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main-linky-party-ifoodreal

You will either love or hate me after this post. I have been itching to write about Linky Party for a very long time. As always, time is my biggest enemy. But here it is, tadah…:)

I just want to share this valuable info with you because I feel there is a lack of information about Linky Parties. No, I’m wrong. There is actually a lot of wonderfully marketed Linky Parties (hats off, very creative) but very few bloggers understand what goes on behind-the-scenes of these blog posts a.k.a in Google.

In other words, let’s talk about Linky Party and what it does for your blog’s SEO.

Linky Parties seem to be the latest trend among bloggers with a belief that they will grow your blog. Maybe…In a way. But is it worth the price?!

I will try to explain the concept of Linky Party without getting personal, although it is extremely hard at times as you need to see examples but I can’t. Sorry! Will use my blonde brain to the fullest today.:)

When I first started blogging and iFOODreal, my photos occasionally made it onto foodgawker. Hallelujah…it’s a separate topic, me and foodgawker. I covered a bit on our special growing relationship in March Income Report.

So, I immediately received an invitation email from another food blogger to participate in their Linky Party. I was super excited and thought it would be great for iFOODreal to get an extra exposure and a link back. The deal was I submit the recipe for a Linky Party and add a link to the Linky Party’s post within my recipe’s blog post.

So I did it.

At the end, the host received a full quality backlink from iFOODreal and in turn iFOODreal received a thumbnail photo with not even an anchor text link to my post. Just a small square image at the bottom of the page. And just so you know, all images are stored at the Linky Tools and your entry gets an id within a Linky Tool link.

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 10.42.59 AM

And if you are curious about the traffic, the Linky Party wasn’t even in the top 10 traffic sources for that recipe. Although it is quite popular recipe.

Honestly, that was disappointing. I started to look more into SEO benefits of Linky Parties and was amazed at blogs and pages, pages and pages flooded with hundreds of recipes at one party. I just kept scrolling the page for a minute. Enormous amount of bloggers participating in parties and not fully realizing the concept. What I couldn’t find was what I was looking for.

So, after some thinking, I decided to make this article a part of my Blogging Tips. Whether you are a beginner blogger or already a superstar, here is a list of things you should know about Linky Party.

What is a Linky Party?

In a nutshell, it is a blog post published by the owner of the blog (the host) with an invitation for bloggers to link their recipes, crafts etc. at the bottom of the post. Usually bloggers use Linkytools or InLinkz. Google “linky party” and see for yourself what they look like.

How Does Linky Party Benefit the Host?

In return for a link to your blog post/recipe at the bottom of the Linky Party post, the host will ask you to link back to the Linky Party post somewhere within your blog post/recipe. That way the host gets a backlink which is super amazing for their blog’s SEO.

Now, if you don’t know, there are 2 types of links: dofollow and nofollow. Every page of your website has a Page Rank (PR) and the more pages on other websites contain a link (backlink) to your website, the higher it  will appear in Search Engine Results (SERPs).

Google gives authority to pages with a lot of “link juice” a.k.a links anywhere on the Internet a.k.a dofollow links. Nofollow links get ignored by Google. Links from Linky Parties and Comments are nofollow links, the links within any blog post are dofollow.

Do you get the picture?! It might be confusing in the beginning, so feel free to ask a question. There is a great article on this topic at Online Business Junction.

How Does Linky Party Benefit You?

You, I mean you and me as guest bloggers.

In a nutshell, you and your blog SEO benefits are 0. The plain blunt truth is it even hurts you! How? Let’s see.

Like I mentioned above, every page on your blog has a PR and the higher it is, the higher you show up in Search Engine Results (it’s one of the components). Every time you add an external link within a page, it’s PR is diluted by the number of links added.

For example, let’s take High Protein Lemon Dill Quinoa Salad Recipe which has PR 3.

lemon-dill-quinoa-salad-pagerank3

See this little white and green bar at the top right hand corner? It shows the Page Rank for any page and you can get it for free if you are using Chrome. You can also just check a PR for any random page.

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 10.34.10 AM

So, if you scroll down this recipe you can see I have only internal links linking to 2 other recipes within iFOODreal.

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 10.52.59 AM

Those do not count and therefore the page owns the PR 3 in it’s entirety. But if I had 1 external link within this page, it’s PR would become less than 3. I’m not sure if it’s divided proportionately or not but it becomes shared for sure.

Should You Participate in Linky Parties? 

I personally don’t do it. But if you decide to, your primary interest should be to drive human traffic to your blog. Mostly other bloggers.

Here are a couple personal thoughts on this:

1. Many Linky Parties get so big, up to 300 entries, that your link/photo will get lost at the bottom of the page and you have a little chance someone will visit your blog from that link. It happened to me and not because my recipe or photo wasn’t good. It just got lost.

