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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Blogroll Makeover » What do you do to improve the quality of your blogroll?

When was the last time you do a blogroll makeover? Ok, when was the last time you checked your blogroll for dead links and abandoned blogs?

As bloggers, we know that a blogroll is supposed to be a collection of links to other blogs that we recommend to our readers. Therefore, the usual expectation is that, if you have a niche blog, your blogroll will link to bloggers that cover topics related to your blog, not just any random blog you happen to find cute. However, in my case I don’t consider this blog as a niche blog yet, is a whatever-is-interesting Pinoy lifestyle blog, so you will find the links in my blogroll are kindda random. Those are the blogs I often visit - bloggers I met, groups I support and blogs that keep me entertained and updated.

Blogroll linking errors and etiquette

When I am on a blog-hopping mode, I find too many blogrolls became link exchanges to the point of being obnoxious. Zombie blogs usually have an annoying note on their sidebar headline saying “Link to me and I will link to you.” Of course, it is an unwritten rule in the blogosphere that if a blogger puts a link to your blog in his or her blogroll, you should reciprocate and add that blog's link in your own blogroll. Since it is unwritten, I often violate it. And I do link blogs even if they didn’t link mine: no hurt feelings. 

Bloggers who are using these link-listing strategy usually has five-page long scroll-down blogrolls – making the page cluttered and messy. I find such lists intimidating rather than inviting, and I usually ignore it – not click on the list.

I committed that link-exchange error during my early blogging years – until I happen to find my link listed beside a gay porno blog. WTF! SEO gurus say it is good for SEO. Yes, blogrolls equate to publicity and exposure across the blogosphere, but I don’t want my blog to become a copy-paste-SEO-zombie listed beside porno sites.

We approach this with our own blogging goals in mind. Sometimes I may not like a blog that links to me through its blogroll and there are many reasons why I may decide not to reciprocate a blogroll link. But as a good blogging etiquette, at least I review each blog that links to me to determine if I’d like to add that blog on my own blogroll or not.

My blogroll makeover

I lost my blogroll links during my blog transition and currently I’m looking for those blog links again. I consider my blogroll not only as reader recommendation but also as my personal weekly-sites-to-visit.

Here’s the makeover I did on my blogroll:
  • Remove the long list on my sidebar (it’s like crazy long laundry list already) and transfer it on a dedicated page
  • Retain a short list on sidebar (Yodisphere’s Radar) which serves as my “recommendations”
  • Now, my blogroll page (via blogger pages) serves as my personal blog link list and blogs-to-visit, which could also serve as link reference for blog-hoppers.
To monitor who’s updating their blog on my blogroll and monitor abandoned blogs, I’ve added a few RSS code tweaks to show their latest post-with date and time under the blog title (you can automatically do that on sidebars via Blogger's Blog List gadget, but not on separate blogger page.) I’m thinking of doing a separate post for that trick.

Alright, that’s all for now folks! Should this blog got a space in your blogroll, let me know. 
Any blogrolling experience you might want to share? Thoughts… comments?
Do you really click on blogrolls?

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About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi de Veas Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry, and cliff jumping can make him high,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a self-certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan hiker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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