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Outbound links don’t suck

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday November 4, 2008 )

Some web site owners are very hesitant to publish links to other sites from their own – and they might be doing themselves a disservice.

While some of these site owners will link out, often they’ll do so with a redirect/script or using the “nofollow” tag/attribute – anything but a nice straight-through link

Their reason for not doing so?

a) Losing visitors from their site

b) A “bleeding” of Page Rank. Just to explain this a little more, by keeping all links pointing internally, they feel they are maintaining maximum ranking power instead of giving some of it away through linking to an external site. They believe it’s a solid search engine optimization technique.

While use of nofollow tags and scripts may be advisable in blog comments and perhaps even forum posts to discourage link spamming attacks, there is *nothing* wrong with using a straight through link to another quality, related site – it may even be of benefit. When you think about it, it makes sense – a quality site linking to other quality sites reinforces the.. quality :). I’ve read quite a few cases where this has been demonstrated and Google reps themselves have hinted to it.

Where straight through outbound linking may hurt is if it’s a link you’re being paid for, a link exchange farm, a stack of unrelated links or linking to bad neighborhoods.

Don’t be afraid to “naturally” link to other sites you feel have valuable information – it’s what the web is all about and warm and fuzzies of link love aside, it *won’t* harm your search engine rankings.


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