2. If you look closely many Linky Parties photos are not of the best quality. Let’s say foodgawker wouldn’t accept them. No offence, we all have been there.

So, why not rather work on your photography skills?! You will see more traffic from being accepted to foodgawker and posts on Pinterest than from any Linky Party. And you won’t hurt your blog’s SEO.

The latest photography tips I discovered that helped me tremendously are from Sally’s Baking Addiction. So simply written. Loved the series! I finally learnt about ISO. Thank you, Sally!:)

3. In 2013, I think there are so many ways to build relationships with other bloggers. Follow some blogs, there are amazing bloggers out there. Leave an honest interesting comment, start the conversation and the traffic will follow.

 

Here is a list of other topics in Blogging Tips section that you might find helpful in growing your blog:

I want to Start a Blog. Where do I begin?
Choosing a Domain Name – Keywords & .COM Dilemma
Fast Web Hosting for WordPress

 

And in case you are wondering how much money is iFOODreal making, here is a list of income reports:

April 2013 – $86.18
March 2013 – $33.62

This post may contain affiliate links. When you buy a product I make a small commission without any extra cost to you. In return, you can enjoy free recipes as well as savings on your favourite products. I also shared Clean Eating Ingredients I Buy and Kitchen Appliances +Tools I Use. Please buy local, organic and fair trade whenever feasible.

31 Comments

  1. Cori Warner

    Thank you for this article! I have been wondering (and worrying) about the wisdom of linky parties. I have seen some traffic from a few linky parties on my referrals, but was worried about all the links.

    I solved the problem by adding “rel=”nofollow” to the code of ALL the linky party buttons I post on my site. SO Google ignores them, and I still have bloggers stopping by from the parties.

    However, I really have to wonder if 70 or 80 visits is really worth the time it takes to post to the linky parties ( a couple of hours a night!) and have been thinking its probably not worth it.

    I am going to take your advice, and learn how to better use my brand New Nikon D3100 so I can take fabulous pictures to pin!

    Reply
    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      Hi Cori. You have a lovely site! Investing in your photography is investing in yourself and building your resume. As soon as I post a successful photo on Pinterest the traffic skyrockets. I would recommend learning Manual mode on your camera and light and you will be golden.:)

      Reply
  2. Karen

    I have participated in some of these, but have also wondered about their benefit. You explained it very well. Maybe I should also work on the photography. Also sounds like I should just find some blogs I really like and get to know them.

    Reply
  3. Meggan

    This article was very helpful, thank you! I was in to Linky Parties for a while but sort of got bored with it. I never really saw any benefits and you have explained the “dark side” so that is the final nail in the Linky coffin. I also think your tip about working on food photography is spot-on… it’s a hard truth, I didn’t want to face it, but there it is. No way around it. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      You are welcome, Meggan! Yep, it’s hurtful to face the photography issue, but once you do and nail it, you got it! Then it’s only the road up to success.:) Yeah, linky parties are so…over.

      Reply
  4. Domi

    Hi Olena, I’m glad I stumbled on this article, I’ve been suspecting linky parties work more for the benefit of the host than participating bloggers.
    I think you’re absolutely right – with one exception maybe and that is pinterest linky parties because the exposure through pinterest could make up for the loss of link juice and time put into linking up. What do you think?

    Reply
    • Olena (iFOODreal)

      Hi Domi. You know have never came across those. Do you have a sample one to show?

      Reply
  5. Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

    Reading this post has been on my list of things to do for a while, glad I did. This is really helpful. I didn’t really know what the deal was, and now I know and am glad I haven’t spent a lot of time trying to get involved with these. I also had no idea about the chrome pagerank indicator, or that external links diluted it. Totally helpful Olena! Thank you again for taking the time to share your knowledge with us.

    Reply
    • Olena

      You are welcome, Katie! Unfortunately not too many food bloggers know this and get caught up in this kind of activity. I itch to comment when I come across those posts but I understand it’s not my business and don’t want to stir the pot.:)

      Reply
  6. Wangu

    This is exactly the wisdom I was looking for. I’m a newbie blogger and experimenting on ways to get my blog noticed. I tried linky parties but I was always too late and crammed at the bottom. I know there’s more I can do for better benefits. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  7. Nicole Prestholdt

    Hi Olena,
    Thanks so much for writing this. I’m relatively new to blogging and had heard of linky parties. I didn’t know how it worked or even what I had to do to be involved. There are so many articles on how good linky parties are good for driving traffic, but your’s was one of the only ones that spoke of the disadvantages. So happy I read this. Best, Nicole

    Reply
  8. Sharon

    Thanks so much for this post. I’m new to food blogging and I’ve participated in a few link parties and haven’t seen much traffic from them. Glad to get your perspective on the subject.

