firstly because of the lack of link juice they pass, secondly they leak PageRank unnecessarily and thirdly because many reciprocal links look like spam. … A blogroll or site wide exchange is designed to pass traffic as well as authority, if you show a link on every page of your site you’re willing to lose PageRank from every page of your site. Would you do this for a worthless link?” –Tim Grice in Is Reciprocal Link Building Worthwhile?
- Currently search engines are not assigning much importance to unrelated (two-way) or reciprocal links, and will assume that unrelated reciprocal links are solicited links.
- If too many of your links are of low quality it may make it harder for your blog to rank for relevant queries, and some search engines may look at inbound link and outbound link ratios as well as link quality when determining how natural a site’s link profile is.
Blogroll or Links Page?
There are two approaches for displaying a list of sites you regularly visit and wish to recommend to your readers. The most common way is to create a Blogroll and display it in the sidebar of your blog. The second approach is to display such a list on a Links page.
“I don’t like Blogrolls. While they do serve a fine purpose, allowing visitors to see other blogs they might like, and sharing the link-love is always good, I don’t do them. … If you like a blog, link to their posts when they write something interesting. “ — Chris Garret in Another Good Reason to NOT Have a Blogroll
How to create a Links Page in WordPress
If you happen to choose a theme that provides a Links Template for static pages then when you create a static page, give it a title, click Links template in the right hand side module and click “publish”. The result will be that all the Links you entered into the Links Menu module will be automatically displayed on your new Links page. A full list of themes that do have Links templates can be found at this link. Aside from the themes that do have Links page templates there is no automatic way to transfer the content your entered into the Links Menu to a static page. So if you do not have a theme with the Links template then you create a static page and enter all data manually.
I eliminated my Blogroll about a year ago. In Share Your Blogroll Linking Strategy I was considering removing the onecoolsite.wordpress.com Links (Blogroll) page but decided to keep it and I’ve just updated it.
Updated May 5th, 2015.
What is your linking strategy?
Do you have a Blogroll or a Links page?
Related post found in this blog:
Link Building Strategy: Locating Similar Sites
Understanding Reciprocal and Non-Reciprocal Links
Natural Linking Strategy for Bloggers
Getting the Perfect Link
SEO Basics for on Page Optimization
WordPress: How to maintain and track links
- Comprehensive Link Building Tips for Personal Blogs (seomoz.org)