Blogrolls are one of my favourite parts of personal websites. I differentiate a blogroll from a links page in that the blogroll provides curated links to personal websites that the webmaster likes to visit. A links page links to resources and services the webmaster uses and finds useful.
In the early days of the web, blogrolls and links pages were a common way for webmasters to build relationships with other websites and share resources. Webmasters would include links to their favourite websites in their blogrolls, which web surfers would browse and discover new websites to explore.
As competition for traffic and attention increased, many webmasters focused on keeping traffic on their own websites, and blogrolls fell out of favour. Webmasters began to view links to other websites as a potential source of “leakage” that could divert web surfers away from their own sites.
This led to many webmasters removing blogrolls from their websites or limiting the number of links they included. Blogrolls were replaced with affiliate links where webmasters attempted to convert outgoing clicks into revenue.
Recently, interest in personal websites and blogrolls has become popular again. As more and more people are becoming disillusioned with social media and creating their own websites, blogrolls are making a comeback as a way for webmasters to build relationships and share resources with other websites. Webmasters again recognise the value of providing web surfers with new discovery opportunities. Blogrolls and links pages are back and better than ever.
Whether you’re just starting out with your own website or a seasoned webmaster, having a blogroll on your website can be a great way to build relationships and community.
Keep the web fresh. Maintain your blogroll and links pages and keep them up to date. Consider linking to an archived link on The Wayback Machine if you find dead links.s