All of that said, however, a look back at the literature on news linking practices does uncover some obvious trends. First, the number of hyperlinks at online news websites has increased over time. Second, the number of links to external websites has dropped— in some cases, dramatically. Third, traditional blogs link about as often as the websites of traditional news organizations, but link to external sites far more frequently. Finally, the question of “what links count” (particularly the differences between sidebar links and inline links) represents a particularly difficult analytical question that highlights the need for a qualitative methodological strategy that goes beyond counting.