Updated: 5 days ago
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.
Let's dig deeper to provide you with more information on everything you need to know, whether outbound links help SEO or not.
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.
“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.
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 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!
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
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.
Here's related information that you may also find helpful - How long does SEO take to show results? [Dive into the waiting game]
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