Is Linking to Yourself the Future of the Web?

Last year, Bill Janeway really got my attention (pdf) when he noted that “over time, Wall Street ‘firms began to trade against their clients for their own account, such that now, the direct investment activities of a firm like Goldman Sachs dwarf their activities on behalf of outside customers.'” As I wrote in my blog post at the time, Trading for Their Own Account, “I thought, whither Google, Yahoo! and Amazon?”

At the time, I noted the way that more and more information that was once delivered by independent web sites was now being delivered directly by search engines, and that rather than linking out to others, there were strong signs of a trend towards keeping the link flow to themselves.

This thought re-surfaced when Techcrunch launched Crunchbase. Now, rather than linking directly to companies covered in its stories, Techcrunch links to one of its own properties to provide additional information about them. I noticed the same behavior the other day on the New York Times, when I followed a link, and was taken to a search result for articles on the subject at the Times (with lots of ads, even if there were few results).

Journalism professor Jay Rosen noticed this too, and wrote the tweet that sparked this post:

@NYTimesComm Could you try to find out for me why Week in Review pieces do not link out even when vital to the story? http://is.gd/1Hzd

Follow Jay’s link and you come to a story that indeed doesn’t have any outbound links, except to other Times stories. Now, I understand the value of linking to other articles on your own site — everyone does it — but to do so exclusively is a small tear in the fabric of the web, a small tear that will grow much larger if it remains unchecked.

Business Week is also getting into the act, per a New York Times article entitled
Topic Pages to Be Hub of New BusinessWeek Site:

The core of Business Exchange is hundreds of topic pages, on subjects as broad as the housing market and as narrow as the Boeing 787. Plans call for the number of topic pages to grow quickly into the thousands. (The first one created, which may or may not be in the public version of Business Exchange, was “BlackBerry vs iPhone.”)

Want to place a bet whether articles in the magazine will link exclusively to these “topic pages?” At least Business Week plans to have outbound links from the topic pages (Crunchbase does this too, just siphoning off the first step in the link stream, unlike the NYT roach-motel links.)

Each Business Exchange topic page links to articles and blog posts from myriad other sources, including BusinessWeek’s competitors, with the contents updated automatically by a Web crawler. Nearly all traditional news organizations offer only their own material, spurning the role of aggregator as an invitation to readers to leave their sites.

When this trend spreads (and I say “when”, not “if”), this will be a tax on the utility of the web that must be counterbalanced by the utility of the intervening pages. If they are really good, with lots of useful, curated data that you wouldn’t easily find elsewhere, this may be an acceptable tax. In fact, they may even be beneficial, and a real way to increase the value of the site to its readers. If they are purely designed to capture additional clicks, they will be a degradation of the web’s fundamental currency, much like the black hat search engine pages that construct link farms out of search engine results.

I’d like to put out two guidelines for anyone adopting this “link to myself” strategy:

  1. Ensure that no more than 50% of the links on any page are to yourself. (Even this number may be too high.)

  2. Ensure that the pages you create at those destinations are truly more valuable to your readers than any other external link you might provide.

The web is a great example of a system that works because most sites create more value than they capture. Maybe the tragedy of the commons in its future can be averted. Maybe not. It’s up to each of us.

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  • http://pascal.vanhecke.info Pascal Van Hecke

    Just these 3 remarks:

    - Techcrunch has abandoned their policy of (exclusively) linking internally pretty soon after users’ complaints. They switched to a system with crunchbase “badges” under each article

    - the “tag” links to “tag pages” that are used here on radar.oreilly.com and on properties like wordpress.com actually are an example of the same practice: aggregate content on “topic/tag pages” to score high in google for that topic/tag

    - it is doubtful that linking internally exclusively actually works. SEO’s nowadays consciously include external links to topically relevant pages to increase topical relevance for a page they’re trying to optimize…

  • http://blog.ciarang.com Ciaran

    Ultimately, that kind of shabby behaviour is rewarded by first people drifting away and later leaving in droves.

