Etiquette of Blogroll Reciprocity

How do you decide who to add to your Blogroll?
What are your rules of engagement for reciprocal Blogroll etiquette?
I used to link here anyone who linked me even if they didn’t request a link. It seemed like the appropriate thing to do as a new member of the blogging community.
As some blogs become more popular and more links are forged — is one still responsible on a moral plane to continue to reciprocate Blogroll links with anyone who chooses to link their blog?
I understand some blogs are cruel or tasteless and one would never want to exchange links — but what if a blog is “just okay” or “merely passable” or “contentedly well-intended” — does it still require a link back or do only blogs with magnitude deserve your Blogroll?

59 comments

  • I blogroll based on who I always see returning to my site. Seem appropriate to add someone who always visits. Normally they just exchange links with me afterward.

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  • That’s a good method, trench! I always link those who comment here regularly by default but there are other interesting blogs that link here for reasons I do not understand. I appreciate the link but I am uncertain if I am required to link back or not. :)

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  • Here is what I do:
    If someone posts (someone new) to my blog I will check out their blog…if I like it I will add it to my blogroll. Although if they never come back or they never post or anything I will usually take them off. I go through my blogroll like once a month and chuck the ones that never post at my blog or that never post on THEIR blog.
    Sometimes I first add a blog to my google reader and if I like it enough I’ll end up adding it to my blogroll.
    That’s basically how I do it…I get more annoyed if people never blog themselves than if they never post on my blog.

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  • I wouldn’t feel obligated to do so. I know there are blogs that I link to that don’t link to me, but that doesn’t bother me.
    Although I do check occasionally to see if I’ve been added. Sometimes it does feel like acceptance, like I’m being included, especially if it’s a blog that I find entertaining. It makes me feel as if I’m equally entertaining. :D
    I add a blog if it’s
    a) entertaining, meaning I check it every day for bits of humor or wisdom
    OR
    b) a blogging buddy I’ve found who comments from time to time

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  • Some blogs I do keep on my blogroll just because they entertain me and I want to share…despite if I’m listed on theirs or not.

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  • Robin — I also try to prune my Blogroll. I find it strange when Blogs have a hundred sites listed and you know there’s no thought or meaning behind the selections. I’ve read other Blogs that break up their Blogroll into categories like “Friends” and “Must Read” or “Sometimes Read” but that stratifying of what is important or not has always felt curious because why would you list something you didn’t really enjoy?
    Carla — Thanks for sharing your philosophy. It’s interesting to see how these things are decided. :) If people are just listing to list or to get links back then they’ve made their Blogroll mechanical without any human thought behind it.

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  • I’ve seen that too…I don’t get it.

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  • My blogroll started as a list of blogs I found interesting to read. Then, as people found my blog and linked to me, I added their links.
    Pruning the blogroll monthly is a good idea. There are some blogs I routinely read (like this one) and there are others I haven’t visited in months.
    I like the idea of breaking the blogroll into categories. It would make pruning the blogroll easier. It also makes it easier for my readers since I have links to blogs of all sorts of viewpoints and topics.
    On a related note, there are some blogs I regularly read, but I haven’t added to my blogroll for various reasons. I wonder if that violates some form of blogroll netiquette.

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  • I think they do it to break up the 100 entries, Robin. :mrgreen: I prefer to have a small and precise Blogroll that I can “vouch for” on quality and content: You come here, you should go over there, too. :)

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  • I think they do it to break up the 100 entries, Robin. :mrgreen: I prefer to have a small and precise Blogroll that I can “vouch for” on quality and content: You come here, you should go over there, too. :)

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  • It’s interesting you prune and segregate your Blogroll, Chris! Few people ask or tell me they’re linking here. They just put up the link and I usually stumble across it later. :)
    The Loquacious Curmudgeon was the first blog to link this blog and so I will forever be indebted to him for that even though we’ve never spoken or met or posted on each other’s sites — but here we are, and there we are — Blogrolled together throughout eternity!

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  • It’s interesting you prune and segregate your Blogroll, Chris! Few people ask or tell me they’re linking here. They just put up the link and I usually stumble across it later. :)
    The Loquacious Curmudgeon was the first blog to link this blog and so I will forever be indebted to him for that even though we’ve never spoken or met or posted on each other’s sites — but here we are, and there we are — Blogrolled together throughout eternity!

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  • I go through my blogroll regularly too. If a blog hasn’t been updated in a month, I take it off.

