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Importance of Outbound Links

 9:29 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

I talked to a fellow webmaster recently and he told me that he quite often links to high authority sites from his articles and that actually improves his SERPs! I was really surprised by this, because I've "grown up" thinking that the less outbound links, the better.

What do you think?



 9:46 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

You've "grown up" thinking wrongly :)


 10:00 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

I know as a fact that outbound links to very high quality authority sites (government, health, .edu, trade organizations, etc...) has a beneficial effect for ranking as long as they are highly relevant to what your site/page is about.


 10:22 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

...In fact here's an example of how I might use it for my client's benefit...

Let's say for example my client is an Arborist. Someone searching for that type of service will more often than not be aware that there are municipal bylaws in place for protection of trees. So, realizing that those potential customers of my client will be browsing municipal bylaw pages I go to that municipal page and analyze the copy written content. Then on my client's page I will write the content in such a manner that the "common ground keywords" that are prevalent on the municipal site are also included in the text I write on my client's site and also link out to the exact municipal page that answers the question the searcher needs answered.

This creates a wonderful effect of nudging my client's page up to the top with the "authority" municipal government page and frequently, as long as the searcher is attentive, they realize their "luck" that not only have they found their answer but also; "oh look lucky me there's even a result to a company that offers the exact service I'm looking for and now won't have to go looking for that too".

Sweet example of Website Optimization. There are MANY MANY ways of improving ranking without ever turning to getting offsite links and social media.


 10:44 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Oh dang, I cannot help but add one more point here. This is a good place to use an enticing meta description tag that appeals to the prospect of combing through legalese "Confused about blah blah blah bylaws? Call our qualified staff for no obligation assistance" -- which would you prefer to deal with -- a lifeless municipal bureaucrat or a company that offers the same professional advice for free?

NOTE TO GOOGLE: Stop changing MY meta descriptions -- YOU will NEVER know better than I do what is best served on the page results -- JUST STOP IT OK?! You tick me off. Ahhhh I feel better getting that off my mind.


 10:58 pm on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Outbound links have always been important for Google. Note the date and see Point G [webmasterworld.com].


 11:26 am on Sep 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

From the horses mouth "Thoughtful outbound links can help your credibility" [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk ]


 7:49 pm on Sep 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do these "good" outbound links have to be nofollow, or follow is okay as well?


 7:52 pm on Sep 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I make all of them follow. If they are worth linking to then they are worth doing it without restrictions. I call these types of outbound links backwash -- I'm borrowing some of their authority.


 8:10 pm on Sep 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I look for obscure but high-quality sites to link to that aren't likely to outrank me for a while.


 8:11 pm on Sep 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do these "good" outbound links have to be nofollow, or follow is okay as well?

Why would they have to be nofollow?


 9:40 am on Nov 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Does it make a difference if the outbound links create a new target page over the existing one?


 10:16 pm on Nov 24, 2012 (gmt 0)


No. In fact, I always open a new window every time I link to an external site. The "target" attribute has no bearing on the effectiveness of the link or how a link is treated.

I don't mind giving them a followed link. As SevenCubed said, "If they are worth linking to then they are worth doing it without restrictions." However, I don't have to let them leave my site completely should the user follow an external link. I prefer to keep my site open in the original window.


 6:23 am on Dec 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Natural co-citation to high quality authority websites seems to help.

It certainly doesn't hurt and provides value.

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