Blogroll Page vs Blogroll Sidebar

Black Beetle

Black Beetle

There was what I consider to be some bad SEO advise being given out in the RE Blogosphere a little over a year ago.   It had to do with the idea of being penalized for having a blogroll in your sidebar.   The advise was to create a blogroll page and move your blogroll to that page and out of your sidebar.

I think that was bad advise.   What is the difference.

Blogroll in the sidebar

When the blogroll is in the sidebar it shows up on every page and post on a blog.   If that blog has 100 blog posts and pages there will be 100 links out to each blog in the blogroll.   This also means that every time a new post is created a link back to the sites in your blogroll is created for each.   When a post achieves a PR in Google a part of that PR is passed to the blogs in your blogroll.

Google has stated that PR is no longer the heavy weight in deciding rankings in the organic.   It has also stated, and we all know, that the means by which PR is calculated is always changing.   We have all known for a long time that back links from quality sites has played a big part in PR.   We also know to a lesser degree the sites we link out to play a part in the PR rankings for our site.

I think in the past year the weight for links out to quality sites had increased in the part it plays in assessing PR for a site and the posts/pages on that site.

Blogroll on a page

When you move your blogroll to a single page there is a single link out to the blogs on that page.   When a blog moves their blogroll from the sidebar to a page the number of backlinks going out to the blogs drops from the number of pages and posts on the blog to ONE.

If you use the Google webmaster tools to check your external links back to your site and you have suddenly seen a large drop in the number of backlinks to you more than likely this is the reason.

If you link to that blog in the blogroll in your sidebar and your link has been moved to a single page. . . Do I have to explain what is happening here?

Anecdotal Observation

I have no absolute proof of this observation.   Absolute proof with Google is hard to come by.   However, I have noticed that some blogs which have moved their blogrolls to a single page have lost more PR and not regained it.   I know there are some exceptions to this, notably any blogs which have been in existence for three years or more.   Any blogs which have garnered national attentions and every new blogger wants those sites in their blogroll. These blogs don’t seem to be effected to the same degree.

Your Input and Observations Welcome

This is where I need more than anecdotal input.   Anyone out there with personal information about their own blog or blogs who want to share their experience please weigh in on the question.   I appreciate any input I can gain regarding blogrolls in the sidebar or on a single page.

Personally, I’ll continue to put my blogroll in my sidebars and giving backlinks to those blogs in that blogroll with every post I publish, including this one.


  1. Hi Dave,
    Very interesting. I was talking to a few friends about the same issue today. It seems that every blogger is now rushing to move their blogroll of the side bar.
    What I am planning to do is both.
    I have left my blogroll intact and have created a page for different set of feeds (just an experiment).

  2. Dave,

    That’s in interesting analysis, especially how it impacts your blog’s appearance to Google (isn’t that what matters in then end anyway?) I have always had my blogroll in the sidebar, mostly because the theme I’m using starts looking messy if you have too many pages (the top gets all cluttered up.)

    So, it’s good to know that I’m being a good Googler by keeping it in the sidebar. At least I did something right this week, even though it was totally unintentional!


  3. Dave;

    Funny you mention it. I am testing that theory on EoS as we speak. (Mostly to put an end to the controversy). I have moved my blogroll into the content section of every page and post, instead of the sidebar.

    Since the bloglab is on my blogroll, let me know what your thoughts are…do you get extra boost or not? (You know I will change it back pronto if needed.

    BTW- Happy Thanksgiving. I swear. I AM going to work on REIW this weekend! (grin)

  4. Eric,

    Not sure I would notice the difference LOL. If I see the lab suddenly deindexed I’ll let you know right away.

    Let your yes be yes and your no be no. No swearing here at the lab. (Well none I publish or admit)

    REIW, yeah, so far been real easy to contribute to it : )

    Have a great day tomorrow. For those reading this in years to come tomorrow is Thanksgiving 2008.

  5. GULP.

    I just went to EoS and I had INADVERTENTLY dropped your link! (Let me repeat INADVERTENTLY.) Yikes.

    It is back up! So sorry for that! On a personal note: I never, ever, remove a link without talking with someone FIRST. (If I don’t, you can be assured it is a screw up-I am not above that).

    My hypothesis is that it does not matter where they are on the page (and yes blogroll means on all pages, whether via sidebar or content section). I am just using the scientific method to try and disprove it.

    Please accept my public apology for accidentally cutting you off while I was re-working the site. Glad I read this and discovered it.

  6. Eric,

    Holy Cow that explains my sudden drop in traffic. : )

    Actually, I never check any of this stuff. I just keep cranking out content (hopefully, quality content) and let the rest fall where it falls.

    Since I never know how or when Google is updating their stats on External Links it is easy to have them come and go and never know.

    If there are tools for checking this and comparing earlier to current and you want to share them go ahead. I’ll resist the temptation to use them.

    But the yams on Thanksgiving, those I can almost never resist.

  7. (smile)

    I do not make a habit of checking them either. I develop relationships and not links. Links will follow from relationships. My opinion: If you have to check the backlinks…it’s not a strong enough relationship.

    Relationships are always reciprocal (one way or the other) and good ones last a lifetime. I consider my relationship with you one of those.

    I was not able to put the test up all at once. I kept getting interrupted (work – can you believe it?). For those who might have ever ventured to my blog, there was about a 24 hour lag time where I only had the front page blogroll up.

    We will need to let things shake out now that I messed it up a bit. Would you be OK with me sending you the results for posting here?

    No swearing. Yes to REIW. Yams are OK. For me it is Pumkin Pie. 😉

  8. Eric,

    Yes it would be fine to send the results from posting here. And I did go to EOS and found the lab on the same line as Tampa real estate.

    Actually, I was quoting an ond bugs bunny cartoon where the turkey is hiding in the snowman from Elmer Fudd. Bugs turned him in for the yams.

    For me it is also the Pumkin Pie.

    Also noticed a CSS issue for bulleted lists on EOS at least in my Flock and FF browsers.

  9. Thx. I put those up in a hurry when i saw the prob this afternoon. Will correct the css issues as well.

    Remind me next time I want to customize a theme and switch structures when I am already busy 😉

    Have a great holiday…I’m off!

  10. Dave – I’d imagine that keeping your blogroll in the sidebar is the best option and here’s why.

    Google knows about a blogroll (most importantly, it’s location) and IMO has already adjusted their algo to decrease the value of links in a blog’s sidebar. I doubt they’ve completely devalued the links and I’m pretty sure that there is great value in having your link in a blogroll, but I do think there’s already been an adjustment to accommodate blogroll links.

    If you remove your blogroll, and move it to a page, then Google thinks your advertising for a bunch of websites – it’s all an algo and the algo may deem your site as selling links etc. because you’ve moved your blogroll to a page and out of the traditional area for it.
    The algo doesn’t know the difference… to it, your just blatantly giving a bunch of websites link love.
    Just my $.02

  11. Yikes! talk about 50 grammatical errors, bleh, **need to start proofing comments!!