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How Do Outbound Links Affect SEO?

Jason Roy


Many people are still unsure about the impact of outbound links on SEO. Is it worth your time to build outbound links as a means of adding value to your site? Is it going to make any difference to the search engines who your outbound links point to or how many you have or how many people click on them? If so, where can you find the best sites to link to what is the most sound strategy for building outbound links? If you’re curious about the answers to these questions, this article will tell you what kind of impact outbound links have on your SEO and how you can develop a strong outbound linking strategy.

The Impact of Outbound Links

Many SEO experts claim that the search engines rank sites according to hundred of factors and that outbound link is most likely one of them. This is because having outbound links on your website demonstrates that you are adding value for your visitors by providing them with links to additional information on your subject. Another thing to consider is that user behaviors, such as clicking on links which lead to other pages/site, also has a significant impact on your site’s SEO.  In other words, if the search engines see that there is a lot of user activity on your site, that demonstrates that people are getting value out of your site and can have a positive impact on your SEO.

The building of outbound links is also valuable for building relationships with other website and blog owners since the links will likely bring traffic to their sites. If their site is within the same niche as yours and you’re bringing a lot of traffic, the site owner might eventually take notice and visit your site to see what it's all about. This of course makes other business owners in the Internet community aware of your presence which could open the door for joint ventures and other marketing opportunities. Finally, reading outbound links that lead to a credible site can raise your visitors' perceived credibility of your site.

What Kinds of Sites to Link to

When building outbound links on your website, many of the same rules apply which apply in building inbound links. For example, it's important to make sure that you link to sites that are credible and which are relevant to your niche. Linking to sites that appear to be only spam sites or which aren’t professional in their appearance or in their content can significantly lower your visitor’s perceived value of your site. Not to mention that if one of your visitors gets sent to a spam site from your site, they’re not likely to want to visit your page site again.

The same is true if you are linking to sites that are not relevant to yours, it shows your visitors that you either aren’t an expert on your subject or it frustrates them because they’re not getting what they expect when they click on your outbound links.

Moderate Use of Outbound Links

Having too many outbound links causes you are websites to appear as link farm or spam site and can potentially hurt your site’s SEO. For best results, create outbound links either for the sake of providing additional information for your visitors or in some cases as a link to a product that is reviewed on your site. In the case of the latter, just make sure that your site is still providing valuable content to your visitors instead of simply pointing them to promotional offers.

Look at Your Outbound Links

When adding outbound links to your site, it's also important to make sure that the keywords in your anchor text match the content of the site you're linking to. This serves the purpose of assisting the site you're linking to in retaining and building value with the search engines which will help you build a good application within your niche. Remember, it’s important for a site to have their keywords in the anchor text of inbound links which are leading back to their site. So if your site includes outbound links which include keywords that aren't relevant to the site are linking to, you could actually be negatively affecting the other sites an SEO.

On top of this, you could be bringing in visitors to someone else’s site who will leave immediately after finding out that it didn't contain the information they expected. This could negatively affect the other site’s bounce rate and enough sites that you’re linking to get enough of this kind of inbound traffic, it could hurt your site’s reputation with other site owners.

Outbound Linking from a Marketing Perspective

Some online marketers claim that outbound links to other sites drive traffic away from your site and therefore is a poor marketing strategy. However, if your outbound links are providing valuable information to your visitors and raising the perceived value of your site and of your reputation as an expert, it will help you to build trust with your visitors which is always good for marketing. Also,  if your outbound links lead to affiliate offers and if your site is also providing valuable content about the offer and why the visitor should get involved with it,  outbound linking can become a great strategy for monetizing your website.

Conclusion

Considering the above points, it’s probably a good idea to add outbound linking to your SEO and marketing strategy. As long as you’re providing valuable and relevant content to your visitors, the strategy of outbound link building can be a good investment of time and effort.

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