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Be Careful of Who You Link To – Keep a Record

By gymosphere on August 12, 2013

We are getting questions from our customers about linking policies. I am happy to receive this level of questions as it means our customers are getting careful of what they are doing to their site and they know every action, link, piece of content on their site is capable of pushing traffic upwards and otherwise.

We know an “inbound link” means a link pointing in from another website to ours, while an “outbound link” means a link pointing out from our site to others. Internal link means link pointing to and from pages within our site.

Today we’re going to look at “Linking Policies“, as in, who should you link to and how does an outbound link affect your site.

The question is, can an outbound link hurt our site? Yes, and no.

It depends on who you link to. When you point a link to some other websites, you are in fact giving a ‘vote’ to that website in search engines’ eye, be it Google or Bing. A vote is serious. It tells search engines that you like that site and you are seriously willing to pass juice to that site (unless you nofollow the link).

Most of the time we assume the site we link to will always be there, will not change it’s URL structure, will not turn bad. But what if things change over time? What if something happened to the site and you were not aware of it.

The outbound link will hurt your site if the site you link to:
– was taken down or returned a 404 error
– changed it’s URL structure and the page no longer exists
– changed content direction, talking about some other topics
– bought over by some blackhats or starting to host porns
– domain expired and abused by SEOs to pass juice to porn/bad sites
– expired and bought over to be part of a web-spam network
– and the list goes on…

In all these scnenarios, the link either becomes bad or points to a bad neighbourhood, do you still want to keep your ‘vote’ on it? And if not, how are you going to identify all these links on your site to make necessary changes?

Here are 5 bullet-proof ways to protect your outbound links:

1) point links to website that you know run by big companies and the link will not go puff.

2) If you are really linking to smaller sites, you want to use SEOPressor’s External Linking page to build the link, so you have a place to see who you are linking to and audit them once in a while.

3) It’s also a great idea to nofollow all outbound links, which SEOPressor does for you automatically.

4) Always link seriously. Think of it as a ‘vote’. A site’s linking shows the owner’s proficiency in keeping a quality site, which is of course, something Google reads.

5) Have an SEO audit calendar to keep your site’s various SEO factors in check

We hope this clears your confusion on outbound linking policy and let us know about your comments below.

Updated: 22 September 2023

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