    The classic example must be the long lost search engines from the AltaVista and Lycos mould. While Google were providing the service people came for, they were busy stuffing the page full of adverts, shopping and any other crap they could fit in to try and capture the poor searcher. The end result was inevitable.

    Likewise, when people find a site that links to itself to try and capture them when it could have linked to somewhere more useful, they will quickly realise that going there in the first place was a bad move.

  • http://norman.walsh.name/ Norman Walsh

    I’m most often, perhaps only, tempted to “link to myself” when I don’t trust the owner of the web property in question to manage their URI space with any sense of persistence. My itinerary pages, for example, have links to the venues (hotels, conference centers, restaurants) that I’m likely to visit on my travels. The owners of these establishments, when they have URIs at all, tend to have obscure and annoyingly ephemeral URIs, so I create my own pages for them.

  • http://createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well, I’m not sure that the converse is true — that linking out is necessarily of intrinsic value. It seems we’re talking about two trends:

    1. *Avoiding* outbound links so that you can instead boost internal traffic (obviously bad)

    2. *Creating* static content pages as a way of better organizing content, or linking to internal content because it’s genuinely useful (obviously good)

    I think that things had been so tilted to outbound links on blogs in particular — sometimes I myself having been guilty of this — that it was impossible to find any actual information.

    So, I would even dispense with the 50% rule. If you’re linking to something of value and it happens to be internal, that’s great. Outbound links should be there any time there’s an actual, outbound source of information. If you do the internal links right, and organize the information on your own site, then that outbound information is likely to be more useful, too.

    @Pascal, you’re assuming all of this is for SEO. We have tags on our site that do very well in Google, it’s true — but that’s what I’d *want* to find when looking for information as it’s pre-tagged with what I’m actually looking for! Same deal with internal links — without them, *humans* may not find what they’re looking for.

    And I can speak from experience, as I benefit from good internal linking — and suffer from stupid avoided external linking — as a reader, and even on my own sites.

    I just don’t see this as a real trend, because smart publishers don’t (consistently) do dumb things.

  • http://www.seo-expert-blog.com/ yaph

    This is a bad trend for the Web. Looks like more and more webmasters are merely interested in their search engine rankings and not in user satisfaction.

    One of the problems is that people think they harm their own sites, when linking external pages, which is encouraged by many SEO resources you find on the Web.

    Funnily enough, people who generally don’t link to external sites, don’t seem to grasp that visitors will leave their sites anyway — sooner or later.

  • http://marketmovers.org Felix Salmon

    Tim, there’s a glass-half-full view of this, too. These sites aren’t moving from external links to internal links, they’re moving from no links to links. Maybe internal links are just a necessary step along the way to external links. That’s my hope, anyway.

  • http://www.numlock.ch/news Daniel Mettler

    I believe that readers can distinguish between “links to myself” that add value for them or those that just try to fool them into not leaving the site. Which is highly subjective, so it’s difficult to come up with general figures as an advice to content providers.

    If there isn’t a common-sense balance, visitors will likely stop clicking on links on self referring sites (and rather just enter the URL manually or search for a keyword using a search engine). This of course means that visitors have lost some trust in the web site, which can hardly be the goal of any web site. Finally, people will stop visiting the web site itself.

    So, in short: I hope the free market and common sense will take care of this.

    P.S. A similar, but more alerting “trend” (as less evident to visitors): Outgoing visitor tracking links (that forward, but make a detour via the own site)

  • http://paulmwatson.com/journal Paul M. Watson

    Yes, it is a fascinating trend. My pet peeve is sites like Engadget linking to “tag” pages on their own site.

  • http://www.techcrunch.com nik cubrilovic

    Pascal was right in the first response – at TC linking to the CB entries first didn’t last very long. If we do link to the CB entries it is usually the second time a company name is cited, rather than the first. If you could look at a graph of links per post on TC over the past few years you would see a big increase, the CB links are provided in addition to the usual links, along with the widgets.

