SEO Strategies for Outbound Links: Do not Be Afraid to Link Out

Mon, Mar 2, 2009

Link Building

It’s always amazing how often businesses don’t want to link out from their own blogs or web pages. They do everything they can to lock users into their own virtual world; and I’m sure that a few of them would disable the “close” button on the web browser if they could! So why all the fuss and resistance to outbound linking? Most of the time it comes from outdated ways of thinking and fears that external links are going to have potential customers clicking en mass to leave your site for greener pastures. So let’s take a look at these fears one by one and help dispel the myths and present the facts.

You don’t know it all.

I know this concept may be hard for some of you SEO wizards to believe, but it’s true – none of us are the experts in everything. Sometimes it just makes sense to link externally. It’s what makes the web so great – we can all be subject matter experts in our niche and then point towards other subject matter experts when we find ourselves outside our niche.

Don’t be afraid to give a shout out (or a link out) to respected websites that you trust with content you think your visitors might find valuable. It helps build your sites reputation and position yourself better as a leader for your niche.

Linking Out Encourages People to Participate (Social Networking)

Some companies still don’t get it that Social Media is the new era of marketing. By linking out you are encouraging participation by the community at large. Nothing feels better (and you know this yourself) then getting a link from a highly trafficked source pointing to your works. Linking out to other bloggers and sites helps build cred with the rest of the community and will help your site grow more than you could imagine. By linking out in a consistent matter you are engaging other sites to be a part of your community – and that is where SEO and marketing both are heading.

Linking Out Encourages Links In

When you link out it encourages other sites to link back in to you and to the rest of the web. The web is not about isolation and sadly there are some sites (see the first point above) that think the web was built for them and them alone. You’ll never get links in (which is crucial for effective SEO) if you don’t link out to others.

Search Engines Like It

For years it was thought that search engines really didn’t pay attention to outbound links unless you were linking to spammy sites or content that didn’t exist. In those cases your reward as actually a punishment, especially if you were linking to spammy web properties. While that is still the case today, there is also evidence to suggest that the search engines are rewarding link out behavior to good sites now as well.

It Tells the World You Exist

Finally, it helps let other sites know that you exist and send them to investigate who you are and what you provide. hey notice your inbound links in their web logs and curiosity always sends people tracking back where the traffic is coming from. This could lead to them exploring your services more or linking back to you when they are covering your particular niche. It’s a win-win situation when you link to other high quality sites and blogs.

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This post was written by:

Cassiano Travareli - who has written 90 posts on SEO Blog | SEO Marketing World.

SEO Specialist! Loves everything about Search Engine Marketing.

9 Responses to “SEO Strategies for Outbound Links: Do not Be Afraid to Link Out”

  1. Mark Says:

    Excellent points, especially about how much search engines like outbound links. Thanks for the reminders, very helpful for people in my line of business.

  2. Capt Vlad Nikolskiy Says:

    Greetings,

    Really nice topic, I got a pleasure while reading, thanks.
    But there is another side of coin. Well, perhaps outbound links are able to increase traffic (but in case of mutual or “circle” linking only). But what about page ranking? It’s essential, that outgoing links reduce your PR if they are not closed by . But if closed, means page does not correspond to w3c standards.
    Suppose, depends on site/blog main aim, you have to choose what is most important – PR or traffic.
    Will be obliged for kind comments.
    Thanks in advance,

    BRGDS
    Capt Vlad Nikolskiy, Master Mariner
    Russia

  3. Cassiano Travareli Says:

    Capt Vlad Nikolskiy, outgoing links won’t reduce the PR of the page. The only problem is if you have a LOT of link in your page, you are giving away a lot of PR to the pages you are linking.

    I think outbound links are good, unless they are too much.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Cassiano Travareli Says:

    Mark, thanks for commenting, the idea of our posts is to help some people out there.

  5. Capt Vlad Nikolskiy Says:

    Dear Cassiano,
    Thanks for kind and fast revert. Could you, please, tell me: do you have any practical experience of managing outgoing links, for example 3-4 links from maim (…index.html) page of the site? Which leading to famous resourses, such as w3c.org, CSS validation, hits counter, etc. Do you think that it does not reduce PR or you know for sure?
    I’m very sorry for question, I’m just simple Mariner, but not webmaster or SEO-promoter, and here, in Russia, all specialists told that it’s not good idea to have outbound links, especially on main page.
    Sorry to disturb you again.
    All the best,

    BRGDS
    Vlad

  6. Cassiano Travareli Says:

    Capt Vlad Nikolskiy,
    You are not disturbing by askying questions, it is good to see a big thread on a blog.

    I’m pretty sure outbounding links does not affect your PR. PR is based on links to your site not from your site.
    The point on this case is the link juice you are giving away by linking other websites from your home. I wouldn’t recommend you to link w3c or a hit counter (unless nofollowed) from your home page. I think you should link other resources with related content. In our blog, we link Matt Cutts Blog, SEOMOZ, etc. They are related to our field that’s why we do so.

    Thanks again for the comment

  7. Capt Vlad Nikolskiy Says:

    Dear Cassiano,
    Thank you once more for kind revert and recommendations, which are very htlpful for me. Now I understood main idea and strategy of links. And I will post your reply in my Russian blog for otheer my collegues for reference.
    All the best,
    BRGDS
    Vlad.


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  1. [...] rest of the Internet. Plenty of people are linking in, but from the search engines point of view they aren’t linking out. Yet SEO professionals noticed something rather interesting about this arrangement. Wikipedia [...]

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