A lot has been discussed about back-links and their importance in determining the rank of a webpage from the SEO perspective. Indeed, back-links can add substantial value to your website. HOWEVER, not all back-links add value. In fact, poor backlinks can kill your Google reputation. It is necessary to check your back-links from time to time to see exactly who or which sites link to you. If there are broken links or poor quality sites linking to your site, you have to take steps to remove those links.
One thing we clearly understand – Back-links obtained the natural way is out of our control. It is the process where external sites link back to you. This is essentially done without even seeking permission or after notifying to the webmaster. Therefore, one cannot control what kind of sites and what category of content your site is linked to. Although you may not control this activity, yes Google penalizes you if the originating site is (a) irrelevant or out of context, (b) Harmful or malicious, (c) Porn, and/or (d) broken link. Which explains why it is absolutely necessary to prioritize the activity of monitoring your backlinks.
On the other hand, outbound link refers to the web pages we, the webmaster choose to link to. This is a deliberate and conscious attempt to establish a connection or a link to an external site. Now the question is, does it at all help in terms of SEO?
This is a very popular topic of controversy. There are mainly two prominent schools of thoughts. Before getting judgmental about which is a better method, it is necessary to understand, albeit at a very basic level, how the links – outbound and inbound – bring in or distribute link juice. For most of us, ‘link juice’ is a familiar term. For the rest, it is a fictional reference to the weightage that a link brings in or takes away with it. Any inbound link or a backlink, brings along a fraction of the originating site’s value or merit (or demerit!). So, naturally, when your website is linking out to an external site, you are sharing a fraction of your link juice or your site’s worth. Or so it is believed. So clearly, backlinks (if not poor) are good, because they bring merits of the originating site. But then why would anyone link out, when it will mean sharing your link juice with another site owner? Tough one!
While one school of thought believes it is indeed not necessary to link out since they not only mean you share your link juice with another website, it also implies that a visitor on your site, when chances upon that outbound link, has every chance of hopping over to that site instead of remaining on yours. Furthermore, linking happens (or should happen) among relevant sites or websites that have similar or related purposes. In other words, they are your competitors. Linking out to any of your competitor means you are sharing your prospective customers. Not a good idea!
The other and more progressive group is supportive of external link building, in the interest of a fearless and healthy environment. Think about this – when we see a movie or read a book, we give credit to all parties involved who helped accomplish the goal of the director or writer. Similarly, it is necessary to mention people or resources that are relevant to our subject, without thinking about how it could impact us on search engines. As a webmaster, even if you put a conscious effort to SEO your website or Blog, it would be an intelligent idea to naturally link to relevant content that further establish the relevance of your subject matter. Besides it encourages a healthy content culture and adds value to the subject.
Having said all that I did, there are points to consider when linking out. Knowing pros and cons of Outbound links in Search Engine Optimization, one cannot clinically link to sites without considering its repercussions. And that’s where an expert can guide you take the right decisions. You will decide on the relevant links that will add value to your content, and those your audiences will appreciate and benefit from. What you may not be able to correctly identify are which are the pages where you should put those outbound links, in what ways can you make outbound links bring in the maximum benefit to your site, and the like.
Still thinking about what to do? As an SEO expert, my recommendation is research well. The internet has all the answers for the intelligent lot like you. And of course for those who have the time to look for it. For the rest, there’s iAdroit’s SEO and Internet Marketing Services. Get in touch with us today.