Outward Links: What Is Their Impact On SEO
It’s an argument that’s been raging for years and as Google places more and more emphasis on inbound links the debate becomes even more highly contentious.
Should you or should you not link outward to other blogs?
Some say yes, some say no.
Let’s take a look at both sides of the issue and I’ll tell you how I handle outward bound links.
The Naysayers Say…
Those who oppose outward bound links believe you’re hurting your own SEO while simultaneously helping your competitor rise in the rankings.
According to these opponents, each link you point outward drains a little of your own page rank and passes that portion on to the site you’re linking to. You’re slitting your own throat and your could theoretically wipe out your page rank.
These opponents also agree that outbound links do nothing to improve your own rankings or authority and, again, all your doing is making that competing site stronger in the SERPs.
And finally, there’s the leakage factor. You’re telling your readers to visit another blog for more, better information. Why take the risk?
The Supporters Say…
Supporters explain it a different way. They look at site authority as a bucket that never empties. You’re not really passing link juice to that other site.
You’re recommending that site to Google and Google awards that site with more authority, based on the quality of your incoming link. That outbound link takes nothing away from your site, at all.
They also believe that lots of outbound links to high-quality blogs and websites sets your own blog up as a hub location which the search engines recognize. When they see all those links they reward you with increased authority.
But the supporters make one point which, in my mind, overrides the naysayers. When you link out to other relevant content you’re providing your reader with more information, and since Google places such a high priority on user experience, this can only help your ranking.
Here’s How I Handle Outward Links
Personally, I stand on the side of the supporters, although I don’t have the technical knowledge to back up my beliefs. However, I can’t help but believe that anytime you give your reader more of what they’re looking for it’s going to be a Win-Win situation.
I think the mistake that many bloggers make when linking to other sites is that they send their readers to that other site “for more information.”
Instead, you should include that additional information in your own content, in quotation marks, and link to that other site to acknowledge your source.
When handled in this manner you’ve accomplished several things:
- You’ve given your reader more information and backed it up by crediting a reliable source.
- Your reader does not have to leave your blog to get that additional information and you’re perfectly safe in using it on your blog because you’ve credited the source.
- You’ve extended an outward link to a high-ranking blog which will help them with their page rank.
- When they see it come in they’ll be more likely to watch your blog for opportunities to link out to you. When they do, you’ll see an increase in your rankings.
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