    Linking to external sources is a big part of TC, we aren’t afraid of citing our sources. I could name 10 other sites that completely butcher the blogosphere by adapting stories without links and instead having a ton of internal links – TC isn’t one of them.

  • http://robbhand.com Robb

    Thank God for Sphere.

  • http://joeduck.com Joe Hunkins

    Links have been the currency of the web for some time and it is distorting everything. Google’s “nofollow” and “paid link penalty” fixes are creating a host of new problems though Google seems to feel fewer than they are solving.

    This *may* resolve itself – at least in part – as new voices come online, erasing the big advantage old websites and heavily linked blogs currently enjoy.

  • http://www.radar.com/nat gnat

    I agree, big media sites are going to find it hard to avoid doing stupid ad-increasing stuff that destroys the user experience. Welcome to 2001 Reloaded, where these knol-like metapages are the new popup and the NYT is the new Yahoo!. As with the original popups, the user’s only ally is the browser–expect to see Firefox and other browsers providing the context that the sites themselves have taken away.

  • http://everwas.com Ian Kennedy

    Such behavior is unfortunately the result of not having a better metric than pageviews by which to measure a site when determining advertising spend.

    Until the industry comes up with a better metric, sites with many pageviews get the lion’s share of the advertising revenue and business managers of these sites will do everything they can to preserve pageviews on their domain.

    Fix the commercial incentive and you’ll fix the behavior. The free market economy is failing us here.

  • http://www.numlock.ch/news Daniel Mettler

    Ian, fortunately, the free market economy is not failing here. In the end, it’s still us who decide which sites we’re going to visit and which links we will follow. As long as we can decide (i.e. mechanisms are visible/evident to people, as in this case) and there aren’t any negative external effects, there really isn’t any problem.

  • http://www.gregorylent.tumblr.com gregorylent

    blame google and the whole clicks equals money thing

  • http://www.stickernation.com srini kumar

    it is funny how e-commerce is sort of not the same right now.

    affiliate programs aside, the goal of an e-commerce site is to be totally self-referential.

    i founded stickernation.com to change that – we want to create as many links as we have custom sticker customers. thank you for spurring me to add social features to our order process tonight tim – you are an inspiration !

  • http://moneyterms.co.uk/ Graeme Pietersz

    I can remember people (including my, now defunct, employer) trying the same approach during the dotcom boom. The aim was the same: keep them on your site. It was not a good approach then. and I do not see any reason it will be more successful now.

    If anything, the search engines tend to encourage linking to relevant sites.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    Tim, I’ll believe this when I see the following:

    1. Ensure that no more than 50% of the links to people on any blog item are to A-lister. (Even this number may be too high.)

    2. Ensure that the pages you link at those destinations are truly more valuable to your readers than any other external link you might provide.

    Otherwise, this is just attention-mongering A-listers looking for attention up the scale.

  • http://BrianLehrer.tv DerekTut

    I see this effect and it bothers me evry time I read an article from NYT, which is why I don’t often start with them, I just end up there due to some outside blog sending me to them.

    I fear that NYT will continue to create a walled pay-garden for themselves and then, similar to AP, start going after the blogs that snip artcles. This trend could definitely have a “chilling-effect” if not watched carefully. Competitive practices across many markets tells us so.

  • http://bigsight.org/dan_birdwhistell Dan Birdwhistell

    I started bigsight.org in 2007 to begin to give people curated pages to link to for individuals, orgs, cities, companies, etc. The notability level for individuals on wikipedia is very high, so one answer is a public-facing directory that people can look to for reliable information. Others in this field are Spock, wink, peekyou, zoominfo, linkedin, etc. I gladly link to myself, Dan Birdwhistell. The key to having something like this both scale and be reliable is allowing data portability (like we do with FBook) and having the pages appear high enough in Google that people feel the need to keep them updated, much like they would a public resume.

