If I write about Brian Clark, I should be sure to link his name, so that you can visit him and discover him. It also tells Google that I must have an opinion on Brian, and so I’m sharing a connection there. (Conversly, if I add the code “rel=”nofollow”, that tells Google that I’m providing a link, but that I’m not saying I necessarily trust what comes next. It’s how advertisements should be framed, or so I learned from Matt Cutts a few months ago.
If I write about the best WordPress theme ever, (which is an affiliate link for Chris Pearson‘s THESIS theme, then by making the linked text say “best wordpress theme,” I’m telling Google that perhaps people searching for a WordPress theme using the terms “best wordpress theme” might be served well by these links.
Links are good manners. They signal intent. They connote sharing. They help your audience connect better. Link, even if it takes a bit more time. Fair?
photo credit sidelong