Friday, July 08, 2005

Link to something, anything. Just link

I spend a lot of time complaining about B2B publications that live on the Web but don't understand the Web. Chief among my complaints are articles without hyperlinks.
I don't know how many different ways I can say this, but let me try again. The Web is a web. Connecting to other stories, to other sites and blogs and databases and everything else is the basis of Web culture. So it should be the basis of Web journalism.
When a B2B publisher fails to understand this and bans links, or when a B2B journalist is too lazy to insert links, the site becomes invisible to others. Because links are how the Web decides the value of a site.
There's a nice piece today in Folio about search engine optimization -- the art of making your site visible to others on the Web. Check out this quote from Prescott Shibles, the smartest guy who ever worked for me, on how silly it is to not use hyperlinks. "Nobody links either to their own articles or to others [in the b-to-b space],” criticizes Primedia’s vice president of online development Prescott Shibles. “This is one of the highest considerations from the search engines. We have this fear of linking off-site, but guess what? Users are going to Google it anyway and find them."

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