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The immediate SEO value of well-chosen outbound links would be as "signals of relevance".
I like to find "undiscovered gems" to link to rather than linking to someone who is already strong for the searches I'm targeting. I'd prefer to give a link to a guy below me than one above me ... as long as the relevance is clear.
PR still matters, and more is better, but in my experience if you keep your focus on relevance when you're developing your web presence, PR tends to look after itself.
However, the reverse isn't so true. Relevance won't look after itself if the webmaster only thinks about chasing PR. Too much of a PR obsession can lead to weak or confused signals of relevance.
Gaining PR will do you the most good if it's coupled with strong, clear signals of relevance.
query: keyword then click on the purple link.
some argue that increased click through may also be taken into account when determining whether a site should rank for a keyword. citing expert sources may increase the amount of people returning to your site when viewed for all searches.
I have a few outbound links hidden in info sections, problem i have it's all e-commerce based so from what i have learnt is keep the end user on site and reduce the bounce rate. Plus, i struggle to find relavant links which are not the compo.
i should have set this to email notifications of replies;
first and foremost:
document scoring based on query analysis [appft1.uspto.gov]
A system may determine an extent to which a document is selected when the document is included in a set of search results, generate a score for the document based, at least in part, on the extent to which the document is selected when the document is included in a set of search results; and rank the document with regard to at least one other document based, at least in part, on the score.
google filed this patent on April 19, 2007; now i have seen sites positioned on page one drop in positioning after seeing their traffic drop for a month or so. typically the amount of links pointing to other sites doesn't increase; nor do the links pointing to the site with a loss in traffic decrease.
so, speaking from both a search-engine friendly and usability standpoint, you definitely want to create a site with a title and Meta description that can increase your click through rate when populating the serp snippet, and content that turns a new visitor into a returning prospect.
If you read an article from another site and decide to write about the same thing a link to that source would be a good idea but also a link to the official source (if one exists) is a good idea when you're writing about a product, company or event etc. Adding two links when it's helpful has a benefit and don't worry about "leaking PR".
Truth be told every website should "leak PR" to the right places. I'd even suggest webmasters go back and revisit all the links they placed "nofollow" on and consider expiring some of them if the linked site is worthy.
edit: so many typo's for a Saturday morn'.
[edited by: JS_Harris at 9:58 pm (utc) on May 2, 2009]