SEO Your Outgoing Links!

32 replies
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Ok for those that don't know the difference between Inbound links and Outbound links:
Inbound links = links coming INTO your site from other related quality websites

Outbound links = links going OUT from your site to other related quality websites

Everybody hammers on about the importance of getting quality links from related websites focusing on high PR, .gov and .edu sites as the main ones to target (if possible), which is all very important and the main part of an SEO campaign.

Buy what a lot of webmasters and some SEO's forget is the importance of OUTBOUND links from the pages or site you are targeting.

Importance of Validating Your Content With An Outgoing Link
That's right - links that go out from your site to another site, when this topic is brought up some people are concerned they will lose their PR by giving away their link juice. But it is crucial in any well rounded SEO campaign to place a strategic OUTGOING link on the pages you are SEO'ing to some of the most respected authority sites that relate to that page's content. (One to two (2 being maximum)).

The Right Link Will Add SEO Weight
In doing this you allow add more 'SEO weight' to your pages theme, which in turn adds to the importance placed on it by Google for that theme. When placing an 'outbound link' don't add your keywords as the anchor link title, simply the Name of the website resource or even the plain URL as the link. (You keep your keyword links as internal ones).

Just though I would add this as I have found it extremely helpful in improving ranking in the SERP's.
#links #outgoing #seo
  • Profile picture of the author rahulr
    Thank you for the Info.Having a lot of outgoing do follow link wont hurt your PR.Look at ezine articles.They still got a PR 6.They have more outbound links than Inbound links

    You can also link about a term to wikipedia.
    If you have a lot of outgoing links then use Broken link checker.It would help Visitors as well as SERP Rankings.
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    • Profile picture of the author PaulMeadhurst
      Originally Posted by rahulr View Post

      Thank you for the Info.Having a lot of outgoing do follow link wont hurt your
      I would not recommend a 'lot of outgoing' links...my experience has been adding one external link per page to a recognised body or organisation that relates to my pages theme adds some extra SEO weight.
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      • Profile picture of the author rahulr
        Originally Posted by PaulMeadhurst View Post

        I would not recommend a 'lot of outgoing' links...my experience has been adding one external link per page to a recognised body or organisation that relates to my pages theme adds some extra SEO weight.
        How about having a footer that links to an authority website.
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        • Profile picture of the author PaulMeadhurst
          a footer is good! The key is to target a non commercial site and go for edu, gov or association links.
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        • Profile picture of the author ~kev~
          Originally Posted by rahulr View Post

          How about having a footer that links to an authority website.
          Only if its related to your sites topic.

          ~~~~

          To the op - I only link to related sites, and only to authority sites.

          One of the worst things you can do, is to link to some spammy junk site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Heron
    That's some fantastic original research there Paul. And what's equally as fantastic is that you'll create a few new believers based purely on your unsubstantiated claims! Well done. Now just elaborate a little and sell a $7 WSO about the hypothesis.
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    • Profile picture of the author PaulMeadhurst
      Originally Posted by Steven Heron View Post

      That's some fantastic original research there Paul. And what's equally as fantastic is that you'll create a few new believers based purely on your unsubstantiated claims! Well done. Now just elaborate a little and sell a $7 WSO about the hypothesis.
      Hi Steve, appreciate your compliment buts its a common understanding in the SEO community (genuine one that is). A lot of people forget about this little nugget of SEO.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chris Koltai
        Originally Posted by PaulMeadhurst View Post

        Hi Steve, appreciate your compliment buts its a common understanding in the SEO community (genuine one that is). A lot of people forget about this little nugget of SEO.
        So it's just common knowledge? Kind of like if you go outside without a jacket you'll catch a cold, and humans only use 10% of their brain? Ah, I see.

        Have you actually tested this theory, you know, scientifically? Maybe by registering 2 exact match domains for a keyword at the same time, installing wordpress, using the exact same theme, settings, content, and links, and then placing an outbound authority link on one and not the other and seeing where they rank?

