Link Planning: Think Carefully Before You Link To Other Websites

Steven4 responsesSEO
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When done properly, outbound links are always beneficial – for your blog’s SEO and for your readers.

However, there are some dangerous pitfalls that can be hazardous to your blog health.

Here are some things you should think about before you link from your blog.

Have you read what you’re linking to?

It’s important to read the entire article you’re linking to. That one snippet you’re using might be perfect for your readers but what about the rest of the article? In what context is that snippet being used? Will it back-up the point you’re trying to make it will it shoot you down in flames?

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Don’t ever just read the title and assume that article’s a good fit. We all know how easy it is to write a title and then veer off course when you write the actual article. And unscrupulous bloggers like to play bait-and-switch with their titles.

While you’re at it, take a look at the rest of that blog or website before you link out. Is it a reliable source of information? What are they linking to? Do they have a lot of pop-ups or ads or do they look spammy? That one article may be a fluke and linking out to poor-quality or spammy blogs can hurt your own rankings.

Does the link provide value for your readers?

One of the reasons bloggers use outbound links is to attract the attention of the other blogger in the hopes that they’ll get a link in return. However, you should always remember that your readers just might follow that link. If you’re linking to non-relevant content or content that provides no additional value, your readers won’t appreciate being sent on a wild goose chase.

Will this link take readers away from your blog forever?

This is every blogger’s biggest fear and it’s really unfounded if you’re linking out properly.

Only link to relevant content on reputable blogs.

Instead of sending your readers to that other blog for more information, include all the necessary information in your own post and simply include a link back to your resource. Your readers won’t even have to leave your blog if you tell them everything they need to know.

Your readers are following your blog because they like you and you provide value. If they do follow that link they’ll appreciate that you introduced them to someone new, but they’re still your loyal followers and they have plenty of love to go around.

Will this link harm your SEO?

This is another big concern. Many bloggers feel that if they use too many outbound links they’ll drain away all their link juice.

Actually, it’s good for your SEO to link out from your blog because it makes your blog look like hub to the search engines. And your links don’t “carry” juice. The search engines award link authority to the blog that’s getting the links, but they don’t take that authority away from your blog.

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  1. Ian Cleary

    Hi Steven,

    I link out to what is relevant and make sure to only link to great articles but doesn’t page rank pass from your page to the other site when you link? I don’t worry about it because if you give you will get!

    1. Ian, it does pass PageRank. But I firmly believe that hoarding PR is pointless. Share the link love and other people will share it with you as well.

  2. Jack Durish

    Funny you should mention it… One of my website/weblog URLs was “black listed” by Google because of an embedded link. The website that it pointed to had become infected and Google doesn’t want to refer people to it. Apparently, they don’t want me referring people there, either. Fortunately, I have SiteLock and it provided me a detailed report of the problem and provided the method for fixing it.

  3. Thomas Mcmahon

    Thank you for dispelling the myth that linking takes away a blogs PageRank or other factors. This is a common misconception that simply needs to die.

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