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You’re Only as Smart, Sexy, Funny, and Trusted as the People You Link To

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 15 years and 40 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

Your online credibility is only as good as who you link to. Your ‘hood..your peeps, and even your advertisers.

If you link to ugly, dorky, sarcastic, mean, condescending, people like me, then you could potentially soil your credibility, lose website traffic, be banned from all current and future indexes, and be accused of kicking your neighbor’s dog and eating babies. If you put a nofollow on your advertisers…it says to saavy users that you don’t really trust them…so why should your users?

I’m not real excited about the whole WorldBlogCenter fiasco, but it did help to open my eyes to something and inspire a post. The general idea (for good or bad) was that they used who they linked to as their credibility. Of course, the fact that it was deceptive contradicted the purpose, but the idea was valid. Had they contacted all of the people they used as “forward linking references” (and had a more original idea), the idea may have actually worked much better than the failure it is doomed to now.

Link Smart
One of the dumbest things you can do is take your readers’ intelligence for granted. If you cater to dumb people…you will ALWAYS be surrounded by dumb people (and probably b*tch about it too). As good ol’ PT Barnum says…it is true that no one ever “made millions overestimating the intelligence of the public”, but it’s also true that if you’re a small operation you want to work with good SMART people, and want to educate your customers.

Link to people that are more intelligent than yourself, and eventually people might actually believe that you’re smart too.

Obligatory smart links:

Link Sexy
Find pretty people to link to because everyone likes to be attractive. As GW says, no one wants to be fat and poor. Think sexy within your niche. If you sell life insurance (among the least sexy things on the planet)…figure out how to be the ipod of your industry. Have a freakin’ personality Thinking and linking sexy allows you to decommodify.

Link to people that are sexy, and people might eventually think that you’re sexy too.

Obligatory sexy links:

Link Funny

Humor shows personality. Yes, you may offend someone. Chances are you didn’t want to work with that person anyways if they are that easily offended. You need to consider also that your audience’s sense of humor may be a bit different than your own. I said “eating babies” in the first paragraph…is this very professional? Not really, but it is also so ludicrous that I thought it was kinda funny. Advertising folks and SEO’s generally have a pretty liberal sense of humor and can appreciate excessive humor for what it is rather than being offended by it. If I was selling diapers, carriages, or super baby formula this might not be the best idea, and I would be better off with some more family friendly humor.
Obligatory funny links:

Link Trusted

Obligatory trusted links:

Don’t try to hoard your links, and don’t try to pimp your site out to people. Surround yourself with good people and learn from people smarter, sexier, funnier, and more trusted than yourself. Create resources, but give them some personality. With information available at the push of a button you really need something to differentiate your presentation of it. One of the things people LIKE about blogs is that they HAVE personality. Let your outbound link references reflect your personality and present yourself more sexy, funny, smart, and trusted to your users.

More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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  • Karl Ribas

    Great Post Todd! It was very insightful.

    It would appear that I link to you… what does this say about me? Hopefully not ugly, dorky, sarcastic, mean, or condescending.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Nate

    Nice, very nice. Guess I better give myself a link facelift.

  • Rae

    >>>present yourself more sexy, funny, smart

    I don’t think that’s possible ;-) (for anyone who doesn’t know me, NO I’m not that full of myself (thats bad even for me – I just wanted to make Todd chuckle. LOL.

  • Aaron Pratt

    Dude, my blog is extremely sexy and hot this week but not as stimulating as this post…oh oh oooh! :)

  • kid disco

    Cool post Todd!

    It seems as though the value of outbound links has been foreshadowed by the ongoing hysteria of inbound links. I am glad to see this topic being touched on by a highly respected member of the industry.


  • greg

    the “Revenge of an ex girlfriend” is a classic. kept me in the office reading for an additional 20 minutes. now cold dinner :( still worth the read.

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