  • http://www.wayner.org/ Peter Wayner

    I think that the topic pages are an effort to offer some real competition to sites like Wikipedia. When well-researched sites organize all of their past content, they’re providing something quite useful and distinct from much of the user-generated energy/chaos of the web.

    There’s something philosophically fragile about insisting in outside links. I’ve always found it funny to listen to Wikipedians insist that (1) it’s as good a reference site as any on the Net and (2) you can’t put something on a Wikipedia page without an outside reference. Well, which is it?

    This philosophical blind spot is a well-known problem for any organization or institution. Universities, for instance, like to insist on “outside” letters of reference, even though these outsiders may see the person in question no more than once every other year.

    Yes, it’s a mistake to insist on a weak inside link over a powerful outside one, but it’s also a mistake to value the chaos of the web over an institution that’s designed itself to create high-quality content.

  • http://wit.co.il Oded Haim Breiner

    All we need is a browser plugin that colors same-domain links differently, and make it a default with every browser.

  • http://www.jasonkolb.com Jason Kolb

    I agree, this is stupid, annoying, and hurts the Web. Hopefully the free market will stamp out this practice by punishing sites that do this with less traffic.

  • http://www.venturedeal.com Don Jones

    Any page-view driven site will always have an economic incentive to link to itself as much as possible to maximize page views and therefore profits.

    Incentives are a most powerful stimulus…

  • blah

    boingboing does this incessantly, that why it sucks now its gone corporate

  • http://www.techiteasy.org Vincent van Wylick

    This is exactly why independent aggregators like Techmeme, Digg, etc. exist, to bring a natural balance back to the web.

    But it is entirely logical that websites link back to themselves, especially since their business models are often based on page-views. So you can’t expect them to do otherwise.

  • http://www.andrewzarick.com Andrew Zarick

    I don’t know if this is intentional or more so a business decision based on the push to move towards the “semantic web.” I know this is something you’ve discussed in the past as well.

    Have you seen the services that inform.com uses on websites such as the Washington Post? They have one product in particular called “Smart Inline Links” that automatically turns text within an article into hyperlinks to other articles on the website. I’m sure the algorithm is far from perfect, especially if relevant content elsewhere related to the article that is being written about is lacking

    Inform.com is well funded and has a sizable sales team going after newspapers.

  • http://createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Hang on, let’s not go too far. Is anyone actually going to say that linking to sites on your own domain, or putting together organized pages of information, is destroying the Web?

    The solution is obvious:
    1. Link externally when appropriate; don’t create a walled garden.
    2. Identify internal links as such; provide an option.
    3. Link to what’s useful to people.

    I think we’re getting carried away with all this analysis. It doesn’t help traffic, and it doesn’t help SEO, so people *aren’t going to do it if they’re intelligent at all*. Organizing “wiki” pages of content probably would help both traffic and SEO — but it’d also be more useful to readers, and there’s no reason to publish publishers for that.

    I’d be equally concerned about walled gardens; I agree with this story about that. But I think the existing status quo — rampantly linking all over the place without any organization — isn’t a whole lot better. The third path, increasingly better-organized content and a balance of internal and external links, is obviously the one that benefits readers.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Funny, I made the same observation–it’s getting on my nerves!

    http://twitter.com/andybeal/statuses/887358743

  • http://eatsleeppublish.com Jason Preston

    I think that rule number two should be more heavily weighted than rule number one.

    Linking to your own site for the sake of a page view is a practice that will ultimately shoot you in the foot, as viewers will remember this behavior and stop clicking (I don’t bother with links on MSM sites in general).

    But I’m perfectly OK with, for example, Copyblogger, which regularly links back to itself at I’d say a 70/30 ratio per page, but all of those internal links help convey the overall lesson or narrative of the site—they are relevant and useful.

  • http://www.zacharyspencer.com Zachary Spencer

    Internal links and external links are both very valid and useful parts of a website.

