What Are Outbound Links?
Why are links so important and always discussed in SEO? Links make up the internet by creating a network of web pages connecting one to another. The entire internet can be visualized as a spider web linking each webpage to others. Search engines have bots or spiders that crawl through these web pages and index them accordingly. These bots use links to find new web pages on the internet. Links can be both internal and external. Internal links connect the web pages on the website with each other and provide a structure to the website. External links are those that connect one website to another. These can be both inbound links and outbound links. Inbound links or backlinks are links that come from another website to your website and outbound links are links that go from your website to another one. These external links are like a vote of confidence that one website gives to another. While having more high-quality inbound links are considered important for SEO, the importance of outbound links is rarely considered and often is a subject of controversy. How do outbound links affect your website? Let us find out.
Importance of Having Outbound Links
An external link consists of two parts, an anchor text and the hyperlink that connects to the other website. Google considers backlinks or inbound links as a ranking factor and people try to gain high-quality backlinks through various tactics using link building. But does link building only consist of backlinks? Why do people hesitate when it comes to outbound links? The reason is the lack of clarity and misconceptions surrounding outbound links. People fear that outbound links might lead to page rank leaks which affect the ranking of their page and also that unnatural links might invite penalties from Google. But what do having quality outbound links actually do to your website?
Increase Relevance and Build Trust
Outbound links show that you have relevant content on your page and have sources and citations that prove it. This increases the trustworthiness of your page as you have good content and proof to back it. You are also giving users more information and directions. So, the users will start trusting you and come back for more.
Improves relationship With Other Businesses
Giving dofollow links to other businesses is like giving your vote of confidence and vouching for them. So giving outbound links to pages and websites that you think are relevant helps create good business relationships with other businesses online.
If you give good outbound links to other websites, there is a chance that they might link back to you. If you link to relevant web pages and websites regularly, other websites might find you and link to you.
Build reputation and Traffic
If your website offers good content and more information and direction to people, people will come back for more to your webpage. This increases traffic on your page and the reputation of your website. Once people realize that your content is relevant, your online reputation builds too.
Strengthen Topical Signal
When you add outbound links related to the content on your page, it informs Google that your content is relevant and you got the necessary information from high authority websites. This increases the depth of your topic as well as sends positive signals about the content.
Things To Consider While Adding Outbound Links
Outbound links are good for your website but they have to be used wisely. There are many types of external links, mainly dofollow and nofollow links. Dofollow links are the ones that have link juice and contribute to page ranks as they suggest to Google that this website is important. Nofollow links ask to ignore the links and states that you do not guarantee the authority of the website. External links are dofollow by default and you have to add nofollow to it to make them nofollow. You need to know when to use dofollow and nofollow links.
- Make sure that you use nofollow outbound links in comments, user-generated content, and paid or sponsored links. You can also add tags like ugc and sponsored to show what type of links are these.
- If you think the content of the website is relevant, be generous and give dofollow links or follow links.
- Ensure that you always use natural linking and do not do any black hat practices like link farms.
- Anchor text is an important part of link building. Use keyword-rich and descriptive anchor text which shows the users what these links lead to.
- Avoid too many outbound links as you need to keep everything balanced. Too many outbound links can seem unnatural and can have a negative effect.
- Make sure that you are always linking to the original source of data.
- Avoid outbound links in navigation and landing pages. This can seem disturbing to the users.
- There is a misconception that if outbound links open on the same tab, you will lose visitors. But, outbound links do not have to always open in a new tab. Opening outbound links on the same tab is a sign of credibility
External links to high authority pages are good for your website whether they are inbound or outbound links. Though outbound links do not directly contribute to page ranking factors, they can do a lot for your website and should not be neglected. Outbound links keep you connected with the other websites and ensure that your website is not a dead end. This increases the credibility of your website and can help you build good business relationships and networks online. You can find the links to your website and from your website using tools like Google Search Console and Moz. Always make sure that you provide relevant citations and sources when you post something and guide your users to more information. It is also important to know where to put dofollow and nofollow links and be mindful when it comes to linking. Natural link building is a process that helps you grow online and connect with others. So, keep connecting to others using outbound links and not just focus on backlinking.