September 23, 2007

More Comments On Inwardly Linking

A dozen or so days ago, I kicked off a discussion in the blogopshere around the practice of relying heavily on internal links, even when external links to the source of news would likely serve a reader better. A few weeks into it, the debate is still raging, not just here, but elsewhere.

Two well-respected bloggers, Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester Research, formerly of PodTech, and Muhammad Saleem, have added their own comments. As you can expect, given that there seems to be no "one right answer" to this discussion, their findings are quite different.

Jeremiah, in a post titled "Linking Strategy and why Back Linking is OK", says, "If your content (on your own website) can add more value linking elsewhere, than it’s certainly ok to do this."

Muhammad, in a post titled "Do you link in or link out?", says, "By linking to other sources you can either use them to back up your own argument or provide your readers with another viewpoint to consider and come to their own conclusions."

To resummarize my comments from before, I have zero problems with referring to old notes on a similar topic. I do it all the time (as in my first link above). But if an external hyperlink would add more value, or lead a reader to the source of the story, that makes more sense than the growing practice of dumping visitors into a random archive page or keyword search results.

Additional comments since my last update can be found from Michael Coates, The Last Podcast, The Net Takeaway, and Daily Grumble.


  1. We're in agreement Louis, thanks for kicking off this discussion.

    I think the offenders are those larger 'web zines' where their monetization is built around keeping eyes on their domain.

  2. I have never liked the practice of links that lead to a nothing more than a Google or Technorati search string. I don't think that this adds anything to a conversation and it definitely does nothing to help the author. I have used the practice a couple of times myself granted but felt like I should take a shower after doing so :)