    Look at Wikipedia. Wikipedia is intended to provide information about related topics. It also is intended to give a central location for updating that information. Therefore a huge amount of there links are to themselves.

    Contrast that with lifehacker. The majority of links that LifeHacker has are to outside material. They attempt to aggregate knowledge instead of archive it.

    Of course I strongly agree that excluding any external links is a bad thing, but evaluating whether a web page has value based upon the number of internal or external links is going to be dangerous.

  • http://ShaverAssociates.net Rob

    The first two links in this article link to O’Reilly “properties”. Are you saying this is a no-no or not?

  • bowerbird

    your t.o.c. blog has several “related stories”
    internal links at the bottom of each post, not?

    -bowerbird

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Rob, and Bowerbird -

    Intentionally or because I was unclear, you seem to be missing the point. There’s nothing wrong with linking to yourself some of the time. The problem is linking to yourself ALL of the time, or linking to yourself when someone might reasonable expect an external link. Both of the links to myself in the first paragraph are explicit links to my previous writings for context.

    The equivalent to what I’m talking about would be if, for example, the link to Crunchbase in the third paragraph linked to a “Radarbase” article about crunchbase instead of to crunchbase itself.

    For all those people who’ve talked about finding the right balance — I completely agree. I’m not saying that this practice is always and everywhere wrong, just that I’m seeing signs of a trend that is going in the wrong direction.

    Take crunchbase: techcrunch were at first linking solely to crunchbase entries when they mentioned a company, but based on user feedback, tried to make it clearer when it was a crunchbase link vs a company link. But they’re still getting flak — but I imagine that part of the feedback process will help them improve the ratio, or give more appropriate signals about what to expect from the link. (See the comments on the techcrunch post in response to this one: http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/19/no-tim-were-not-as-bad-as-the-new-york-times/ )

    FWIW, I think crunchbase is a great idea, and a great service. While I mentioned it as an example, I wasn’t putting it in the same category as the NYT. I was doing two things:

    * Pointing out a trend, and suggesting that if it intensifies, it might get really out of hand.

    * Making some off-the-cuff suggestions for “good behavior.”

    As the discussion of wikipedia suggests, there are lots of exceptions to the “rules” I suggested. “Create more value than you capture” is the best test.

  • Selina Howells

    ‘No, Tim, we’re not as bad as the New York Times.’ Erick Schonfeld, co-editor, Techcrunch.

    A statement for which Schonfeld provides no evidence. I doubt that before writing this statement of fact Schonfeld conducted any sort of research to quantify linking practice across his website and the NYTimes.

    I doubt he has the evidence to support this statement either ‘company links on TechCrunch are usually not the most prominent link in any given post.’

    Tim, IMHO, you are being hugely naive to think that such a manipulative writer, who in his response to comments on his website has the audacity to claim he’s just ‘trying to be upfront’, wants to do anything but spend all day looking at himself in the mirror.

  • http://blogs.vinuth.com/the-holy-trail/ Gubbi

    Even Engadget does this extensively. In fact, other than the read link and image link, every other link is to itself. It frustrates me a lot even when the intermediate links provide more information. It’s just not intuitive. Doesn’t give what was seeked.

  • ChrisCD

    I think it can be summed up fairley easily.

    “To Give Link Love is to Get Link Love”

    Large sites maybe able to pull off internal link only “schemes”, but smaller sites need the external links to be found.

    And we can vote with our clicks. If a site consistently disappoints us, we can go somewhere else.

  • Tim O'Reilly

    ChrisCD, I’m afraid that what you describe is link spam. As Seth Finkelstein noted above, linking to people solely in hopes of getting them to link back to you, is nearly as odious a practice as linking to yourself for page views.

    Links should be used to elaborate, to inform, to provide additional information and context. And as Seth points out, they sometimes serve this benefit best when they point to *less* obvious sources.

    You’re completely right that people can vote with their clicks. But you’d be surprised how easy it is for people to get accustomed to bad behavior.

