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I routinely add one or two useful, interesting and "high quality" links to every article published online, just as recommended by Brett in his legendary 26 steps. Just like linking to an adult content page might make SEs penalize you, linking to a quality site earns you extra brownie points - at least this is what I think.
My colleague disagrees, but none of us can become very emotional on the issue since we both have to agree that there is little empirical data available to clarify this issue.
I have experienced high rankings for pages that have linked to universities - but these are single incidents and not very representative.
Do you know of any tests/studies/experiements that could finally shed light on this issue?
A couple of pages we have with very high quality external links do very well in the SERPS, and together with some good quality content has actually promoted good inbound linking to those pages specifically.
The way I see it, inbound linking has actually been promoted by our use of quality outbound links. It gives the page a much more authoritative look by associating it with big names, and depending on what you are talking about, it can make the page look much more independant and unbiased.
If you do carry out a test it would be really interesting to hear what the results are...
- Topic: Universities in Germany
- 10 articles on one uni each
- placed in the same directory
- linked equally from within the website
- 300 words each article
- 5 articles link to the official website and the local studen's union, 5 have only internal links (to pages within the website)
Would that be an appropriate setup? How would you measure the "success" of the two groups of pages?
You'd still have to place the links / text in the same position on the page though..
It would be good to get more websites involved in this - and they can test using external links that are more relevant for their specific fields..
What does IIRC mean?
"If I remember correctly" or "Ignorant Internet Ranking Consultants" depending on your viewpoint. Probably the former in this case ;) Actually on some research it can mean a lot of other things too:
If I read correctly
If I really cared
If it really counts
[edited by: Simsi at 1:54 pm (utc) on Dec. 18, 2007]
The outbound links defines the topic of your site. In contrast to inbound links, you as the site owner has full control of where these links are pointing. By carefully linking to complementary and interesting information you are helping your visitors and you are helping Google understand the topic of your site.
2.2 Anchor Text
Most search engines associate the text of a link with the page that the link is on. In addition, we associate it with the page the link points to.
I'd be surprised though if the link juice value for linking out is more than minimal. Anyone can do it. It's not "unique content."
What is the value to users of the link? If it's a good site, they can find it in Google.
The problem with linking out is the target sites could turn into bad neighborhoods (with the domain not re-reg'd); then you have Google penalties for endorsing "evil."
The page position of external links seems to be more important now. Within main text is probably better than end-of-page links which Google can interpret as bad link exchanges/the old footer links problem.
It'll probably be in G but there's no guarantee they'll find it, which is where an "editorial vote" can be valuable :-)
For example, I'm looking to link to specific topic pages from industry experts and often have to go down to page three to find them, someone unfamiliar with the industry would probably not bother....