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Do Outbound Links Help SEO?

Updated: Feb 22

do outbound links help SEO - [do outbound links improve SEO] - [How do outbound links help SEO]
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Do Outbound Links Help SEO?

No, outbound links don't help SEO directly, though I feel it does marginally! However, I must present to you what is documented.

Like many other SEOs, until recently I thought it might be helpful, but after reading these content pieces about Google's views on linking to other high-authority sites, I must update this post and modify my perception or decision.

External links or outbound links are not a ranking factor and won't help SEO - [outbound links for seo]
Image Content Source - SEARCHENGINE ROUND TABLE [Article Excerpt]

However, they are important for your website performance because they help direct web traffic to other websites that may be relevant to your content from a reader's or user's perspective.

Let's dig deeper to provide you with more information on everything you need to know, whether outbound links help SEO or not.

As a general rule, you should try to link to high-quality websites that are relevant to your content or niche. Do not link to spammy or low-quality websites, as this can negatively impact your SEO.

It should also be noted that outbound links shouldn't be used excessively. [Affiliate links have no role here].

"Web creators nowadays have many ways to monetize their websites and blogs. Some of these methods lead to the creation of outbound links that, if overdone and not annotated correctly, could violate our quality guidelines" - Google

But the above aspects are rarely discussed in much of the SEO discussions.

However, there has been a long-running argument about its significance in the SEO and marketing communities.

“Your best strategy is to use outbound links in the way Google intends them to be used – to cite sources, to improve user experience, and as endorsements of high-quality content” - Search Engine Journal

In other words, Google may prefer outbound links that show you believe the website you're linking to is a good fit for your users or readers.

So, I would say, do your research and make sure you're linking to websites that are relevant and of high quality (if very necessary and with limited use).

Outbound Links Help SEO?:

When you link to high-quality, authoritative websites that are relevant to your content, it signals to search engines that you are providing valuable resources to your readers.

This helps build trust and can improve your website's overall reputation. In addition to establishing credibility, outbound links can also improve the user experience [UX] on your website.

By linking to additional resources that are relevant to your content, you are providing your readers with more information and helping them find answers to their questions.

This can further increase the time users spend on your site and reduce bounce rates, which are both important factors in SEO.

“Google prefers pages that prioritize user experience. So you should consider both on-page SEO factors (like SEO-friendly content) and technical SEO factors (like page speed)”Semrush

Outbound links can also help with link building, which is another crucial aspect of SEO.

When you link to other websites, you are essentially endorsing their content and increasing the likelihood that they will link back to you, though not instantly, but might be in the future.

This can help improve your backlink profile, which is critical in determining your website's authority and ranking in SERPs.

It's important to note that not all outbound links are created equal. Linking to low-quality or irrelevant websites can have a negative impact on your SEO efforts.

"It's essential to be strategic when choosing which websites to link to and ensure that they are reputable high-quality sources"

So, to simplify, by linking to high-quality, relevant websites, you can establish credibility and authority, improve the user experience on your site, and build valuable backlinks that can improve your website's search ranking [I would say a marginal push].

Here is a portion of one of the articles mentioned before

All in all, outbound links don't help SEO from a direct ranking perspective.

But they help Google understand the context of your content and the sites it's connected to, though their benefits are anticipated incrementally over time by user experience and link-building relationships.

At the same time, there are also other factors (which cannot be ignored and are not known!) that positively influence the significance of outbound links value to a website's SEO while ranking, which is ultimately decided by the Google Algorithm!

Here's related information that you may find helpful – Do social media links count as backlinks?


Are Outbound Links Good for SEO?:

From the context, no, outbound links are not good for SEO [from a ranking factor perspective, though they are recommended, and not even bad too].

However, it raises a positive perception, increases the legitimacy of the website or publication, and enhances the content.

If outbound links go to spammy websites, broken links, or dead pages, then SEO performance will be poor over time.

What is Outbound Link in SEO?:

An outbound link in SEO refers to a hyperlink that directs users from one website to another website. These links are also known as external links or outgoing links.

Illustration of an Outbound Link [External Link] and an Internal Link in SEO

Illustration of an Outbound Link [External Link] and an Internal Link in SEO

How do Outbound Links Impact SEO?:

Outbound links won't have an impact on SEO as they aren't a ranking factor, nor do have any advantage. More details can be referred to in the aforementioned sections of this blog post.

Do External Links help SEO?:

No, external links won't help SEO.

Why are Links Important for SEO?:

Links are important for SEO because they help search engines discover new content, determine the authority of pages, and establish relationships between websites, which can positively impact search engine rankings.

Why are Outbound Links Important?:

Outbound links are important because they can enhance the credibility and relevance of a webpage, providing additional value to users or reference sources, and thereby contributing to a healthier linking ecosystem across the web.

Do Internal Links help SEO?:

Yes, internal links can help with SEO by improving website navigation, spreading link equity, and indicating the most important pages to search engines, thereby influencing the content to rank in SERPs.

Do Nofollow Links help SEO?:

No, nofollow links do not directly help SEO. They do not pass link equity (ranking power) to the linked page and are not counted as a vote of confidence by search engines.

However, they can still be valuable for driving traffic and providing value to users, including building a balanced SEO link profile.

How to Add Outbound Links in SEO?:

Here is how to add outbound links for SEO:

  1. Identify authoritative and relevant external pages.

  2. Use descriptive anchor text.

  3. Ensure the outbound links are natural and add value to the content.

Does Inbound Links help SEO?:

Yes, inbound links (also known as backlinks) are a crucial factor in SEO, as they can improve a website's authority and visibility in search engine results.

Do Outgoing Links help SEO?:

No, outgoing links do not help SEO, but they help to provide additional context and value to your content and also contribute to a healthy link profile.

Remember, an external link, an outbound link, or an outgoing link means the same. They typically refer to a link from your website to another website and are often used interchangeably.

Here's related information that you may also find helpful - How long does SEO take to show results? [Dive into the waiting game]

P.S: Ready to [unlock the power of digital marketing] and drive [your] business forward? – Access my forum today

P.S.S: Please don’t forget to forward this blog post to your network so they can get the best tips, practices, strategies, education, resources, & tools to help their businesses grow [sharing is caring].

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