    It’s important to understand that guidelines such as I propose are not “rules.” They are best practices.

    I link to other O’Reilly sites all the time. But the links are explicit, and serve the discussion, rather than being cloaked links designed to get page views or page rank.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Peter Wayner -

    I think you misunderstand the Wikipedia policy. They link to other articles on Wikipedia because it is, after all, an encyclopedia. This is called cross-referencing, and allows an article to incorporate another article by reference rather than repeating its content.

    They require outside links for purposes of verification. Since they don’t want primary source material in wikipedia, by definition it must come from somewhere else. I’m sure you learned the difference between primary and secondary sources as far back as middle school. If Wikipedia allowed its own articles to be used as evidence, masquerading as primary sources, they’d have a real problem.

    In short, Wikipedia behaves in a useful and consistent way.

    The problem I pointed to is really with links that are *primarily* designed to help the web site rather than to help the reader.

  • Julian

    David Weinberger, in Small Pieces Loosely Joined, very aptly pointed out years ago that the value of the web came from the inter-linking and the fact that no single entity controlled this “space,” as per Tim Berners Lee vision. I also think he somewhat foresaw the potential for where we are today.

    At the same time, we are at a new paradigm on the net, where data does not live on a single site, but rather is ubiquitous. This may just be a growing pain to an entirely new landscape where the ideas of sites, property/intellectual rights, and general web navigation are rethought. Not to mention the semantic web.

  • http://www.praizedmedia.com Sebastien Provencher

    Tim,

    As more and more people build real businesses on top of blogging software, they’re interested in quickly growing content, page views and revenues. The trend you identify in this post was definitely one we foresaw when we started building Praized, our local search platform for blogs. It allows anyone doing placeblogging with our WP or MT plug-ins (or our API) to link directly to local search (yellow pages-like) results or business profiles within their own web site.

    But, to make sure those search results and place profile pages are relevant/valuable in context, search ranking, votes and comments are specific to each community that installed our platform, allowing readers to see what that site editors and readers think about specific places.

  • http://www.evansink.com Perry

    The balancing force of today’s web is found in the increasing power and openness of conversations.

    The conversation is mightier than the article! The readers will self-correct and take other readers to better places through comments – it’s where the real discovery happens.

    trust the tribes to guide. Don’t worry about the walls that are imposed around the first thought bubble.

    mho.

    Perry

  • http://techblissonline.com/ Rajesh

    Great post. The sole reason they do it is for SEO benefits on search engines like google and we all know it.

    Offcourse they could have linked to external pages and use a nofollow but then they don’t want to do that.These topic pages are an excuse for them to add more content as google determines a site’s authority and page rank based on the amount of fresh content they churn out.

    It is the search engines like google who triggered these behaviour and it is they who have to find the right solution.

    One thing they can do is to distribute a page’s rank for internal links differently from what they do for external links. i.e. if a page has rand 6 then this could be shared by all the internal links and another 6 could be shared by all the external links.Then they could give weightage to a page based on its quality , quality and number of relevant external pages to which they link to etc.

    These can be overcome if search engines devise the right algorithms to determine page rank and authority.

  • http://techblissonline.com/ Rajesh

    Guys out there at Google or yahoo or MSN or any other SE…Speak to me if you are genuinely interested in understanding how to devise the right algorithms for creating a friendly web..

    Tim is the guy who gave the boost to the current web trends by coining the term “Web 2.0″ and it is sad to know that all these web 2.0 sites out there, disappoint him by not being friendly.

    The whole concept of determining PR and authority, based only on internal links, is flawed.As oulined in my above comment, quality and number of relevant external links should also be given good weightage…Also make a distinction in spreading PR juice between internal and external links.Don’t spread it blurring this distinction.

    Someone out here was pointing how independent aggregators like Techmeme, Digg, etc. exist, to bring a natural balance back to the web.

