Matt Cutts encourages you to Link to Your Sources

link to your sources

In a recent Google Webmaster Help video Matt Cutts encouraged people to “Link to Your Sources.”  The video also had an interesting question about where linking should be in a post or article.

I have a blog and I post original articles but I also like to link to the original website. So I link the website in a word in the first paragraph. Is this the right way or I should give a link separately at bottom.
nayanseth, India

It was a good and interesting question as it is something I have wondered about.  Whether I should link to a source in the text of the article or at the bottom.  Since Matt Cutts said either way Google will give credit to the original source and flow pagerank.   So as long as you have the link somewhere in the post or article, you are doing the right thing in Google's eyes.

I will sometimes link to article, news, graphic, etc. sources at the bottom of a post if I took them from many different places.  Including too many hyperlinks in an article can make it look cluttered and disorganized in my opinion and make it harder for someone to read the article.

Matt Cutts does point out in the video it is more convenient for a user when the source link is in the text.  His personal preference is to find the article source easily but that is not something that Google cares about.  Again, he also encourages publications and bloggers to “Link to Your Sources!” as he constantly notices when they don't.  I don't think you want to make Matt Cutts unhappy with your website.  Who knows what secret Google power he yields.

How do you link to article sources?  In a post text or at the bottom?

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  • I agree not linking is a personal bugaboo. However, I’m a lawyer by training so I might be more sensitive then the average person.

  • This is a personal pet peeve of mine. If I can’t read your bio and determine that you are an authority on a topic, your info is basically worthless to me unless you cite sources.

    • Not sure if reading a bio helps me determine that someone is an “authority” on a topic Jason. I’ve seen a lot of people with credentials, high traffic websites, and supposedly authority sites give kind of bad advice. Actually a lot of authority sites can be shitty. It just depends on the topic, article, and what someone is searching for.

      Also not everything requires a citation. When it does it is good to make sure to give credit where it is due. Are you pretty good about linking up to sources on WPRoudTable?