Importance of Outbound Links
Outbound links are hyperlink destinations that lead to an external site or domain other than yours. These are commonly used in the form of relevant reference links or resource links that you connect with your pages’ content.
Outbound linking is an Important On-Site SEO Method in lifting your site’s reputation in the eyes of both users and search engines. It is not a way for your visitors to leave your site, as most site owners fear. Outbound links act as support for your site’s relevance and usefulness. It is a best practice for on-site SEO that helps a website rank better in search engines.
Here Is Why Outbound Links Are Important:
Outbound Links Add Credibility To Your Site.
When you link or refer to external sites that are authoritative and high-quality, you add proof that your information is pulled only from trusted resources. You give users and search bots upfront reasons to consider your site useful and trustworthy too.
Keep in mind that it is important to show them you have done good research to come up with your content. Users also appreciate being given direct access to other sources that they could cross-refer to.
However, as per on-site SEO rules, you must avoid linking to external sites that you do not recognize or have never referred to for information. Even undisclosed paid advertising could impact your site negatively.
A good example of unmonitored link types is user-generated links, which are links that your users post on the comment or forum section of your site. If you let users just post anything they wish, your site might end up turning into a link farm. You can get penalized for such activity and it will be very bad for your brand’s reputation.
One way to avoid such an occurrence is to regularly moderate your users’ posts. Always take time to check the links that they post and edit or remove as necessary so you would not get into any trouble.
You could also add a rel=”nofollow” attribute to all user-generated links just to be safe if you do not have the time to moderate every user’s post. You can also do that with undisclosed paid advertising, which may just annoy your users once they discover such activity.
Linking to good external sites will not get you penalized.
As long as you are linking to relevant websites that contain relevant information, you will not have to worry about getting penalized for linking too many external sites and waste all your on-site SEO efforts.
The only types of external links that could get you into trouble are spammy sites, link farms, sites with security issues, and sites with bad information. Linking to such sites could damage your site’s reputation and your users will always remember how you led them to those sites.
You also should not worry about the page rank of the sites that you link to. If your site has a higher page ranking, you could lend those sites some credibility; but they will not affect or pull down your own ranking. As long as the sites are trusted and have quality content, you can be assured that you are on the right track.
Outbound linking can build relationships that can benefit your site.
Through outbound linking, whether reciprocated or not, a community of supporters and followers can be formed. When other sites reciprocate your linking to them, they can bring you more visitors and can lend you more credibility if they have higher page ranks.
Just make sure that the sites you link to are good sites with quality content that are relevant to yours. In the long run, your site might just form solid business relationships and partnerships that will reinforce and sustain your brand’s reputation.
Outbound linking should not be feared, it should be practiced properly to reap its benefits. Not linking to others would be a bad idea as you will be depriving your website of the opportunity to prove its worth and relevance.