    Guys, none of these so called “socially” “friendly” sites are social indeed.All these aggregators do not directly link to all those external sites, though these are the sites that help in filling their coffers..

    It is a pity that they don’t even do a 301 redirect and only do a 302 redirect.Nauseating stuff really…Most of these guys were probably long aware of google’s weakness in finding out the genuine guy(URL) while doing 302 redirects…This, many say, has been corrected but a recent incident where Gmail was outranked showed that the weakness still persists…

    It is not a social web at all :(

  • http://techblissonline.com/ Rajesh

    Guys out there at Google or yahoo or MSN or any other SE…Speak to me if you are genuinely interested in understanding how to devise the right algorithms for creating a friendly web..

    Tim is the guy who gave the boost to the current web trends by coining the term “Web 2.0″ and it is sad to know that all these web 2.0 sites out there, disappoint him by not being friendly.

    The whole concept of determining PR and authority, based only on internal links, is flawed.As oulined in my above comment, quality and number of relevant external links should also be given good weightage…Also make a distinction in spreading PR juice between internal and external links.Don’t spread it blurring this distinction.

    Someone out here was pointing how independent aggregators like Techmeme, Digg, etc. exist, to bring a natural balance back to the web.

    Guys, none of these so called “socially” “friendly” sites are social indeed.All these aggregators do not directly link to all those external sites, though these are the sites that help in filling their coffers..

    It is a pity that they don’t even do a 301 redirect and only do a 302 redirect.Nauseating stuff really…Most of these guys were probably long aware of google’s weakness in finding out the genuine guy(URL) while doing 302 redirects…This, many say, has been corrected but a recent incident where Gmail was outranked showed that the weakness still persists…

    It is not a social web at all :(

  • http://www.socialmediatoday.com Eric Ehrmann

    You find this dual-edge sword strategy (some would say pathology) in industries that were around long before DARPA and today’s social web. After all, the topper at Goldman Sachs (breaking tradition) is a trader, not one of their white shoe guys like the current US treasury secretary. So he makes money by moving it around- fast. The job creation opportunity that is a consequence of what here is blogged about is the “work around.” Lots of people laughed when Rear Adm. John Poindexter was run out of the Bush Administration for proposing hair brained schemes not unlike control of information,walling off,monetizing futures. The ones who didn’t are probably visiting their money on the Bahnhofstrasse in Zuerich.

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    On twitter, Jay Rosen notes that this behavior seems to have changed, pointing to http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/24/weekinreview/24kershaw.html as an example. Maybe the net noticing their behavior has had an effect! If so, congrats to the NYT on the change in policy! Will keep an eye out, and if anyone at the NYT can confirm, this would be great.

  • http://techblissonline.com/ Rajesh

    Except for two links nothing seem to have changed there…

  • http://tim.oreilly.com Tim O'Reilly

    Rajesh — that’s the point. Now there are links, before there weren’t.

  • http://www.relationship-economy.com Jay Deragon

    Linkedin just released a feature within all their groups called “discussions”. The feature enables group members to engage in discussions limiting text to 200 characters with a option to add links to the discussion.

    A smart move by Linkedin’s but is it just another conversational distraction for the users? See any of the groups you belong to and you’ll find a new tab labeled “Discussions”.

    t appears as thought everyone wants our conversations and yet no one has yet created the “autobahn” of conversational exchanges. The forces that enable an individual or business to get from point A to B fastest will gain our loyalty. Where can we easily engage in conversational exchanges with ease of access, relevancy, and an interface that saves us time? Jumping from one conversational community to another to discuss the same thing isn’t very productive.

    Every week new announcements hit the blogosphere vying for out time and attention. As Matthew Tharp reported, the initial response to the announcement of Cherp drew 10X the expected response rate. Whether your drawn to Twitter, Cherp , Exchange or the next innovative and creative offering the primary thing that makes us stick is the value proposition gained from the conversations.

    Links or no links,Get the value proposition right and the conversations will stick. Does the conversation help you learn how to stick or is it an attempt to make you stick?

