Google’s John Mueller said yesterday in a tweet that linking out to other sites does not improve your SEO on your site and there is no penalty for not linking out.
For years now when we take on a new client the first thing to do is find out how many outbound links their site has and are they really necessary or not.
When linking out to content it is important to keep in mind, that the content you are linking to may not be at the same url as when you linked to it. One reason for this maybe the site has been redesigned or the content may have been updated and moved to a different url, thus causing a bad link on your site. Another reason may be a forum post that has been closed and is simply no longer there. This is why it is very important to choose carefully to what content you are out linking to.
The only reason you should be creating a link out of your site would be it’s relevancy. Before creating a link away from your site you need to ask these few things.
- Does it benefit your company or your readers.
- Is what you are linking to relevant to your pages or sites content?
- Is it important or are you just trying to create links.
- Is the content you are linking to up to date and accurate.
- What type of site or content are you linking to. (ie. PDF, webpage, forum post, blog etc..)
- The content you are linking to, is it on an authoritative site
- Is the content you are linking to linking back to your site creating an authoritative back-link
When should you out link:
There are many reasons to out link to content that can be useful to your company or your readers, some of them include the following.
- To an organization your company is involved with, BBB, Chamber of Commerce, State Business License and Non-profit organizations you are involved with.
- News articles about your company.
- Videos, however it is still best when using videos to embed them into your site.
- Your social media pages.
- Content that may be copyrighted.
- Company review sites.
- Documented material for your products or industry.
- Application instructions and or usage instructions.
Also remember when linking out to content or another site to use the target=”_blank” in your url, this will allow the user to view the content in a new tab or window leaving your site still open on their computer. You can also use nofollow: nofollow is a value that can be assigned to the rel attribute of an HTML a element to instruct some search engines that the hyperlink should not influence the ranking of the link’s target in the search engine’s index.
**Key things to remember. Only link out when it is necessary either to provide relevancy to your content, actually has something to do with your company and or product, is useful to the end user visiting your site.
***Remember Google has no penalty for not linking out!