Actually Mig, it's inbound links from top rated sites, not outbound.
Linking to other sites won't help your rankings. Other sites should link to you.. Also, from every page of your site, make a link to your homepage with your keywords as anchor text.
You are not alone, I have also heard this but not yet had the time to carry out a controlled experiment to prove one way or the other.
Maybe someone else will shed some light on this.
Won't work. It makes no sense.
With that said, if you have the choice between linking to two solid sites and two trashy, spammy sites, the former will carry no risk of you being seen by Google as a spammer and the latter will.
Possible they meant that if you are linking out of your site, try to make sure you only link to good quality sites, instead of hundreds of spammy sites.
i'd heard similar things - it seems reasonable that Google might favor a website / page linking out to other reputable on-topic sites over one that doesn't.
On this assumption I tried adding outbound links on several of my 'focus pages' to high-ranking google sites using the keywords in the anchor text.
This was about a month ago (the pages have definitely been updated in the index). Some pages have gone up in rank - others have gone down. No major changes one way or the other.
It's not scientific - but if there is an effect - it's either subtle - or at least takes longer to manifest itself.
Just having another instance of the keyword on the page could also be responsible for some upward (or downward) movement.
I haven't removed the links yet - but I may (or at least not add any more). If it's not giving me big gains - I don't want to take the chance of a user (dear god) actually clicking on one of those links - and leaving my site prematurely.
The fact is, nobody except the insiders know how the whole Google ranking system works, but the original PageRank formula is published and well known. It is based exclusively on the quality and the quantity of the inbound links, not the outbound links.
While there are no doubt many variations that have been made to this basic formula by now, it does not strike me as the least bit sensical to reward folks who willy-nilly link out to Google, Amazon, Yahoo, etc. No sense whatsoever.
In fact, according to this formula, all you are doing is diluting your overall site's ranking by letting PageRank "leak" out to other sites rather than using it to shore up other pages on your site.
There are many many myths and voodoo about search engine practices. As far as I'm concerned, this is one of them unless someone comes up with hard data on the matter.
|G) Outbound Links: |
From every page, link to one or two high ranking sites under that particular keyword. Use your keyword in the link text (this is ultra important for the future).
This was from Bret's Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone
This article is over 2 years old but it works. If your outgoing links help the visitor find quality information, Google will reward you.
looking at the posts , I have a query. Does link exchange demand lots of planning, research and timing?
Is this the strategy that makes a difference?
let me know
[edited by: DaveAtIFG at 3:06 am (utc) on Sep. 18, 2004]
[edit reason] Abbreviated the signature [/edit]
I would like to believe the advice about linking from each of my website's articles to a couple of high quality sites will help in Google rankings.
I tend to agree (from my limited experience) with diamondgrl's view, that the hard evidence for the merit of outbound links is lacking.
Definitely willing to be pursuaded otherwise though.
What seems to confuse some contributors about this question is that it did not ask about the effect on PR. It was only (as I see it) asking about "SE Rankings" or in our language SERPS.
Two completely different measurements. The second being less dependent on the first as time goes by.
So regardles of the PR formula, mig1234 wants to know about his sites position in the SE Returned Pages for his important search terms.
I had a kind of unintentional pure experiments that shows that outbound links may be important at least for PR.
It happened that due (probably) sloppy design the new part of my site lost PR. I redesigned it.
The page with good outbound links (and no inbound links) recovered first about 2 weeks later with PR2.
The whole new part of my site recovered only 2 month later and got in average PR4 (that had in average before drop)
The first recovered page still has PR2.
Bottom line, outbound links help but not as much as inbound ones. I believe that outbound links show Google that you are serious, are not a spammer and your page is related to the topic of outbound link.
They help to recover.
I will second Doug10's seconding of my remarks. I see the claims and despite Vadim's one test, I don't see the evidence for the idea that solid outbound links will either increase your PR or increase your ranking in the SERPs.
I'm not saying it's impossible or even highly unlikely, I just don't see any logic for it, much less evidence. Vadim's speculation about Google's motives makes little sense to me. If you are a spammer, you would simply do what Google wants and not worry if you are linking elsewhere or producing your content in Chinese or whatever it takes to make a buck. Why would linking elsewhere produce evidence of your seriousness? If you're Amazon, you don't have to link elsewhere to get great PR and SERPs. Nor does Google (given that its SERPs pages are not spidered and are PR0, there aren't an abundance of outbound links I've seen). Nor does Microsoft and any number of other PR9 or PR10 sites.
