Not interested in SEO?
At Seo tips for blogs hosted on blogger.html Wayne Hurlbert offers some worthwhile tips for anyone using free blog hosting. It's worth reading if you use one of those sites for your blog.
I have to wonder a little bit about a few of the things he said there. The first thing that raised my eyebrows was this:
One way inbound links to blogs are freely given by other bloggers as many blog writers are not concerned about search engine rankings.
Not concerned about search engine rankings? I don't know, but I sure don't get that impression from the blog reading I do. I could agree that many bloggers may not care about making money from blogging (or have just given up trying), but popularity is something just about everyone wants. If you are writing about the mating habits of South American lizards, your general popularity might not be much, but you'd certainly want to get traffic from people with similar interests.. if not, why on earth would you be blogging at all?
So I'd say bloggers are concerned about search engine rankings (though "concerned" doesn't necessarily mean "informed", of course). Wayne then goes on to explain blogrolls and says:
What the blog link popularity lacks in amount of what is passed along, is made up for in theme relevance and quantity. Blog links are literally a volume business. Note that reciprocal blog links don't appear to suffer any downgrading, as is often the case for static sites. Incoming links, including reciprocal links, are effective for blogs.
That's not quite right. Wayne does add more later on that qualifies this:
Reciprocal blog links don't appear to be discounted by Google or the other major search engines, as the exchanges are usually between theme related blogs. Blog owners should, however, exert some level of caution, regarding link exchanges with non-theme relevant blogs, as those incoming links might not receive full value.
I think that "theme related" is the most important thing to remember. If I'm writing about Mac OS X and you are writing about lizards, reciprocal linking is not going to help either of us and actually may hurt. But that begs digging deeper: a lot of blogs really aren't about anything in particular. They might be just rambling daily musings on everything from politics to spilled coffee on the way to work. There's no "theme" - unless "random thoughts" is a theme. You might say that kind of blog is free to link to anything, and perhaps they are, but if your blog is more focused, you need to be a little less ready to link back - unless, of course it's to a specific article that is in your area.
I've said this before: don't be indiscriminate with linking. That doesn't mean "don't link", it means choosing relevant outgoing links. Your Blogroll shouldn't be a dumping ground for anything you notice.
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