        Good business operates on tested and proven facts, not speculation.
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        • Profile picture of the author PaulMeadhurst
          Hi Chris,
          Thanks for the comment, yes I have tested this on all the sites my company SEO's inlcuding the ones in the competitive industries and I guess that's why we are No1 for SEO courses. Sorry I missed what you had worked on? Anyway lets not get into a p****ng contest, not sure why you dont like giving SEO advice for free
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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Heron
            Originally Posted by PaulMeadhurst View Post

            Hi Chris,
            Thanks for the comment, yes I have tested this on all the sites my company SEO's inlcuding the ones in the competitive industries and I guess that's why we are No1 for SEO courses. Sorry I missed what you had worked on? Anyway lets not get into a p****ng contest, not sure why you dont like giving SEO advice for free
            Nothing personal Paul, I'm sure you're meaning well, but let's cut to the truth.

            This is basically hearsay, and the example of SEOMoz is one based on "belief from authority" instead of evidence. Please link me to their study so I may examine it and scrutinize it in every little detail.

            In fact, since this hypothesis has been so commonly circulated as being a fact, I will be conducting the following experiment.

            The experiment will be this -

            Select a keyword phrase that has a search volume of at least 10,000/month.

            Register 6 domain names with private registration, each with unique class C IP addresses but from the same registrar (to avoid any potential trust issues with different registrars). Each domain will have one article on the homepage, with the title tag as the keyword phrase & 400 words of content.

            In the middle of the article, 3 of the domain names will have the keyword phrase pointing to a relevant, high authority and high page rank website that is related to the article (let's call these 3 sites class A).

            The other 3 domain names will also contain the same keyword phrase in their article, however they won't link anywhere, they will just be left as plain text (let's call these 3 sites class B).

            Once this is done, all 6 of the sites will be placed on a page of at least a PR3 ranking. A site from class A will appear first on this page, then a site from class B will appear second, followed by a site from class A, then class B, etc. This way, none of the sites from class A or B will appear any "higher" than the other. There will be unique & relevant content on this page separating each site so it looks natural.

            Since all the sites will have the exact same incoming link source, their rankings should be either similar or random; one of the two.

            If however, all sites from Class A outrank all sites from Class B under the keyword term, then this will indicate a possibility that an outgoing link to a high authority site may indeed help rankings. If however the rankings of the Class A & B sites seem more randomized, then further studies will need to be conducted, not by myself, but by someone else that believes in this so called "theory".

            I'm not setting out to disprove anything, I'm simply seeing whether the hypothesis mentioned by Paul, and so many other IMers, has any merit. If it does, I'll be conducting more research to confirm their findings. If my experiment doesn't indicate anything above chance, I won't bother conducting any further studies, and will instead request that Paul, SEOMoz, and anyone else who believes in this theory provide some evidence to back it up.

            I'll be posting my results here hopefully within the next month.

            I realize this study isn't ideal. For a start, the sample size is too small, and the linking will not look natural. Nevertheless, it should give us all some vague idea whether this "hypothesis" is most likely true, or whether it will continue to remain unproven. If it still remains unproven, the onus to prove it rests not on me, Chris, or anyone else who questions the hypothesis, but rather on those who propose it.

            In the interim, please provide some credible studies that demonstrate outgoing links to high authority sites increase a sites rankings. If not, I will continue with my study and post my findings.
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            • Profile picture of the author Chris Koltai
              Originally Posted by PaulMeadhurst View Post

              Hi Chris,
              Thanks for the comment, yes I have tested this on all the sites my company SEO's inlcuding the ones in the competitive industries and I guess that's why we are No1 for SEO courses. Sorry I missed what you had worked on? Anyway lets not get into a p****ng contest, not sure why you dont like giving SEO advice for free
              I missed what you worked on too, since I've got better things to do than aggressively search Google for your resume. Making comments like that is a good way to turn a debate over questionable SEO advice into a personal flame war, so maybe you should consider taking your own advice. I've got nothing against giving free SEO advice, as long as it's proven and tested. See the bottom of my previous post for details.

              Originally Posted by Steven Heron View Post

              Nothing personal Paul, I'm sure you're meaning well, but let's cut to the truth.

              This is basically hearsay, and the example of SEOMoz is one based on "belief from authority" instead of evidence. Please link me to their study so I may examine it and scrutinize it in every little detail.

              In fact, since this hypothesis has been so commonly circulated as being a fact, I will be conducting the following experiment.

              The experiment will be this -

              Select a keyword phrase that has a search volume of at least 10,000/month.

              Register 6 domain names with private registration, each with unique class C IP addresses but from the same registrar (to avoid any potential trust issues with different registrars). Each domain will have one article on the homepage, with the title tag as the keyword phrase & 400 words of content.