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  • I go through my blogroll regularly too. If a blog hasn’t been updated in a month, I take it off.

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  • I like your “freshness” philosophy, Carla. I think that’s a fair reason to delete a blog for being dead.

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  • I like your “freshness” philosophy, Carla. I think that’s a fair reason to delete a blog for being dead.

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  • I have mine in sections but it’s not as one is better than the other. I have a group of friends, health/diet blogs, sites to visit and just ones I like.

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  • I have mine in sections but it’s not as one is better than the other. I have a group of friends, health/diet blogs, sites to visit and just ones I like.

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  • With this blogroll, I thee link. :lol:

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  • With this blogroll, I thee link. :lol:

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  • Robin — But placement on the page innately indicates your preference. :) Those that appear farther down on your list are of lesser importance by your decision to segregate them down there.
    Dave — I appreciate your altruistic Blogroll policy! Craig Crawford appears to be a good guy from what I’ve seen of him on television so I’ll try not to hold it against him that he blogs on Blogger. :mrgreen: Perhaps you’ll send him a WordPress.com golden ticket?
    Carla — Harr! :wink:

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  • Robin — But placement on the page innately indicates your preference. :) Those that appear farther down on your list are of lesser importance by your decision to segregate them down there.
    Dave — I appreciate your altruistic Blogroll policy! Craig Crawford appears to be a good guy from what I’ve seen of him on television so I’ll try not to hold it against him that he blogs on Blogger. :mrgreen: Perhaps you’ll send him a WordPress.com golden ticket?
    Carla — Harr! :wink:

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  • It’s not intentional though. I read my blogs only but what shows up in my reader next.

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  • It’s not intentional though. I read my blogs only but what shows up in my reader next.

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  • Robin — Intentional or not it is where it is. :wink:
    Dave — I’m glad you were able to figure out how to Blogroll. Those links actually get you greater coverage when your blog is spidered by the search bots.

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  • Robin — Intentional or not it is where it is. :wink:
    Dave — I’m glad you were able to figure out how to Blogroll. Those links actually get you greater coverage when your blog is spidered by the search bots.

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  • I link to blog’s I like, or bloggers I’ve befriended.

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  • I link to blog’s I like, or bloggers I’ve befriended.

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  • Hmmm…I may have to move someone to a new category ;)

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  • Hmmm…I may have to move someone to a new category ;)

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  • Joe! — I think that makes sense. A personal investment in the quality of the blog you link is important.
    Robin! — Have I told you how much I love your newest template? :mrgreen: Seriously… why did you change from the Becca Green to the one you have now?

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  • Joe! — I think that makes sense. A personal investment in the quality of the blog you link is important.
    Robin! — Have I told you how much I love your newest template? :mrgreen: Seriously… why did you change from the Becca Green to the one you have now?

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  • I really like this one although Erik told me it was too simple and too much going on at the same time. Something about this one is very me though…not sure why.

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  • I really like this one although Erik told me it was too simple and too much going on at the same time. Something about this one is very me though…not sure why.

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  • The green one was nice but the new one is fresh and elegant, Robin!

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  • The green one was nice but the new one is fresh and elegant, Robin!

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  • On my suzanne.roxr.com
    site the blogroll rotates arbitrarily, so there is no preference about which link I like best. However, this makes it difficult to prune. :roll: Also, the template came with some preset links (developers?). Some of them are great, but some of them never update so I’m thinking of pruning them. I think the whole thing is awkward… Carla: comment 15 :lol:

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  • Arbitrary Blogrolling has always been interesting to me, suzanne. It seems like it would confuse people, especially if they frequent your site as an access point to another blog. :)

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  • True, it’s just weird. But it also makes it fresh. (I’m just looking on the bright side because I like the template and I don’t know how to change the arbitrary code :oops: I could try to figure it out)
    My blogroll isn’t that huge, so people can probably find it if they use my blog as an access point… and I do have all these different blogrolls to keep track of… :oops:
    What constitutes “magnitude” for you, blogwise?

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  • uh… I just figured out that it’s my wordpress.comtemplate that has the rotating blogroll so I can’t work with the code. I chould choose another template but I like this one…
    Well, I like yours too…

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  • For me, I have had several blogrolls. The one that I currently use is called “Friends” and I like it the best. It based on those who have emailed me specifically to ask to be put on the list. Only if you read the blog itself do you find that, and if you’ve gone through the process I think you deserve it. I check it sometimes to see if a link is down or a blogger has left, but that’s the only reason.
    I don’t do “link back” although I understand the process. I think you can get caught up too much in that and it brings down the overall experience. If you make a blog that you enjoy, there will be people who find it, like it, and link it.
    Those are my thoughts anyway. Great post, very thought provoking.

