Getting the Ax: Sidebar Links

Subscribe to Elliot's BlogI’ve had a few conversations with some people who are involved in SEO, and all agree to an extent that there are (well, were) too many links in my right sidebar and that could hurt my blog’s rankings and PR. The problem I have is that I find it difficult to say no when someone asks me to add them to the sidebar – especially when I know the person. A common email I receive is goes a little something like this:

“Dear Elliot,
I read your blog…. etc… I just started a blog/website/journal…etc and added a link to your blog. As a courtesy, please add a link back to etc…”

Lately I haven’t been responding to these emails because my blogroll became gigantic and I don’t think it looks good or is helpful to anyone (except those who want to benefit from the “link juice”). I feel badly about it, but I also don’t think it’s fair to be asked to be added to my blog especially from a brand new blog that may die once the owner realizes how much work a blog is.   I never asked anyone ever to add my blog to their blogroll, and I felt it was an honor to be added (I still do think that way).
So… after conversing with a few SEO friends, and after deciding that an overhaul of the design of my blog will be done by my developer and introduced in January (once I finish re-developing, I removed most of the links in my sidebar and added them to a resource page on the site with “no follow” on them. If you are pissed off or offended by this, I am sorry. I am spending less and less time reading other blogs and domain news sources because of the work I am doing on my sites, so maybe I haven’t been to your site in a while or ever.
I will admit that I do ask for link exchanges on some other sites with my geodomains. The difference though is that my geosites have long been established (even before I owned them), receive considerable type-in traffic, and have Google page rank, so it’s an even exchange or possibly better for the person that I contact.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Hi Elliot,
    I am not offended and I couldn’t agree more. Being added to a blogroll is an honor that is earned. The only time I really ask for a link back is when I am spending time to show someone how to set up a blog and I then usually add their site to my blogroll as well. Benefits them more than me, in my opinion.
    I did not realize that it would hurt SEO that much by having a larger blogroll. I will surely go through and update my list shortly. I like the idea of a resources page and may decide to go with that. Thanks for the update and great idea.

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