    Reply
  9. Christen

    OMG, thank you. Honesty is so refreshing! I just started participating in these things and I actually “play by the rules” and visit all (or at least a whole lot) of the other people who post their links, but I get maybe 1 hit from them. So, I decided to see if it was worth it for the backlink. Now I see it isn’t. It is really only worth it to HOST a linky party. Your site is the only one I found that tells this like it is. Thanks again!

    Reply
  10. Kim

    Hmmm. I have suspected this for a long time. I have cut the amount of parties I attend down, but honestly, after being featured on a few craft websites, the numbers I see from link parties pale in comparison. You are right about the exposure, as well. There are always the same people participating. How am I growing my audience like that? I think I am going to bow out moving forward. You’ve got me thinking though, I would imagine all of those featured buttons that link back are not doing my own SEO any good either. Thanks for a very honest piece.

    Reply
    • Olena

      You are right, Kim. Nope, you get no links back from any fancy or not fancy buttons. Whatsoever. Same story with comments. The best SEO you can do for your blog now is post quality content that will be linked back by popular sites. I personally am experiencing this right now and it’s nice! So don’t waste your time!:)

      Reply
  11. Kim~madeinaday

    I have gotten rid of my craft/recipe linky party altogether. I still have a Blog Hop with Inlinkz. My parties were becoming a dumping ground for old posts for large bloggers just so they could get their old content out. I changed the party to a Pinterest Group Board instead. I feature posts from it every two weeks instead and we get the benefits of Pinterest at the same time. It has worked out well so far. My question is do I remove my old linky parties from my site. Are they causing bad Seo for my blog? I am in the process of updating old posts meta and seo keywords.

    Reply
  12. David

    Hi im new to all this blogging and do follow and not follow.Is all most people want is to be able to put some quality time on blogging ,and in turn get there sites up the rankings and hopefully there incomes.Doing the blogging will hopefully put us all on the same playing field as the big guys with the large budgets.We are a family business that has just set up a fancy dress shop in the uk. And if anyone can give us a few tips and hints ,that would be wonderful.
    Kind Regards.
    Dave.

    Reply
  13. Susan Wilkinson

    Thanks, this was very helpful. I’m taking part in a 30 day blogging challenge with my new blog. It’s been great so far, but today’s task is to set up a linky party and I had a feeling that linkys weren’t such a good thing – your article has made my mind up. I’ll still do it for the sake of the blog challenge, but won’t be expecting much value from it. Also, glad to have found your blog – I’ve followed your lovely Pinterest boards 🙂

    Reply
  14. Indah Susanti

    Thank you so much for the explanations! I found this post when googling nofollow and dofollow – now I get it, thanks to you!! and perhaps I will consider twice related to the linky party from now..

    Reply
  15. Sandra

    This is an excellent post! I’ve been participating in link parties for a couple of years and they are time consuming. Now I’m realizing that the time I put into them I could use practicing my photography and working on my content. Better late than never and thanks for your honest opinion.

    Reply
  16. Laura

    This is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you! I’m a brand new blogger and I’ve been participating in link parties but feel they are impersonal and don’t really enjoy it. I love your blog! And I’d love to see a post on how you connect with other bloggers in a meaningful way that helps others instead of just self-promotion!

    Reply
    • Olena

      Hi Laura. The best connections with other bloggers are through reaching out personally to someone you have similar interests with or love their blog. That is when you connect. Or at conferences which are pricey.

      Reply
  17. Liz

    Olena, thank you so much for this great post! So helpful! I’ve been doing linky parties for a long time and then a blog I follow just quit them stating it’s hurting their SEO which really made me wonder about what it is doing to mine… I have some really great posts, that have 20 or 30 backlinks at the bottom of them for the linky parties… I wonder if they are getting ignored by Google and web crawlers because of that? Do you think I should clean them up and remove the backlinks on them?

    Reply
  18. Lisa's Creative Designs

    Hi,
    Thanks for this article. I have spent numerous hours commenting on blogs and joining link parties to build my link juice only to recently find out they are all nofollow links! Ugh. I do get some human traffic from the parties but not really enough to be worth the time. It seems to be really difficult to get do follow links unless you are already a big time blogger and others are featuring you on their own blogs. Sigh.

    Reply
    • Olena

      That is very true about follow links – you gotta basically be friends with other bloggers, build relationships. It ain’t easy these days, I have the same struggle because I do not go to conferences or have big blogger friends, and I’m sure they don’t even want new friends.

      Reply

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