The reasons to link and what they say about your Web integrity

Why do you use links?

By my count, there are four reasons why you put a link in your online story, post or article, and I think figuring out which of them describes your motivation says a great deal about your Web integrity.

The reasons for linking that come to mind for me:

  • Link Share — You actually want your readers to follow the link; as I’ve written, the word “blog” started as Web log which was meant to mean a “logging of the Web.” So, a fundamental blog style is to collect good links and share them with your readers, with the intent for them to follow them. Like here.
  • Value Link — You are adding value through commentary, analysis or aggregation of similar or related stories or ideas. You’re referencing a story or another post and adding your own opinion or aggregation to it. Like this.
  • Source Link — This transparency allows readers to follow where you got your information or how you made whatever claim is linked out. This is also a way of referencing the past and following a fundamental rule of the Web: never let your reader go through a story and not have somewhere else to go. This should be the most common use of links, so you should see it all over the place.
  • Content-use Link — The link is casual payment for someone else’s content, where you’re using that content to get your own clicks and page views. This can be a simple swiping of text or accepting you’ve been beaten on a story you should have had yourself and giving a bad link. This is often dirty, as I’ve written before. So, to do it right, you have to either add value or give a good link — including publication name, keywords and a reason for your readers to go that way.

In my mind, the first three are legitimate and the fourth can be, but rarely is.

Are there others?

One thought on “The reasons to link and what they say about your Web integrity”

  1. I have built a few websites. is a gateway to shop, build a website, and post a link. I would like my website posted on your website. Also one of my blogs is part of the portal. I try to keep things up-to-date but I am a busy guy. I am trying to build my business. Hopefully, we can help each other.

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