I’m sure you’ve heard the term, but what is a blogroll exactly? Let me explain.
When a blogger wants to share or promote a specific set of blogs that they like most to readers of their own blog, the blog owner often creates a list of links to those blogs. It usually contains a list of related or interesting blogs that they recommend or frequently visit. The list is usually created in a sidebar, though it can be placed anywhere on the site. This list of links is what is known as a blogroll.
Why Use A Blogroll?
Blogrolls were more popular in the early days of blogging when they served as a primary means of discovering and navigating to other related blogs. Besides drawing attention to the blogger’s own site, a blogroll might include links to promote the blogs/sites of friends, associates or organization related to the blogger’s own website, blogs with similar topics, or blogs that the author admires.
Here are a few popular blogroll examples:
Personal Blog: A personal blogger might have a blogroll that includes links to their friends’ blogs or blogs they read regularly for inspiration or entertainment.
Professional or Corporate Blog: A professional blogger or a company might have a blogroll that includes links to industry news sites, blogs of thought leaders in their field, or partner companies.
Educational Blog: A teacher who maintains a blog for their classroom might have a blogroll that includes links to educational resources, blogs of other teachers in the same field, or blogs maintained by the students.
Setting up, editing and controlling what links are included in a blog’s blogroll is up to the blog owner and is managed on the back end of the blog owner’s web page. However, there are some common blogroll rules of etiquette which many adhere to in the blogosphere. Though there are no written rules, most blogger’s whose link is added into the blogroll of another blog tend to reciprocate by adding the other blog’s link into their own blogroll.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons why reciprocating might not be in your best interest, but it is considered good etiquette in the blogosphere to at least read and review the other blog and thank the blogger for adding you to their blogroll.
On the other side of blogroll etiquette, there is an unwritten rule when it comes to soliciting another blogger or asking them to add your blog onto their blogroll, even if you have added their blog to your blogroll.
The main purpose behind a blogroll is to help drive traffic to your blog. Blogs with a lot of incoming links move up in search engine ranking because they are being backlinked. The more backlinks from listings in other blogrolls your web site receives the greater popularity you have and the higher you will rank among search engines.
It is a good practice to keep your blogroll up-to-date by refreshing the links to the blogs in your blogroll on a regular basis. This doesn’t necessarily mean removing, replacing and shuffling in new blogs if you have some particular favorites, but it just helps facilitate easier surfing and is considered a common courtesy to extend to your readers.
A blogroll is a useful tool for associating yourself with other bloggers and providing additional resources to your own readers. It is also one means of advancing in search engine ranking when other bloggers reciprocate and you gain backlinks for your own website or blog.
With the rise of social media and other methods of discovering content, blogrolls are far less common today. Some bloggers still maintain them however, as a way to show appreciation and to provide additional resources for their readers.
If you do decide to use a blogroll, it’s a good idea to keep the list short and relevant. Regularly check and update the links, and only include those that point to high-quality, trustworthy sites.
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