Special Update: Google Edition
What motivates people to link to other people? Listed are some of the reasons people might have for linking to you, and I am sure, some of the reasons you might link to other people.
- Did they just give you
an Android phoneGoogle TV, 3 month Dish + installation (Danny has a full history of Google Payola)
- Have they already linked to you for this topic so you are rewarding them back?
- Have they linked to you in the past and you are reciprocating?
- Do they Digg or Stumble your posts? Surely that wouldn’t motivate you to link to a blogger known to be a top Digg, Reddit or Netscape user?
- Do they leave comments and are an active member of your community?
- Do you want them to link to you in the future?
- Do you want them to see your point of view which may be different?
- Are they on Techmeme and you want to be there too?
- Do they have trackback enabled and featured prominently?
- Do they have trackback with followable links that give link juice?
if you link to my posts using trackback you get nice backlinkscurrently they are nofollow but that will eventually be fixed again)
- Are they a friend you shared beers with last week?
- Did they speak for free at your last conference?
- Are you speaking for free at their next conference?
- Do they invite you to take part in expert surveys within your niche?
- Did they provide good information and you want to provide good links to demonstrate your own authority?
- Do you feel obliged to link because you are talking about them, their product or their service?
- Do you feel it will help your search ranking results to link to authority pages?
- Do they display referrer information such as
- Last visitor came from
- Top Referrers This Week
- Did they say something nice about your company, product or service?
- Do you share their views, but don’t want to alienate a segment of your own audience so you voice your opinion by only linking to one point of view
- Did they provide you with a cool badge that stroked your ego?
- Did they provide you with a widget with a hidden or visible text link?
- They are the developer of the blogging platform you use, and you don’t know how to remove the link, or feel they earned it?
- They are the developer of a plugin or theme you use, and you don’t know how to remove the link, or feel they earned it?
- Do you want to be included in their linkblog, or their twitter feed?
- Did they make a large charitable donation to your cause or to fund further development?
- Are they a member of your:-
- Blog Network
- Secret Consortium
- Joint Venture Network
- Social Network
- Trade Association
- Prayer Group
- Are they your corporate client?
- Do you own stock in the company?
- Do they buy advertising from you?
- Are you employed by the company?
- Did they pay you to link to them?
- Do you earn affiliate commissions?
Many might look on this list as being a little cynical… I feel I am just being truthful.
I openly admit that in the past I have been motivated to link to someone for many of these reasons, and could easily have linked to notable bloggers who link to others for most if not all of these situations.
A lot of the time the linking happens with full disclosure, but even with disclosure, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all the motivations would be disclosed.
However your audience isn’t stupid, and if you haven’t attempted to disclose as much as possible, that can have a huge influence on how much they trust your opinions and linking habits in the future.
This post in itself was motivated by a number of other recent posts on notable blogs that I am sure most of my readers read on a daily basis, and I would even happily link to them, if it was not for the fact that many of the motivations above apply to them even if they don’t admit it.
As this post isn’t intended to point the finger at anyone, no out-bound links.
Can you think of any more to add to the list?
First published Jun 2, 2007 – update to honour the Google Zeitgeist 2010