SEO is a complicated science, and while a lot of people think all they have to do is put some keywords in their content and get some backlinks to their pages out on the web through social media shares and commenting, in actual fact these are just a start. While doing these things will do you no harm at all, and will definitely improve your SEO over doing nothing at all, Google, Bing and other search engines don’t stop with these when it comes to analysing your site’s credibility, so neither should you.
One thing a lot of people underestimate the importance of when they are looking at their SEO is the value of outbound links. Here is why you shouldn’t overlook the importance of outbound links, and how to implement them effectively.
Why Outbound Links Are a Good Thing
Outbound links are seen as a positive reflection on your site’s integrity by search engines. This is because search engines want to provide their users with the most useful content possible, because this is how they retain their users and keep their reputations in check. A site that links to other resources, particularly established and highly credible ones with lots of traffic, are seen to offer more value than sites that only link within themselves. It suggests that you cite your sources, and that you are offering readers a chance to find out more from the same sources you use. For this reason, outbound links on sites are one of the many factors that are analysed to derive their position in search engine results.
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How Should I Put Outbound Links On My Site?
Outbound links should be contextual, so you may want to refer in an article to another article that inspired your post or which offers some background to it on a popular news, technology or entertainment site. Major brands are the best ones to go for, so if you link to Sky, the BBC, the New York Times, or popular niche networks like Mashable or Uproxx you will see better results than if you link to a friend’s blog (though there is no harm in doing this too if you want to!). Don’t just have a ‘links’ page with links to all of the world’s major news outlets, however, because this is lazy and easy for search engines to spot. Link to individual pages or articles, and do it within your content. If you use a links page, use this for more niche websites relating to what your blog is about, or simply to sites that you like and think your readers might like too.
One little trick to remember – be sure to set all of your outbound links to open in a new tab or window. This way if people use them they won’t be taken away from your site.
Outbound links are easy to include, add value to your content, and boost your SEO, so use them wherever it feels appropriate and will make sense to your readers!
Adam Livermore is a professional in the SEO field, working with his consultancy consult3.co.uk to help businesses and website owners get the best results from their SEO efforts. He also enjoys writing about SEO and web technology in general, and is a contributor to several popular business, SEO and marketing blogs.