A link, on the open internet, is a vote. It’s your way of saying, “this is great, and more people should know about it.” We talk about how much power the search engines have, but if you think about it, the search engines listen to us. They see what we link to, what we click, and how long we stay. At the end of the day, we are the curators of what gets surfaced on the internet.
This is one reason why it’s been so disappointing to see so many people leave their independent blogs in favor of social media platforms (like Medium) for creating content. When people post on these platforms, they lose their voice because the links aren’t the same! They’re often altered with rel=”nofollow” attributes, which prevents search engines from crawling the links or counting them toward search rankings. There are reasons for this, but the result is that the links you post lose their power.