              In the middle of the article, 3 of the domain names will have the keyword phrase pointing to a relevant, high authority and high page rank website that is related to the article (let's call these 3 sites class A).

              The other 3 domain names will also contain the same keyword phrase in their article, however they won't link anywhere, they will just be left as plain text (let's call these 3 sites class B).

              Once this is done, all 6 of the sites will be placed on a page of at least a PR3 ranking. A site from class A will appear first on this page, then a site from class B will appear second, followed by a site from class A, then class B, etc. This way, none of the sites from class A or B will appear any "higher" than the other. There will be unique & relevant content on this page separating each site so it looks natural.

              Since all the sites will have the exact same incoming link source, their rankings should be either similar or random; one of the two.

              If however, all sites from Class A outrank all sites from Class B under the keyword term, then this will indicate a possibility that an outgoing link to a high authority site may indeed help rankings. If however the rankings of the Class A & B sites seem more randomized, then further studies will need to be conducted, not by myself, but by someone else that believes in this so called "theory".

              I'm not setting out to disprove anything, I'm simply seeing whether the hypothesis mentioned by Paul, and so many other IMers, has any merit. If it does, I'll be conducting more research to confirm their findings. If my experiment doesn't indicate anything above chance, I won't bother conducting any further studies, and will instead request that Paul, SEOMoz, and anyone else who believes in this theory provide some evidence to back it up.

              I'll be posting my results here hopefully within the next month.

              I realize this study isn't ideal. For a start, the sample size is too small, and the linking will not look natural. Nevertheless, it should give us all some vague idea whether this "hypothesis" is most likely true, or whether it will continue to remain unproven. If it still remains unproven, the onus to prove it rests not on me, Chris, or anyone else who questions the hypothesis, but rather on those who propose it.

              In the interim, please provide some credible studies that demonstrate outgoing links to high authority sites increase a sites rankings. If not, I will continue with my study and post my findings.
              Bingo. This is what should have been presented at the start of the thread. But hey, who needs even a small sample of proof when you can just appeal to authority and "common knowledge"?
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulMeadhurst
    The above comment is quite right though the ‘proof is in the pudding’ the above tip on outgoing links is tried and tested and a little hidden secret of the SEO industry, for more info you can check it out on SEOMOZ.org

    If you really interested in SEO then attending the SES in San Francisco in August.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Then
    I think Google believes in the "Giver's Gain" philosophy...

    You give an outgoing link to related site, Google will credit your page with +++s
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    • Profile picture of the author JayC81
      Originally Posted by Joseph Then View Post

      I think Google believes in the "Giver's Gain" philosophy...

      You give an outgoing link to related site, Google will credit your page with +++s
      Yes and No. You still obviously need to be sparse on the number of outbound links from your sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author ~kev~
    Originally Posted by Daniel McGonagle View Post

    It doesn't hurt to link to "authority" sites, as long as they're non-commercial in nature.
    Please define "non-commercial" - because sites like yahoo news, bbc, abcnews, cnn, discovery, google, bing,,,,,,, are all commercial sites. They exist for one purpose, and that is to make money.

    The only non-commercial sites out there, are the Not for Profit Organizations (NPOs) - red cross, wikipedia, salvation army,,, sites like that.

    So by your defintion, if I link to Yahoo News, Foxnews, Google or CNN - that could be bad for my site?
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    • Profile picture of the author josh123
      I'd heard this in Stompernet, but I've never used this strategy. I'd actually completely forgotten about it until you mentioned it. Google is all about ranking sites that create value, so linking to valuable pages is definitely going to help with that. Thanks for the heads up!
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    • Profile picture of the author ~kev~
      Originally Posted by Daniel McGonagle View Post

      OK, was using loose definition of non-commercial thought you'd understand what i meant by this...
      non-commercial is just that - non-commercial, which translates to:

      not-for-profit websites - red cross, salvation army, feed the children.
      or
      sites with no banners on them


      Originally Posted by Daniel McGonagle View Post

      You seem to know what to do though
      Sorry no, I do not know what you mean.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
    Here is some 'proof' that I am sure will be shot down because it is from Matt Cutts and not some experiment that has so many variables it isn't funny.

