Before the two-year-old echo chamber of Jeff Jarvis’ mantra “do what you do best and link to the rest,” and beside the concept of curation and aggregation as journalism, web experts outside of the news industry learned a long time ago that sending people away from your improves your search engine rankings and drives traffic back to your site.
Here are some tips from outside the news biz:
Hotel marketer and the link handshake: Linking to other sites is the first strategy that Lodging Interactive, a marketing agency for the hotel industry, names in its list of link building strategies for hoteliers: “If you want other people to link to you, extend your hand out first and link to theirs.”
Web designer and pre-reciprocation: In the About.com Guide to Web Design, Jennifer Kyrnin asks if you link to other web sites: “After all, most people are going to be much more inclined to link to you if you’ve already returned the favor.”
SEO trainer and blog attention: Linking to other blogs is one of SEO Book’s 101 ways to build link popularity: “Many bloggers also track who is linking to them or where their traffic comes from, so linking to them is an easy way to get noticed by some of them.”
Entrepreneur and newsletter branding: In Entrepreneur.com’s 10 cheap ways to build your brand, John Williams suggests starting a newsletter to keep you brand in front of customers: “Include your own articles and link to other pieces related to your industry.”
Blogger in the running: Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger — one the most powerful blogs in the world — probably says it best when he explains why linking to other blogs is critical: “If you’re blogging and not linking due to fear of competition, you may be surprised to find that you’re not even in the running.”