My main site doesn't link elsewhere and it would make no sense for me to do so from a user's standpoint. How would that show my seriousness to the integrity of my site's purpose if I created outbound links to web sites when it made no sense to the users? In fact, the more I think of it, none of the various web sites I have created have a natural purpose for outbound links except my personal home page. I can't see why that makes them more spammy (in fact they are anything but) or less worthy of being in the SERPs.
Anybody have more solid evidence or at least a logical explanation why someone in Googleland might think it was a worthy criteria to include?
|I tend to agree (from my limited experience) with diamondgrl's view, that the hard evidence for the merit of outbound links is lacking. |
It amazes me that people post that they are tired of seeing directories come up in the SERPs and then post that there is no evidence that outbound links can improve one's rankings.
|none of the various web sites I have created have a natural purpose for outbound links |
While I like to think of my sites as authoritative, they certainly are not encyclopaedic. Any site offering serious information has natural reasons for linking to other sites.
I also read the Bretts 26 steps to 15k a Day and that is covered in part G. I also understand about PR leak, so I questioned this approach.
But I think the best search engines want to return the best content from the reader's perspective. This is the approach they need to adopt if they have not already. At times, this might mean pointing to "authority" sites in a footnotes fashion.
That is how I deployed this on my website.
"Any site offering serious information has natural reasons for linking to other sites."
That's a very very narrow view of the Web. Yes, many sites offering serious information have natural reasons for linking to other sites. No doubt. But "any site"? What?
I created an alumni Web site with all kinds of very very useful stuff and didn't link to other alumni associations. Could I have? Sure, I suppose. Did I? No. Does that make the site non-serious? Hmm, that's not a comment I've gotten from the alums. All the ones who have commented seem to find it very useful and, well, serious information that they can use relating to their alumni association. Some have gotten jobs because of it. Others have connected with long-lost friends. Some have learned something new. Maybe if I start linking to other alumni groups from other universities I'll rise in the SERPs from #1 in the relevant keywords to, uh, #.5 or #0, but I think I'll keep it the way I've got it.
>>Won't work. It makes no sense.
It makes total sense. Doesn't anyone know where the original idea came from? It's not that complicated.
Go do your homework and think about why the algorithm was developed in the first place.
|I created an alumni Web site with all kinds of very very useful stuff and didn't link to other alumni associations |
Now, that seems like a very limited view of outbound links.
Did you link to any of the alumni members? Via email perhaps? Would links to alumni members have been appropriate?
On another note, was the site in question designed for mass consumption, or for a relatively small group who would find it via means other that the SE's? If the latter, then rankings are unimportant, are they not?
And, finally, would the site, useful as it was, have been even more useful to its users had there been outbound links? Simply because you choose not to provide links to other information does not mean that it would not have been a better site if you had.
The OP asked if outbound links would help rankings. Most responses were of the flavor of "no evidence" or "doesn't make sense that it would".
I was simply trying to point out that there is evidence, often inadvertantly given by the same posters who state there is no evidence, and also that there is some logic behind why OBL's would be of benefit.
Some of my best ranking and most highly trafficed pages have a large number of outbound links, for what it's worth.
All I have to say is that I have outbound links on all of my pages and my ranking just keeps going up along with my PR.
Outbound links to the relavent expert pages are indeed helpful in climbing up the rankings. Your webpage if linking to expert pages on the very topic helps google recognise your page an expert on the topic. This gives you an edge while the other optimization efforts can't be ruled out and you need a lots on inbounds too. Check out hiltop algo.
|All I have to say is that I have outbound links on all of my pages and my ranking just keeps going up along with my PR. |
Ditto. Virtually every page of every site that I control contains multiple outbound links, and my search engine rankings, traffic, and net profits increase each and every month (even when Google hiccups).
While this is certainly not definitive proof that outbound links help boost rankings, it does seem to work for me and I'm quite happy with it.
I'm like in a reverse position, where I'm finding many sites linking to me, but for no reason in some cases identicle product sites. Some use disguised links some completely hidden, some conventional.
