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Eric Ward’s link development philosophy explained in 15 seconds (thanks to the awesome this took less than 10 minutes to make).

A few additional thoughts

I may be in the minority since I’m happy Penguin is now baked in to Google’s algorithm. Time will tell, based on the law of unintended consequences. Some people say the new Penguin-baked-in algo means link spam will increase again, since “technically” there’s now no downside to link spam since there’s no algorithmic penalty to fear. But manual penalties are still alive and well, so it’s not exactly a new linking free-for-all like some people are claiming it is. Bad links can still do harm.

I’ve said it before, and it’s worth repeating. Links are not “things”. Links were never supposed to be a commodity. Links were -and remain- the online evidence of a person’s desire to curate or share something useful, funny, thought-provoking, educational, controversial, or enlightening. Links are affirmations, opinions, proofs, examples, validations.

And most importantly, links and linking related signals remain the primary way people discover content. People. I can’t stress this enough. Use your own behavior as your test lab. How many devices do you use on a daily basis to access online content? I use at least three every day; laptop, ipad, iphone. I’m not thumb-typing 45 character URLs into my phone or iPad. Nobody is. I’m still clicking with a mouse or finger tapping on a screen. And what are those things I’m clicking and tapping? Links, my friend. Links. Maybe not links in the traditional sense we used to think of links, but they are links nonetheless, and someone had to go through some type of process for those links to be there on your screen for you to click and tap.

Fifteen years ago I wrote “What Makes a Web Site Link-Worthy?” In that column I wrote…

So let’s simplify and agree that anything you can touch with your finger (or stylus) or click with a mouse, or even via voice command, if that action takes you from one piece of content to another, it is nothing more than a link.

That statement remains true today, even with the massive change in how we go online and how we use multiple tools and apps and devices to do so. Every day, regardless of what device we are using, we decide what’s useful. We decide what’s shareworthy, linkworthy, clickworthy.

It’s only after we’ve created a signal graph, whether it’s links, likes, shares, pins, posts, tweets, flips, flicks, swipes, Ad infinitum that a search engine can analyze and judge whatever mess we’ve left them.

Do I sound cranky? I am. So stop chasing butterflies and come learn more about my services, honed over twenty years as a linking strategist.

If you’re curious, here’s my bio.

Use this Category Navigation List to quickly move through my site

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