Especially in the department of SEO & marketing of midsize and large organizations, a debate exists about the issue of linking out to other websites from their own website. to other websites from their own. There are a number of reasons why people are scared. Some reasons why they are worried about linking out are:
- Reputation damage
- Search Engine Rankings being damaged.
- PageRank costing
- Creation of exit portals where users will drop off
These concerns are largely unfounded as it is a very common web practice.If by chance, you link to the occasional site or page that’s been taken by a domain squatter or an entranced Twilight fan, visitors will most likely forgive you, if it is an old link.
Similarly, search engines do recognize that even the best websites sometimes carry a link to the nether regions of cyberspace. As long as you don’t carelessly provide links to Sham-wow hawking pages, extra care is not required, not any more than you would, linking to possible 404s.
As for costing PageRank, it is very true. The original PR formula states that any link equity spent on external pages is considered as lost opportunity. Something that that could have been spent on internal pages. There is, however, compelling evidence to suggest that not only does linking out NOT harm a site’s rankings, it also appears to carry some positive correlations with ranking, trust, etc. on both a page and domain-wide level.
The last argument – users will leave the site – ignores evidence that sites that link out , actually benefit from those links. Google, makes it a part of their corporate mantra to get users off the site as soon and possible and it has benefitted from it tremendously. Check out examples like Digg, Reddit, Yelp, Twitter & Delicious.
With all those arguments maimed, let’s dive into the positives. These all refer to benefits you receive from raw linking without no follow:
- Linking Out Sends Trackable Traffic
If I link to a great site for finding local classes & teachersand they managed to get even a few visits, it’s very likely that the website trackers will notice the link, visit SEOmoz and investigate. Maybe they need SEO services or would be interested in some of our spiffy tools. All of us have the potential to attract important eyeballs when we link.
- It Makes Your Site a More Valuable, Scalable Resource :
Even if you build the greatest website, you can never manage to please everyone content wise. It makes great sense to leverage the power of the web – the power of links – to create an easy, scalable path to making your site’s experience better and more rewarding for those who visit.
3 – Search Engines Likely Reward the Behavior Algorithmic ally
One in particular that stands out is the so-called reverse or “anti-trustrank” that looks at who you link to as a signal of quality vs. Spam- iness. After having a look at the links you have earned, having a look at the links you send can be a useful signal of quality. A greater share of junk is linked in case of low quality sites, as compared to great sites. These webs of trust & value can be algorithmically mined by engines to produce better search results. Take advantage by linking to resources your users (and the engines) will love.
- #2 – Linking Out Incentivizes Links In
With some exceptions, websites that earn links tend to do a good job of linking out themselves. When you link out, it creates a signal to other websites and content creators that you’re a willing participant in the web’s natural linking environment.
- #1 – Linking Out Encourages Positive Participation & Contribution
There is no dearth of smart, very dedicated people on the web who can contribute to making efforts more successful or inhibit your growth. When you link out, especially in a consistent, opportunity-driven way, you build incentives for bloggers,website builders & forum participants) to engage with your site. When you are starting out, the incentive is small, but it does bring value. Don’t underestimate the power of rewarding your community – it’s built some of the most amazing brands on (and off) the web.