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 Most of the time it comes from outdated ways of thinking and fears that external links are going to have potential customers clicking en mass to leave your site for greener pastures.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.