Hari's Corner

Humour, comics, tech, law, software, reviews, essays, articles and HOWTOs intermingled with random philosophy now and then

Blogroll policy

Filed under: Site management by Hari
Posted on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 at 07:47 IST (last updated: Fri, Mar 6, 2009 @ 18:58 IST)

Disclaimer: This policy obviously does not apply to those I consider my close friends. Hint: if you're not commenting here regularly or in touch with me by e-mail, you're probably not - don't bother asking me..

Er... no, I'm not going to move my blogroll to a separate page of its own.

Rather it's something I've been annoyed about for a while now. It's called "reciprocity" and it's a word I've used recently in a different context. I've removed a couple of links from my blogroll as a result of this.

When I link to a blog, I do expect some reciprocity from the other side. When I say that I have given people a fairly prominent link on my home page. What I don't appreciate is my link being buried among hundreds of others in an obscure blogroll page. Mind you, I don't care about the SEO benefits. What I care about is (there is that word again) reciprocity. If I give you a prominent link, I expect a prominent link in return or your friendship and regular participation on my blog's discussion page. If I get neither, I am naturally upset.

So here's a new rule I'm going to follow on Hari's Corner from now on. If you want a link back from here, I expect one of the two (or both if you prefer ;)):

More linking guidelines:

I'm sorry to have to implement such a system in any case and if I had been more careful in the past, such a rule wouldn't have been necessary. But I have been generous enough in linking to other bloggers and even commenting on their blogs (most of my regular readers will confirm this), so naturally it's time to expect something in return.

Link or comment - it's your choice. Fair enough?

25 comment(s)

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  1. I hope that you don't mind if I continue to do both!

    Comment by MrCorey (visitor) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 08:40 IST #
  2. MrCorey, you're a friend. So you're not covered by any policies here. :)

    This rant is a result of annoyance at the lack of response from some bloggers in general.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 08:44 IST #
  3. Seems like a fair policy to me, especially since I wrote a ReviewBack review for one very new blog and they didn't have the decency to write me back :(.

    On a somewhat related note, I'm curious as to how you get commentluv to recognize your feed on other blogs. Since we've both got b2evo, I'm wondering if there are any special steps I have to take (right now my feed is not recognized).

    Comment by Troy (visitor) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 10:56 IST #
  4. Thanks Troy.

    Actually if you're talking about a b2evolution blog's feed being recognized by WP blogs with CommentLuv enabled, that shouldn't be a problem at all, because the RSS URL is easily recognizable using the meta link rel tags (which is a generic HTML tag). In fact, my feed URL gets recognized by other WP blogs with CommentLuv enabled without any work on my part.

    If you want to enable commentLuv on b2evolution blogs, somebody has to port that plugin to b2evolution.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 11:09 IST #
  5. I originally moved my blogroll to a separate page a while back because of the PR effect to other blogs. Through some method, each link dilutes the overall PR on that page, so a blogroll on the maim page dilutes the juice tremendously.

    That plus it allows me to be more flexible with the contents.

    Now, PR isn't worth chasing after, but newer bloggers don't understand that -- they buy into the crap that Google shovels out.

    I'm considering removing the blogroll altogether and replacing it with some other method, or moving it back to the main page and sliding it into a scrollbox. The key is to provide decent backlinks and generate traffic for others at the same time.

    Ultimately, Hari, reciprocal links is a matter of courtesy, not PR or backlinks. In my opinion, it doesn't matter where the link is as long as it's there. Prominence is an issue that requires more thought on my part.

    Comment by RT Cunningham (visitor) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 12:09 IST #
  6. RT, I agree with most of what you say. The linking issue is minor compared to the issue of reciprocity. What annoys me is continuing linking to bloggers who (a) obviously don't read my blog any more and (b) don't find ways to reciprocate even if they don't have a blog roll.

    So what is your take on this? A lot of bloggers continue to link to me from their home page and it would be unfair on my part to remove their links at this point.
    Maybe I should just restore the links I've removed recently and be done with it? |-|

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 12:15 IST #
  7. If you removed the links because of anger or annoyance, it's probably the wrong thing if they're still linking to you. If they're not linking to you after sufficient time, delete at will.

    On the other hand, dead blogs should always be removed (inactive for a log time) because they become a spam haven and a bad neighborhood according to Google. I removed two like that so far and I'm sure there are more.

    The part about them not obviously reading... well, sometimes it's not so obvious. They may be reading without commenting if they're here, or they may read it through the feed only.

    Comment by RT Cunningham (visitor) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 12:54 IST #
  8. Points taken, RT. I will have to think about restoring links that I've deleted.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 13:18 IST #
  9. My main reason for moving blogroll to a seperate page was that I bothered me that the list was growing and people would be less likely to scroll down beyond the main post to read the blogs.

    I'm not convinced that there is a real fix for this. The main page tends to have the top post as the focus and the seperate page can be hidden.

