Do links help a B2B blog appear more trustworthy?

Our recent webinar on business-to-business blogging resulted in more questions than we had time to answer, so Mark Schaefer agreed to provide a personal reply on our blog to each question.

Question #6 comes from Diane:

Is your blog likely to be even more trusted if you include other links?

What an interesting question, Diane!

B2B Blogging supports B2B MarketingI’m sure you’ve seen that many blogs have a list of popular blogs called a “blog roll.” There are three primary benefits to this:

  1. It provides a reference for your readers and an insight into what you read.
  2. It’s a nice tip of the hat to blogs of people you like and admire.
  3. It is likely that these blogs will also provide a courtesy link back to your blog, which directly benefits your search engine results.

I don’t have a blog roll on my blog even with these obvious benefits for a simple reason: I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. I want to honor and celebrate the people in my {grow} community in many ways and don’t want anybody excluded or overlooked. So I decided against it even though it would be a good promotional effort for the blog.

I’m not saying I’m right. But it’s right for me. Every blogger should consider the valid business reasons for a blog roll.

So let’s get to your specific issue of trust. I believe trust has to be earned through your personal, honest, and caring interactions every day. I’m not sure links, ads, or any other badges on your blog will earn you trust.

I think this is also an interesting question from a corporate perspective — would there be an advantage to having a blog roll on a company blog? Honestly, I can’t remember ever seeing a blog roll on a company blog. But why not? Maybe include customers and business partners… or is that too risky?  What do you think?