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  • suzanne — Yeah, when templates are set to rotate the Blogroll it can be frustrating. What is a blog with magnitude? I will be defining that soon. Watch this blog! :mrgreen:
    Complimenting Commenter — Thanks for the great answer! You have given me some things to think about and I agree linking back can get tedious even though there is an inclination to want to reciprocate the favor.

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  • Sometimes, people link to you because they like to read you, reciprocating isn’t always required.

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  • Hi Jeff!
    You make a fine point. It’s hard to resist the urge to link back once you find someone linking you — discovering a link back to your blog is a random act of kindness. :)

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  • I blogroll someone because they comment regularly or have a site worth reading, and those blogs which I read (and therefore comment on in general) regularly.
    Reciprocating doesn’t come into it: if a blog decides to link to me in their blogroll for no apparent reason, I’d not link back unless the blog was exceptional. I don’t expect a link back either – that doesn’t mean it isn’t appreciated but if it’s just automatic it doesn’t mean much anyway. If I can earn the link back by participating in the blog community of the linked blogger then that’s just super!
    There are reasons that might lead you to blogroll tactically; that is to say that in order to optimise to search engines it’s in your interest to have well linked blogs on your blogroll. I prefer however to have a good mix of “rarer” blogs on my blogroll – if they link back to me that’s great, it’s a could be an advantage for my ranking in search results.
    That being said, I don’t get a lot of traffic from Google et al anyway. Getting ranked on search engines is better achieved by having interesting unique content and by linking to other sites in the text of your articles.
    I prefer my blogroll to be a personal recommendations list. Notice on my blog that I add a few words after each link, either to describe or recommend the blog in some way. For this site I say “fragments of thought” for example (hope that doesn’t displease).
    Oh, and I try to avoid linking to the “big blogs” like BoingBoing, Slashdot, etc. because they’re so well known and linked anyway I’m sure they don’t need my recommendation. I’d rather find a rarer pearl on a blogroll, wouldn’t you?

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  • fruey!
    Your Blogroll expertise is invigorating! You definitely have a reason and a purpose behind your setup and that’s always a good thing.
    Celebrating rarity is a wonderful philosophy.
    We would prefer “fragments of BRILLIANT thought” but we accept it’s your Blogroll and not ours. :mrgreen:

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  • I hate it when I bookmark a blog and forget to link it in my blog *cough* *embarassed*
    Now that the link is taken care of…
    I have a blogroll of blogs that I check often and comment on if I feel so inclined. Some of them link back. Some don’t. I don’t sweat it.
    I am also a member of a large ‘Blogs by Women’ reciprocal link blogroll. which is seperate from my blogs that I read.

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  • Hiya Beltane!
    Thanks for the comment and it is great to have you with us!
    I appreciate your link here quite a lot! :mrgreen:
    It’s interesting you have a separate reciprocal link Blogroll. That makes sense in the larger scheme of the etiquette. :grin:

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  • Hi, Dave.
    Love your blog — though I just found it while looking for “blogroll etiquette.”
    Just starting out and tying up loose ends. I promise to check in semi-regularly and hope, within a week or two, I’ll have a passable attempt at a crisp, readable blog. Would be honored to have you drop by. (Won’t go live for another couple of days.)

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  • Thanks for the kind words, Elaine! Good luck with getting your blog set up. It can be a lot of work, but the long term rewards are many.

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  • I’m trying to get my head around blogroll etiquette atm. I’m new to the world of blogging and am about to establish a blogroll. I’d like the blogs on the blogroll to show blogs I actually enjoy reading, or blog ‘friends’ I’ve made, but at the same time, I don’t like to reject anyone. Also, I’d love my blog to go on some blogrolls, but I suspect it’s rude to ask for this to happen. Should I just let the bloggers know I’ve put them on my blogroll in the hope they might reciprocate, or should I be more direct?
    This is the whole wedding registry dilemma all over again!

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    • Many blogs are not using Blogrolls any longer. If you choose to set one up, do that with the intention that you are doing it to celebrate blogs you love, not the blogs from which you expect to get reciprocity. Then you don’t have to worry about checking the other blogs to see if they’ve kept you on their Blogroll or not.

      Good luck!

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