  • http://www.interaktiv-net.de/wordpress/ Interaktiv-Net

    A theme you should return to.
    Of course, internal linking is so annoying that maybe some of these blogging combines will be taken down a peg.

  • http://www.interaktiv-net.de/wordpress/2008/10/kleindatenhaltung/ Kleindatenhaltung

    Maybe internal links are just a necessary step along the way to external links.

  • http://www.mywebsolution.de/artikel/13/show_Kleindatenhaltung.html Kleindatenhaltung

    “2. Ensure that the pages you create at those destinations are truly more valuable to your readers than any other external link you might provide”

    I don’t agree to this point. That’s kind of philosophic but not realistic.

    Regards

  • http://www.it-sells.de Phil Veyton

    Any page view driven site will always have an economic incentive to link to itself as much as possible to maximize page views and therefore profits.

  • Miguel20100826

    Me uno a las felicitaciones, la verdad que me parece que el contenido es bastante …. Es muy interesante tu blog.
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  • http://www.flamenco-music.de Seoine Kubaseoträume

    “# Ensure that no more than 50% of the links on any page are to yourself…” I think this is one of the most important things for a good link strategy.

  • http://www.kubaseotraeume24.de/ KubaSeoTräume

    Someone out here was pointing how independent aggregators like Techmeme, Digg, etc. exist, to bring a natural balance back to the web.

    Guys, none of these so called “socially” “friendly” sites are social indeed.All these aggregators do not directly link to all those external sites, though these are the sites that help in filling their coffers..

  • http://www.frankie.cc DJ München

    I think all links are important… internal and external links. As well some PR0 links are good to have because google thinks it’s natural linkbuilding.

  • http://www.augen-lasern-basics.de/ Augen Lasern

    “Ensure that no more than 50% of the links on any page are to yourself. (Even this number may be too high.)” This number is too high!

    Maybe 30-36% is the right number.

  • http://www.seo-and-webdesign.de Andreas

    External links are in my experience now more important than internal.

  • http://dreimals.de Werbeagentur Bodensee

    A link is a link is a link. That’s what we use to say. Concerning valuable links: value is highly subjective to the viewer thus it can’t be measured.

  • http://www.gutscheinfritze.de Fritz Linking to hisself

    Me as Fritz i would say what i already say about 10 years. The best link mix is this one, which is natural. Natural means of course links to yourself, to external sites. And look at trends. When facebook is popular, link to facebook and get links from there.

  • http://seobunny.de Suchmaschinenoptimierung

    inside links and outside links are both very official and helpful parts of a website.

    Look at Wikipedia. Wikipedia is intended to provide in rank in the region of connected topics. It additionally is intended to give a central location in place of updating to facilitate in rank. Therefore a gigantic amount of nearby links are to themselves.

    Contrast to facilitate with lifehacker. The majority of links to facilitate LifeHacker has are to outside material. They attempt to aggregate intelligence as a substitute of archive it.

    Of path I strongly approve to facilitate without any outside links is a bad item, but evaluating whether a labyrinth side has meaning based leading the quantity of inside or outside links is obtainable to come to pass precarious.

  • http://www.kreditkarte4you.com kreditkarte4you

    My pet peeve is sites like Engadget linking to “tag” pages on their own site.

  • http://www.mr-finanzforum.de Finanzforum

    My tipp is 50/50 linking

  • http://www.maria-georgieva.com maria georgieva

    yes, i link my sites with satelit domains :-)

  • http://cash-im-internet.org Geld verdienen

    I agree to many comments as I think that such links are a very important part of seo. For my projects, a ratio of 40:60 works best!

  • http://seoshack.eu samy

    that’s it 50 : 50 linking, think so also

  • http://www.box24.de/box Frank Frachtenbörse

    Yes, this is a bad development for the Internet.
    Many webmasters are chasing only the links, without considering the contents even to the users.