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Should I Have a BlogRoll on my Blog

Speed-Posting@SalesBlogcast asks – “What’s the difference between haveing “links” vs. a “blog roll?” Benefits? Chosing wisely?”

Ultimately the word ‘blogroll’ is just a different term used to describe a list of links, usually on the sidebar of a blog. It’s just a different label for the list of links I guess.

When I first started blogging everyone had a blogroll but these days I don’t see as many. One of the problems with them when your blog grows is that they can become quite political to maintain. I ended up giving up on having one on ProBlogger as I had so many requests to be on it – now I just have one with my b5media co-workers.

The other thing about blogrolls is that I hear people trying to get on them because of the SEO benefits of doing so. I’m sure there is some Google juice passed from blog rolls but suspect it’s not massive. Google seem to have more of an emphasis on links in content rather than links that appear on every page on sidebars/footers from what I can see these days.

I’d be interested to hear whether others have blogrolls, why they do (if they do) and how they decide who is on and who isn’t?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Mary (MPJ) says:

    I have a blogroll. It’s reserved for my regular commenters. When a new reader asks to be put on my blogroll, I tell them they need to read and comment on my blog for a few months before I will add them.

  2. Goldenzen says:

    I am reminded of a comment I read when preparing to start my blog about “thought leadership.” If we have any desire to influence others I think we can have a more profound effect through collaberation. I have been direrected to some very powerful connections through the introductions of others, both online and off. I appreciate the effort on behalf of the blogger.

    However, I am slow to add them on my own site, and hope other are too. I would like to spend a wee bit of time around the site before I recommend it to others – again back to “thought leadership.”

    Thanks for you power posting Darren. You are a not only a good source, but an inspiration.

  3. Brad says:

    I only have one links list on any of my blogs at the moment and its aptly titled “Bloggers A Lot Smarter Than Me”. These are the top dozen or so blogs about blogging I subscribe to and read religiously. Since my blogging blog caters to noobs I think it is important to also be pointing them towards people with a lot more experience or different takes than I have on the subject.

    I also put it up to give me quick access to blogs I am likely to comment on. I don’t know if it is the link from the blogroll or the fact that I comment on these blogs, but it makes me smile when people Like Darren actually show up on my blog catalog or mybloglog widget.

    If you are a niche blogger, having one linking to all your competitors might not be the best thing unless you are getting reciprocal linking and aren’t always blogging the same ideas. Some niches like social issues like I have on one of my blogs had the same thing Darren mentioned happen to it, where people begging to get on it, but then when I added them I actually started losing Page Rank so I dropped the whole thing.

    My new option is simply to make a noindex, nofollow links page. People like Darren get mentioned enough in my posts that any other linking I give them really is just superficial and a convenient place to have them collected, which is something else to think about when mentioning another blog often.

  4. @balootisme says:

    darren,

    i heard people say that people will ban those blog who had BLOGROLL.

    google is smart this day..

    actually, google is ban blog put FEATURED SITE @ paid link @ text-link-ads links…

    does this true??

  5. Al says:

    I have a blogroll. I limit it to those blogs in my niche that I read regularly. When I drop a subscription to a blog, it comes out of my blogroll too. Similarly, when a blog subscription moves from my “just trying” tag to the “essential reading” tag in my RSS reader, I add it to my blogroll.

    I’ve had a few requests from people to add their sites to my blogroll, but I simply explain that I keep my blogroll to the sites I actually read. They all take that graciously. Of course, I also thank them for the tip and that I am going to subscribe to check it out.

  6. Pentad says:

    Like most, I started one from the very beginning, because it looked like it was a ‘usual’ habit or thing to do. These days I’m trying to weed out, and eventually get rid of it. Blogrolls have a tendency to grow and grow, and my eyes grow weary of looking at blogs with blogrolls that take up their entire sidebar, and going on for miles after the last post on the front page.

  7. brian says:

    my site is relatively new, but i’ve always thought of my blogroll as a place to give readers a different perspective or a view into things i like, people i respect, etc. it’s skewed more heavily to the niche in which i write, but i don’t limit it.

  8. I like blogrolls, especially those that list blogs similar in scope to the one you’re reading. Blogrolls that list just random blogs don’t seem to be very useful to me. So far I have a small blogroll on my blog.

  9. netvalar says:

    I use 1 blogroll for blogs that I read often, not that I update it often as I add or delete from my RSS reader. I try to keep the blogs listed to those that relate.

    I am working on adding another blogroll but the links are to specific articles from my own blog. This is for a random list of other articles and using blogroll lets me set the odds of each article coming up.

  10. cat says:

    I have an extensive blog roll on my site (linked above) because of my subject – Designers who Blog (includes the surrounding industries as designers are also writers, photographers, illustrators, marketers, etc).

    It’s not been on my main index page ever since I discovered a great WordPress plugin created by Zühlke O’Connor – Zo’C Powerblogroll Plugin.

    My index page is now reserved for bloggers I have constant contact with either via email or in person.

    Google doesn’t seem to mind as it hasn’t hurt page rank at all (unless I should be a 7 or 8).

    The benefits?

    1) At a glance I can easily see which subjects I need to cover more (which is what brought me here – I was looking for blog designers to add to DWB).

    2) I can see which blogs I’ve featured without going through the archives (that’s been updated too and is quite handy, but not as easy to skim as the blog roll).

    3) It’s a useful resource for those looking for blogs by subject.

    But it’s really down to your niche and what services you provide. From the very beginning I choose readers over potential page rank, even though I was warned against it.

    This was because DWB was meant to be a play blog where I learned how to blog so I took a different aim from the beginning.

    Yeah, if I’d known it was going to last this long, I would have named it something more massively more clever than ‘Designers who Blog”.

    Hindsight …

  11. Have blogrolls on my blog.. Actually several gradually breaking more and more into various categories.. Realized the last few days that I need to take that info back to my static site and instead expand on the same blogrolled links to give them their due “props”.. A cold, hard link just isn’t enough.. :)

    Just taking a few days to do so as I’m still under two months of having renewed home computer access at home.. So much to do, so little Time each day.. :))

  12. Petes2cents says:

    I have read a lot more positive things on having a blogroll vs. not having one…traffic for one, but it has to be high quality websites, to drive the traffic back to your site.

    I have added one…that’s all I can say, I’ll try it out for six months and see what happens. If I notice a surge, great.

    One thing though that your right on is, that quality content, with informative follow up links, drives traffic to your site and search engines like Google, Yahoo, Live, Love You…

    Increasing the quality of my content has helped me 100%

  13. moserw says:

    I have updated my theme recently to go with a single sidebar theme and one of the things I had to let go was the blogroll. In fact I am thinking of have a page devoted exclusively to the blogroll and other links/pages that I have myself or others I would like to link to.