A blogroll describes a list of blogs that are linked to your blog.

General information[edit]

It is common amongst bloggers to link to each other, i.e. refer or link to the other blogs. All blogs which the blogger has decided to link to are summarized as a list in a blogroll. Readers can then decide whether one or more of the indicated blogs are interesting. Blogrolls have limited significance for search engine optimization; the added value offered to the reader is more important.

The criteria for inclusion in the blogroll is based simply on the personal taste of the blogger – they will only link to blogs they like to read, and may refer to blogs similar to their own. For example, a blog about dogs might link to other blogs that deal with dogs in a broader or different sense. Or, blogs might be referred to which back up the author’s point of view, or portray a contradictory view point.

For example, a blogger regularly writes about different methods of guiding a dog on a lead. They link exclusively to blogs describing similar, “gentle” methods such as rewards or positive reinforcements. Another blogger favors this methodology, but links to blogs that write about different methods, such as shock collars. The main theme of both bloggers is the same, but they represent different views. Reasons for linking to other blogs can be a desire for the widest possible reach, or to achieve better rankings.

Effects of mutual linking[edit]

Frequently, linking to a blog will prompt the owner of the other blog to link back, resulting in valuable backlinks, which have a positive effect on search engine optimization. However, the increased number of users is usually the more important factor for bloggers. Many users pay attention to blogrolls and click the ones that seem interesting to them. Blogs listed in a blogroll can be opened either in the same window or in a new window. Opening the blog in a new window is generally more user-friendly as readers can then jump between the blogs easily.

There is another positive effect of reciprocal linking for blog readers. It will often make their search for related topics easier than just using search engines.

Trackback and Pingback are common systems used to be notified about new links. Trackback issues an alert to the blogger when someone else links to their blog. By clicking at the bottom, they can publish this trackback. Pingback can be used to determine whether a page is linked to one’s own documents or pages. With Pingback, you can track exactly, who, when, and from where there is a link to your blog, provided that this feature also exists on the other blog.

Blogroll variants[edit]

Better Blogroll is blog variant. This function is useful if the list of linked blogs is very long. In this case, a new combination of blogs can be displayed in the blogroll for each visit to the website by means of a random generator. Google Reader Blogroll is a tool that imports blogs from the Google Reader account and inserts them into the side bar. Advanced Blogroll offers more creative possibilities, which allows for example, the setting of DoFollow or NoFollow.

As described above with the example of the blog about dog training, there is a possibility of linking to blogs in the blogroll which are similar in topic, but do not exactly match the blog. In this case, the nofollow function should be utilized. This function did not exist until 2005. If the blog operator for dog training wants to refer to another blog which in his opinion advises the wrong methods, his motivation would be to gain backlinks. The NoFollow function prevents such linking, so that the other blog operator can prevent the linking of the blogger he is being criticized by.

Relevance to online marketing[edit]

Regarding online marketing, blogrolls are important for increasing traffic to your blog. Blog rolls can assist users in their search for blogs by offering links to new pages and also as a multiplier for the blog operator. For bloggers who use their blog as a pure diary (as it was originally intended), blogrolls can increase their readership, which can result in increased revenue through different platforms.