Links are currency of the web

There are many answers to the question: why do you blog?, but at the end of the day, the real answer is just one: to get attention. As much as we give greater meaning to our writings, it’s just attention whoring for a greater cause or to sell our persona a bit better.

Persona literally means
Image via Wikipedia

The natural question to this is then – what can I do to get most attention and survive in this environment? To which answer is also obvious, but often overlooked and needs to be repeated as many times as possible: link, link and link!

The web is built on hyperlinks. That’s how you navigate around, it’s the way Google knows how much is your page worth and the way Technorati calculates your authoritativeness. With an outgoing link, you take a part of your own hard earned authority via incoming links and use it to vote for someone else. Basically the same principle that’s used in academia where authors cite each other from which their ranking gets calculated.

Taking all this in account, we can see that links are essentially a currency of the web, something that we use to award someone’s good idea (by linking to it) and of course others pay us for our insights in a form of incoming links.

With this in mind, we can extend this analogy even further, to Whuffie, reputation based currency from Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. As algorithms get smarter in recognizing paid links and there will be increasingly less value for them in gambling Google, because of various URL shortening services of micro-blogs and similar, we’ll be able to pretty accurately calculate the real worth of someone’s online persona.

12 grados al sol. No hay apetentes.
Image by berpala via Flickr

Getting some sort of metric of online value of person is of course great, because then we can start building our brands and business with people that have reputation in their field on average of 30 incoming links per weeks. It’s almost impossible to fake this measure and should provide a good foundation for different social media workers and their net worth.

What do you think about linking? Would you agree to get payed and valued based on number of incoming links to your personal blog?

Linking out to @hadhad for reminding me to link every time I see him.

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1 thought on “Links are currency of the web

  1. Well, contrary to popular notion I don't blog for attention. Apart from linking to my site on my profile pages I do next to nothing to actually increase its popularity. I admit I used to care, but I've been writing without thinking of anybody else for a while now.

    I'm too lazy to look up the paper, but at WWW2007 conference it was clearly shown that spam sites do get linked to by non-spam ones. If people have such a hard time distinguishing spam, it's hard to imagine that you couldn't game this system too and in fact people do.

    However. it does seem this is the best idea we came up with so far.

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