Who’s afraid of outbound links?

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We all know the importance of inbound links (aka backlinks) but what about outbound links? First, let’s start with what an outbound link is. All we’re talking about here is a link that goes from your blog to another site. Yes, an external link. Oooooh…scary stuff.

Let’s run through some of the common reasons why bloggers don’t like to have outbound links.

  • Outbound links take people away from their site
  • The more outbound links there are, the less link juice other outbound links on their site get
  • Outbound links don’t help their SEO

Those are very valid reasons. But that’s an extremist’s point of view. As long as you can find a middle ground, outbound links can help your blog grow. Let’s revisit the concerns mentioned above and demystify them a bit.

Outbound links take people away from their site

That’s true but if your goal is to provide real value on your site, wouldn’t it make sense to point your visitors to another expert when it makes sense to do so? You can still be the authority on your topic, but I’m sure there are many opportunities where there are valuable resources related to your post that you could link to. Besides, people are savvier than ever these days, and you won’t be able to hold your visitors hostage anyway. You might as well provide them with a level of convenience that keeps them happy and coming back.

The more outbound links there are, the less link juice other outbound links their site get

OK, there’s this thing called Google PageRank that we have to worry about. If your site has said, a Google PageRank 6, you get a certain amount of link juice, which gets divided evenly amongst all your outbound links. First of all, how many bloggers even have more than a PageRank 2? Here’s the deal, if you link to real sites with beneficial information, you’re doing what’s best for your website. You can’t worry about how much link juice each one is getting. If you are PageRank 0, no one is getting anything anyway. And if you are PageRank 6, not only will people still like you, they will likely also pay you to get their link on your site. See? No one gets upset at all!

Outbound links don’t help their SEO

You can make a case that outbound links do help SEO. By having outbound links to sites with content that is related to yours, Google looks at you as a potential peer in that network. The more appropriate links you have, the more valuable Google sees you in that arena. Moreover, indirectly, these links should create some reciprocal links as well. That means when you link to others; there’s a chance that they link back. Reciprocal links and inbound links are almost always a good thing.

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