We all know that inbound links, pointing to your site, are generally good for your SEO. But how about outbound links?
Check out the full post on Search Engine Roundtable.
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Last week Google’s John Mueller hosted his first #AskGoogleWebmasters episode and addressed the question of whether outbound links are good or bad for SEO.
He gave some solid insights, but ultimately didn’t really answer the question. Among other things he said:
“Linking to other websites is a great way to provide value to your users. Often times links help users to find out more to check out your sources and to better understand how your content is relevant to the questions that they have.
I would watch out for a few types of links though. In particular if you’re linking out to a site because of an arrangement, like you linked to me and I’ll link to you, or because it’s an ad.
In all of these situations your pages aren’t linking out because you think the other page is a great match for users. For these kinds of links we recommend using the nofollow link attribute.
However if you’re linking out naturally from your content to other sites that offer additional value and more context. Then that’s fine and there’s nothing special that you need to do.”
So, good insight, but no real answer. I’m going to follow suit and play both sides of this.
On one hand, outbound links hurt your site a little bit because they leak link equity out. That’s kind of the purpose of links, to give value to other sites, but it comes at a small detriment to yours.
On the other hand, outbound links often will make your site more valuable, which will lead to people visiting more often and perhaps linking over to you. One of the biggest sites I used to run was essentially nothing more than a daily blog post with links to sites of interest, and it got gobs of traffic, so it can work.
I’m a big believer in rewarding sites that earn it, so if you mention an article on your site go ahead and link to it.