The Washington Post is instructing reporters on the importance of link building
How many times have you heard that building links are important?
Reporters at the Washington Post recently received a memo briefing them on the importance of linking content.
FishbowlDC published the internal memo on its website. The information is relevant for all online editors, writers and content marketers. It’s also interesting to see a major publication acknowledge strategies for building links, as well as citing sources.
One statement made in the memo relates directly to one of the Mequoda Open Content Standards: “By not linking other Washington Post stories to your own, you’re denying yourself a lot of Google-drive audience.”
Being Google-Friendly gives writers and publishers the chance to build an audience from the massive amount of searchers using Google.
Link-building best practices
Washington Post’s memo highlighted three best practices they recommended for link building, including internal links, external links and links in the paper.
Internal Links: We suggest linking to your own articles to direct readers to other locations that may be of interest. Plus, when you do this, you’re defining the pages as your own and telling Google there’s valuable behind the link.
We fully agree with WaPo’s suggestion of linking relevant content with your highly important keyword phrases.
External Links: As the journalist world unfolds online, it’s necessary to cite sources that you discuss in your articles. The lack of citing sources meets the equivalent of plagiarizing and is becoming widely discussed and less tolerated. If you want to be a credible source of information, you need to link to your resources.
WaPo offers a good tip in its memo: “If you fear you’re going to send people off your article immediately, then consider how that link is placed.”
Links in the paper: When links to websites are used in print form, WaPo suggestions using shortened URLs from sites like Bit.ly. If a website is short in itself, or highly memorably, I might suggest using it as is. A Bit.ly link may be hard to recall from memory with its array of random numbers and letters.
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