Anyhow I can't find any of them in the serps yet, I guess they are thinking along the lines mentioned in the subject of this thread.
Anyhow I do know my site is steadily slipping down the serps
|You are not alone, I have also heard this but not yet had the time to carry out a controlled experiment to prove one way or the other. |
I've carried out controlled experiments on this. From my results I COULD say that it does boost your ranking - unfortunately, Google has so many unknown factors in its ranking algorithm I just don't know if it is something else that they are picking up on with my site.
My "feeling" from the results I saw compared with other factors i have been working with is that it does not matter (at present) which site you actually link to - just as long as your site is not a dead end. I "think" that this will have more to do with the big PageRank picture more than anything specific about ontopic outbounds.
Note: By controlled, I mean stripping the site of all other possible variable like increasing inbound links.
I've had very good results with providing quality outbounds.
it completely makes sense!
>>I had a kind of unintentional pure experiments that shows that outbound links may be important at least for PR.
Outbound links may help with rankings, but PR is calculated according to inbound links.
>>It happened that due (probably) sloppy design the new part of my site lost PR. I redesigned it.
PR is lost when inbound links are either lost or when the PR of the page or pages linking are decreased.
>>The page with good outbound links (and no inbound links) recovered first about 2 weeks later with PR2.
That PR2 isn't because of the outbound links. The PR2 comes from calculating the value of inbound links to the page.
|It amazes me that people post that they are tired of seeing directories come up in the SERPs and then post that there is no evidence that outbound links can improve one's rankings. |
Exactly. Outbound links may help a page's ranking, but that's a different matter from Page Rank, which depends on inbounds. WBF, does it seem to be helping just from linking out, or is anchor text used in the links?
The original poster is not confused they are asking a legit question. As for the person who brought PR into this that has nothing to do with this. Linking out does have SEO value but you can do the same thing by just pointing the links into your own site. If you want to rank for blue widgets and you have 10 links on your page to other sites or internal pages (it does not matter) you will rank better for blue widgets on the page with the links. It is a small factor and is just a fancier way of doing kw density. This works better than just kw density. If you have 80 links that is even better than 10 links. It is not pretty but it does help a little specially for medium traffic terms. This is one of the reasons that directories seem to do so well. If you have a directory page about blue widgets then if you have 20 listing with different headings that all have the same root (blue widgets) then that page will rank better for blue widgets. I have seen sitemap pages do this as well. Add blue widgets to the title and an h1 tag and one or two anchor text backlinks and you are number one for some medium traffic terms. Of course it works wonders on the easier to get terms.
If you already have a page that is ranking page one or two and you alrady have pretty good kw density try linking those pages to some of your other internal pages that share the same kw root. See if you move up some.
My site's Site Map page experiences this phenomenon for a particular keyword. The page has just minimal text content and then maybe 200 links (with various keywords used in the anchor text) to the pages of my site. About 40 of the links have this specific keyword in their anchor text.
The ranking this page has isn't #1 for this particular keyword, it's more like #25, but this Site Map page ranks better than some of my pages targeted specifically at this keyword.
|WBF, does it seem to be helping just from linking out, or is anchor text used in the links? |
Well, G has rearranged the SERPs pretty significantly in my niche. Two weeks ago I would have said that the content of the site being linked to was more important than the anchor text. Today I am not sure.
A search for "widget maker california" (no quotes) has a page at #7 that only tangentially related.
Page Title - "Thingamabob Links"
URL - www.notrelatedtowidgets.com/thingamabob-links.htm
The site offers services that widget makers might use. It is a links page. The OBL anchor of four of these links contain all of the words in the query.
The site should in no way rank in the top 100 for the query, yet there it is at #7.
The searchengineworld keyword density analyzer shows the search term at a little over 5% for three word queries.
Tool bar PR (for what it's worth) is 4.
Now, two weeks ago I had a page that ranked #1 for this query. Toolbar PR of 4. All OBL anchor text were the URL of the target. It was a simple directory page of widget makers in California.
I am thinking that I need to change the OBL anchor text on that page :)
<added>I should have mentioned, only one of the top ten results on the query is the site of a California widget maker. All the others are directories or links pages!</added>
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