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Does ‘too much linking’ exist? Also: The 3 reasons I link

August 26, 2009

My “Lost” post got a little bit of play earlier today and spawned a great discussion with @billdinTO on Twitter.

His issue—link overload—is something I have to admit I haven’t really encountered before. I subscribe to Jay Rosen’s train of thought: “As a blogger, what I try to do is do everything well, all the time, and give you way more than you asked for, every single time you come to my blog—more knowledge than you thought, more links than you bargained for….” That’s not to say I try and flood my blog with links simply for the sake of doing so (I don’t think Jay Rosen does, either). I link in blog posts for three reasons:

  1. To show my work;
  2. To properly cite materials that I reference;
  3. To recommend further reading that I think might serve the people reading my thoughts.

So the idea of “too much linking” is, to me, a little perplexing—I link as much as is necessary. (Note: I feel it necessary to mention that linking does carry SEO implications—the more sites that link to you, the higher (potentially) your Google rank goes, and the more you link out to other sites, the more likely it is one or a few of them will link back to you.) I’ll admit there are some pages with more links than one could ever reasonably be expected to click on (with even more links within those links!), but I don’t think that’s a bad thing (it’s like being overwhelmed by all the books in a library). Maybe there’s a middle ground—some button, widget or line of code that could say, “Hide hyperlinks on this page,” at the top of each post.

What do you think?


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