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