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The "Linked" section of the sidebar lists other questions that the current question links to, and it also shows other questions that link to it (in the comments or the answers). Consequently, linking to another question in your own answer can get your answer more attention because it will appear on the other question's "Linked" sidebar.

I recently came across an answer that linked to a lot of other questions. The linked questions were relevent and related, but the links were many more than the average answer has. A few of the links were to highly viewed questions, so I think linking to them will draw attention to the answer.

Is excessive linking to other questions acceptable, even if the links are to relevent and related questions? If I link to lots of highly-viewed questions in my own answer, will it come across as reputation-farming (because the answer will receive more upvotes)?

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No, since the linked posts would get more attention due to being linked and recast into the spotlight.

If you were rep farming, linking to your own posts would be highly more efficient in the first place. So why link to other high-viewed questions if they get a lot more attention all of a sudden? And two, a lot of linked questions may mean that the answerer is just copying down stuff from other posts rather than trying to use his own knowledge and adding that to his answer.

Even worse, is that a lot of users will request you enter in the important information into your answer just in case if the link dies.

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I guess the real question here is "do people click on the links on the sidebar" and "whether these links are relevant" (and of course, whether the question is not a duplicate)

I often use links to add peripheral references to a question, where something is useful or inspired the question, but not quite in the scope of a question, or when I'm referring to a more in depth question.

And even if someone looks at those (presumably excellent!) questions, then links to mine, at least in theory the quality of my own questions should be why people vote. (and contrariwise. If your questions are bad, someone who comes in from a popular question would downvote it).

And it comes down to that. If a link is relevant, and the question is good it would probably deserve an upvote. Its the 'natural' way of doing things. If it isn't (and logically, linking 'excessively' just for the sake of it would indicate that), people are going to be wondering what's happening and downvoting.

I don't see why it would be perceived as 'rep farming' at all - especially when we build upon the knowledge of others and use that to synthesise answers that fit the specific scenarios better.

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