While doing some housekeeping on the blog, I elected to remove the blogroll previously found in the sidebar of each page and put those links on a new separate page you can get to through the menu bar just below the masthead image. This page includes all the links that had been on the blogroll and I checked them to make sure they were still correct, active, and if I would still recommend them.
Blogrolls are a list of URL links presented in a group and have been used since the dawn of blogging by authors to recommend or promote other blogs and sites the author might think their readers would find also of interest.
Removing the blogroll here at iHumanism was brought about by the recent change in the software I use to present this blog, WordPress. The latest version 3.5 depreciated the “Links” function from new installs because of a change in the consensus about the need and use of a blogroll. Many people think that using the menu function is better. The other reason I decided to drop the blogroll from every page is because of Google.
Blogrolls began as a simple method of showcasing links to other sites (blogroll) to promote them from your sidebar – to show you cared enough to link and recommend. Search engine algorithms like Google’s PageRank and search results gave them a little more love in their calculations, assuming that if you link to a site, you must recommend and trust it. When spammers moved into control of the web, this assumption came tumbling down as they abused blogrolls to gain more Google love, so much so, noted Wall Street Journal technology columnist, Amit Agarwal, recommended adding a Blogroll to add even more “PageRank Juice” to “pass on Google PageRank goodness on to the blogs you link to.”
Google caught up slowly on the abuse and recently slammed down harder than ever on blogrolls in the “Penguin” update. According to Brade Shorr in “Are Blogrolls Still a Good Idea,” blogrolls work only if they are not on every page of your site.
iHumanism didn’t have enough links in our blogroll that I would think would trigger a backlash from the world’s most popular search engine but I decided to make the change for the future. I have also never done link exchanges as a matter of course but if someone from another blog linked to iHumanism I would link back if I thought their site added to the value for the iHumanism reader. I still plan to do that.
Although a blogroll won’t be on all the pages going forward, you can still see a list of recommended links on the new page I created under the menu item Resources & Groups.