Why Do We Link in News Stories? A Discussion

by Mathew on May 17, 2011 · 19 comments


  • siliconcowboy

    What bothers me is when articles link words to a company site and you realize, ‘awww man that’s an ad!’  It’s worse than a pop-up ad because you’ve been tricked into serving it to yourself. What an affront.

  • http://twitter.com/SusannaSpeier Susanna Speier

     Doesn’t it depend on the topic being written about?  If its an analysis of the online dialog surrounding how the media handled a tech company hiring a PR firm to do a smear campaign against a rival then, sure, link away.  If, on the other hand, its Nick Kristof’s firsthand account of a visit to a refugee camp then links will neither add to nor diminish from what is being conveyed. 

  • http://twitter.com/SusannaSpeier Susanna Speier

     Doesn’t it depend on the topic being written about?  If its an analysis of the online dialog surrounding how the media handled a tech company hiring a PR firm to do a smear campaign against a rival then, sure, link away.  If, on the other hand, its Nick Kristof’s firsthand account of a visit to a refugee camp then links will neither add to nor diminish from what is being conveyed. 

  • http://scribble.scran.ac.uk/user63063/weblog/ John Meffen

     Would it be too cynical of me to suggest that some people link out in news stories because some SEO agency might have paid them to do so, #never

    John

  • Bruce Bartlett

     My policy, which some of my editors don’t agree with, is to link only to primary source material. I often write about studies, reports, statistics and so on and think readers would like to know where they came from and whether my description of what they say is accurate. I think this is of value to readers and increases my credibility.

  • http://annatarkov.posterous.com Anna Tarkov

    Absolutely. I think when Mathew, myself and others talk about the need for more linking, we’re referring to situations where links are gravely needed. The example you describe might not benefit from any links (though, it depends on how the narrative goes of course), but there are many more cases that we see on a daily basis where links are necessary, would serve the reader, contribute to transparency, etc.

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  • http://www.jonathanblake.com jsb

    plus, isn’t an article or text with no links is boring.  should’t there be a minimum of links?  surely there are things within the text that is worth linking?  however, i think some sites still think that they are the only ones worth reading, and that they are afraid of linking less they lose visitors?  true?  peace out.

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    Why do we link in news stories? A discussion

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  • Erica

    In most countries press does not even link to normal sites. Basically everything outside their corporate cluster it’s not linked to. My Inchirieri company was quoted hundreds of time with no link.

  • http://www.realseocompany.com/our-services/seo-marketing/ seo marketing

    Lovely discussion what I looking for. Hopefully news stories links are better than other links. Thanks! 

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  • logoian

    As an SEO professional I completely agree.
    Between the case studies from SEO moz on the effect of retreating on search
    results to the well-documented effects of Face book link sharing on search
    results, it’s getting to the point where social media is more than just a fun
    way to interact with you friends via the computer. They are extremely valuable
    marketing tools and businesses should take them seriously and adopt them
    voraciously!

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