Gaining Inbound Links Using Twitter Widgets

My obsession with Twitter widgets continues - this time I was reading an Econsultancy article I'd just linked to on Twitter, when I spotted my own name in its 'Twitter Buzz' box.

That's fine - but I'd also linked to an article I'd written on here a few days ago about the trade-off between what I termed 'the five horsemen of webmastery'.

What did this mean? Well, I'd effectively linked to myself, from Econsultancy's website, naming myself as a related article.

How It Looks

The Twitter Buzz box, pictured right, occupies the lion's share of Econsultancy's right-hand sidebar.

The image here is just a snapshot of the top few tweets on the relevant article at the time of writing this post, but it shows not only the link to my own previous piece on here, but also my follow-up tweet when I spotted my own name on Econsultancy's site!

Interestingly, it seems Econsultancy places more importance on incoming links than on other issues - such as the use of a particular hashtag, or of its name or Twitter username. Just link to an Econsultancy article, and you too can appear in its Twitter Buzz box.

What Does it Matter?

Here's the bit I'd actually love to hear your views on - contact me on Twitter (@bobblebardsley) and let me know what you think of the following:

My immediate response to seeing my tweet on Econsultancy's site was "Great! That's a pretty prestigious inbound link to Phronesis, even if it only stays there for a little while", coupled with a sense of happiness at having found something interesting to write about here and for my day job.

As I wrote this article for the DirectNews website, it occurred to me that the process I was describing sounded... well, a little shady. It's a bit like spamming blog comments, isn't it?

So, what do you guys think? If your own link is genuinely relevant or related to the original article, is it spamming to tweet about it knowing full well that it will appear on a third-party website? Or is it all part of the 'buzz' Econsultancy is trying to build?