    PageRank sculpting

    Q: Okay, but doesn’t this encourage me to link out less? Should I turn off comments on my blog?
    A: I wouldn’t recommend closing comments in an attempt to “hoard” your PageRank. In the same way that Google trusts sites less when they link to spammy sites or bad neighborhoods, parts of our system encourage links to good sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Gregory
    Not gonna get shot down by me Fraggler. While I definitely agree that Matt Cutts and team are not about to give away the farm and give every bit of insight one might need to completely analyze the algo, there is a lot to be said for what Matt and his team have to say about what to do. Sometimes you need to read between the lines a bit, sometimes it comes out clear as day such as in your example.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
    Google is also said to make use of this model here - ftp://ftp.cs.toronto.edu/pub/reports...5/hilltop.html

    It ranks sites based on experts and authorities and returns an ordered list of results based on if the sites are either an expert of the subject or a authority target (the experts point to it).

    It is all theory but no uncontrolled experiment will prove what the algorithm is doing either. Like a lot of the experiments that get posted here, the results are presented one way when they can be interpreted in several other ways.
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Gregory
      Originally Posted by Fraggler View Post

      Google is also said to make use of this model here - ftp://ftp.cs.toronto.edu/pub/reports...5/hilltop.html

      It ranks sites based on experts and authorities and returns an ordered list of results based on if the sites are either an expert of the subject or a authority target (the experts point to it).

      It is all theory but no uncontrolled experiment will prove what the algorithm is doing either. Like a lot of the experiments that get posted here, the results are presented one way when they can be interpreted in several other ways.
      Right again. It's interesting because I see a lot of people putting together these elaborate experiments when the reality is that most times (even if they are making an honest attempt at it) there are simply too many variables to consider for it to be truly considered a controlled experiment. I'm not saying that experimenting, testing and research are not important factors, but you have to be very careful about what you are actually trying to accomplish and how you interpret your results.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
    Cheers Peter. I really think some people ignore information from Google because they think Google is against them.
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  • Profile picture of the author kulonuwun
    i usually put "no follow" for outbond links. My website has increase from PR 0 to PR 3 after using no follow method for outbond links and pagination.
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    Using a few high quality OBL's can add contextual relevance to your page, and also as you build your site it can add to its reputation as a "hub" site as it links out to quality, relevant pages. It does not help a lot unless you do it a lot, but you cannot dismiss it.
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    • Profile picture of the author PaulMeadhurst
      Originally Posted by Fraggler View Post

      Here is some 'proof' that I am sure will be shot down because it is from Matt Cutts and not some experiment that has so many variables it isn't funny.

      PageRank sculpting
      Originally Posted by jazbo View Post

      Using a few high quality OBL's can add contextual relevance to your page, and also as you build your site it can add to its reputation as a "hub" site as it links out to quality, relevant pages. It does not help a lot unless you do it a lot, but you cannot dismiss it.
      Well said guys, adding a quality outbound link to a recognised authority in itself will not make the SEO campaign but its a small tool to add some more additional weight to your pages quality and as stated by someone else above taps into the 'Givers Gain' philosophy.
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  • Profile picture of the author aspen1
    Banned
    Wow, never though of that, what a great idea. So Im guessing somewhere in the page text you add a link to an 'authority' based site and this then gives some more importance to the page. Thats so simple its brilliant!
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  • Profile picture of the author Vtec9k
    It's a good tip Paul and something I do on my sites a matter of course.

    Even if Matt Cutts was incorrect, the harm that 2-3 small authority links would cause to a decently SEO'd site is so small that it's not worth worrying about.
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  • Profile picture of the author hotftuna
    On page SEO is all about relevancy and I have used this method for years.

    I have no evidence that it helps but if I was a SE algo engineer, I would look at the outbound link subject.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      No valid scientific study to back this up, but having at least a few outbound links to known authority sites makes sense to me for the following reasons...

      > Google has stated many times that it frowns on sites that appear to be 'gaming' their system, and looks for common footprints that identify those sites. One could argue that a 'dead-end' website, one with zero outbound links, might be one of those gaming attempts.

      > There are benefits beyond pure SEO. One thing many websites, and their owners, attempt to do is convince visitors they have a level of expertise in the site's subject matter. Done properly, you can seem to be granting approval to the content on the destination page, which puts you on the same or higher level as the authority. You are validating what they say, which takes a level of expertise; ergo, you must be an expert...
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