Do Outbound Links Matter for SEO?
With search engines updating their SEO algorithm at a seemingly constant rate, it’s difficult to remember which SEO elements are essential to your content. Links, of course, are as important as ever. But what about outbound links? Some variations just don’t seem as relevant to current SEO practices.
Spoiler alert: this isn’t true.
The outbound link isn’t down and out yet, though. These links have a unique impact on your SERP rankings. If you use them appropriately, they’ll boost more than your ranking. Outbound links can improve your online reputation and secure more leads for your business.
What is an Outbound Link?
Outbound links are simpler to understand than you might initially assume. As their name suggests, these links guide consumers away from the page they are currently on. Outbound links can either guide consumers to another page on your platform or away from your platform entirely.
There are two types of outbound links: nofollow links and dofollow links.
- Dofollow Links: They operate like standard links. These links will seamlessly guide your consumers from Point A to Point B. However, as they do, the SEO value that they share with Google’s crawlers will boost the latter page as opposed to the former. Thus, no matter how many keywords, links, or other elements you integrate into the base page, some of your ranking will still depend upon a third-party source.
- Nofollow Links: Alternatively, don’t pass on the SEO value of your page. That said, you need to take care in assigning nofollow values to your links. While doing so will retain your page’s initial SEO value, you’ll still block the flow of Google’s crawlers and throw up some red flags.
What are the Benefits?
You’ll likely use more dofollow links than you will nofollow links. Even so, you need to use both carefully to eke out the most SEO value. If you apply these links to appropriate anchor text and ensure that they lead to reputable sources, you can see the following benefits:
- Increased Content Relevance: You add powerful relevance to your content when you incorporate statistics. That relevance is doubled when you link your statistics to a reputable source. If you research your outbound links well, you’ll find that you can affiliate your content with professional work shared elsewhere online. Doing so while also utilizing strong anchor text will add relevance to your work along with authority.
- An Improved Online Reputation: If you make an effort to establish a strong outbound link network, you’ll garner a positive reputation for honesty within your industry. Combine that with the aforementioned social proof that comes along with statistic use, and you’ll find that you’re considered an authority in no time.
- Boosted Content Value: Outbound links that lend credibility to your work, as mentioned, also increase your content’s value. Consumers will be able to revisit your work to remain abreast of the trends observed in your industry.
So, do outbound links still impact your SEO? When used correctly—YES. Outbound networks still retain their SEO value, even in light of Google’s constant changes. Make sure your links are leading to valuable resources, and you’ll see your SERP rankings start to climb.
image attribution: photon_photo – stock.adobe.com