    Comment by ray (visitor) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 14:27 IST #
  10. Ray, I know. It's a difficult problem to fix, especially if you have a large list of blogs you want to link to. As you're a friend, I don't mind your having a separate blogroll page.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 14:48 IST #
  11. Personally, I have a very simple system for blogrolls: If I read a blog regularly, it goes in the list. If I don't, it doesn't.

    If somebody wants to link to me, that's great, but it has no bearing at all on whether or not they appear in my own blogroll. In fact, I think there's an even split between those that do and those that don't link back..

    A blogroll that consists of everybody who links to your blog really doesn't tell the reader anything useful - especially when it's one of those blogrolls dozens-strong. A blogroll that holds only the blogs you regularly read is far more useful, IMHO, and also more likely to get attention paid to it.

    Hence my blogroll being under a dozen entries, and very easy to maintain :)

    I suppose it depends on what your blogroll is there for. If it's there to show what blogs you consider worth reading, it should be unaffected by reciprocal links. If it's there for social networking, then linkbacks are a definite courtesy if not a requirement.

    My view is that regular readers leave comments with links to their own blogs, so why bother with managing a blogroll for them too? :)

    Comment by Dominic (visitor) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 17:23 IST #
  12. Dominic, long time no see :>>

    Interesting views there. To me, I always appreciate people who link to me, so I give them a link back. Sometimes I also link to people without expectation of any link back.

    Regarding regular readers of my blog, a link to them is my way of showing my appreciation :yes: As always, thanks for your support.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 19:32 IST #
  13. Wow this is a long comment thread :)

    First off, I still can't figure out why my feed is not recognized :(

    Also, when I do have a blogroll (which should be very soon), I always thought I'd do it Dominic's way: link to blogs that are:

    - Full of good content

    - Updated regularly

    - In a related niche

    - Read by me

    If there's another blog that has linked to me and I want to show my appreciation, I'll probably find some relevant content of theirs and link to it, or just put a reference in a post like RT recently did with his personal guide to titles. That way it doesn't look like I'm running an exchange just for the sake of it.

    Comment by Troy (visitor) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 21:09 IST #
  14. Good ideas, Troy. I think you've got it about right. My ideas are to link to my friends and link to people who are courteous enough to link to me.

    As for why your feed is not recognized, I have no idea. Are you sure about the "link rel" part?

    It should be something like this in your website's <head> section:

    <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS 2.0" href="http://harishankar.org/blog/?tempskin=_rss2" />

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 21:19 IST #
  15. I don't know what there is to expand on this. I've left my links list on its own page, as it allows me to expand on the link with names and descriptions (which Wordpress allows for, as I am sure other platforms do as well).

    I do this to keep the front page clean (I used to do it to avoid losing search rank, but I don't care - 90% of my bandwidth is from the various search engines crawling their insidious little spider feet all over my pages - yes, you, Yahoo!). I do order them by category, though, and I've constructed the category names as such to fall alphabetically in importance. That way, what I most often read or respect gets placed "above the fold" and sites I read rarely but feel worthy of a link get placed lower on the list.

    Just a small input on my part.

    Comment by MrCorey (visitor) on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 22:21 IST #
  16. I check this site and just about all the other sites I host on a daily basis. I also monitor the server since I'm the host provider as well.. ;)

    Comment by drew (visitor) on Sat, Feb 16, 2008 @ 00:33 IST #
  17. MrCorey, I can understand the reasons for placing a blogroll on its own page.

    Drew, you're a friend. Besides the least I can do is link to you as you've been extremely generous. :))

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sat, Feb 16, 2008 @ 06:58 IST #
  18. Maybe the fix is to have the regulars on a list in the front page and everyone else on a seperate page. Then you can move people between as you need. Of course, that gives you the high school problem of "who is my friend today?".

    Comment by Ray (visitor) on Sat, Feb 16, 2008 @ 14:50 IST #
  19. Ray, I don't think I'll do that, because as you said, it's bound to create more negativity in this whole linking business. :(

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sat, Feb 16, 2008 @ 15:43 IST #
  20. Uhhh...what does "reciprocity" mean? Now, I'll have to find some sort of expert person who can answer questions.

    Comment by Ernie (visitor) on Sun, Feb 17, 2008 @ 06:56 IST #
  21. Ernie, why do you need an expert when you've got Papa Hari to answer your queries? :))

    Reciprocity

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sun, Feb 17, 2008 @ 06:59 IST #
  22. Fair enough...

    Papa Hari Commission for Monitoring links and comments (PHCFMLAC) will be busy now onwards....

    Comment by Shrinidhi hande (visitor) on Mon, Feb 18, 2008 @ 18:32 IST #
  23. I've recruited Special Task Force to look into the issue shrinidhi. ;D

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Mon, Feb 18, 2008 @ 19:37 IST #
  24. I will go with both, because it will be more effective than doing single one.

    Comment by SureshK.Chaudhary (visitor) on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 @ 11:45 IST #
  25. Hi Suresh. I expect you are looking for a blog link exchange?

    Comment by Hari (blog owner) on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 @ 12:32 IST #

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