Now here is a topic I have been meaning to write about for quite some time, linking out. I probably mentioned it somewhere on this blog, but I’m sure I haven’t given it the required attention. So we are talking about linking out, the thing that a great number of bloggers and webmaster fear. Well I am here to shatter those fears and those illusions.
If you are active with keeping up on new happenings and news from noted SEO websites like SEOmoz, Search Engine Journal, or even keeping track on Sphinn (note how many links out in once sentence are here) you probably know everything there is to know about linking building and linking out, but if you don’t, it’s time to start, and you will start here by learning why you should link out from your website.
Now the fear of linking out mostly comes from few SEO mythsgoing around, like linking to sites can harm your rankings, can get you penalized by the search engines and can hurt your PR. While the PR claim may have some truth behind it when I put everything on scale linking out far overweight’s with benefits.
The first argument, and one that cannot be disputed, is that no blog, no matter how old and how big can have all the needed info on it, not to mention tools, which is why we need to link out. Here on Practical SEO blog everything revolves around SEO, but even if I write every day for years I won’t be able to cover everything or to say it as good as someone else, which is why I link out. In other words I want my readers to appreciate me thinking of them, which is why I point them out to a more valuable resource or a resource that can help in areas where I can’t. So don’t worry about people leaving your site, they will appreciate it and they will remember who pointed this resource to them and they will come back to find more.
The next part why you should link out is because search engines know how to value that type of behavior. While linking to spam sites can get your rankings down, linking to quality websites and resources can raise your authority in the eyes of the search engines. According to the rule of thumb, good sites link to good sites and crappy sites link to crappy sites. This is not true 100% of the time, but in most cases it is how it is.
Probably the reason why most people link out, and I totally agree with their angle, is to get links back. In most cases when you link out the link will be noticed, in some cases you can even say hey, I mentioned you on my blog, check it out. So when a link is noticed there is a high chance that the webowners will appreciated and sometimes link back to your site if he or she finds it useful, or maybe just out of common courtesy.
I think you are beginning to see the value of linking out from your blog. So start brainstorming, what type of websites and blogs can you link out to and why would you. I mean you don’t have to link out only from relative content, so don’t do it just for the sake of linking out, but when you want to link out of your blog you should consider who you are actually linking out to. Charity and non-profit websites and free tools are always a great thing to link out to, as well as any authority in your niche, be that a website, a blog or a person, even twitter accounts count.
Keep all this in mind when writing your next post, and in the end you should keep an eye out for the total number of outgoing links, you don’t want them to reach the sky, that alone will hurt you. Roundups are a great way to link out, but I’m not a big fan of those without a reason, a weekly roundup is more like an automatic way to link to others and fill in the hole for content. Don’t get me wrong, some do it because that is how their websites work and what their visitors are used to, so why change it, for me I like to link naturally where due, and for no other reason. If I want to thank someone I will do it from my post, speaking of which I will now recommend a girl that has nothing to do with my industry but is very cute and helped me a lot in one of my last working projects.
So guys and girls I present to you lovely Stephanie, a girl who runs Cinnamon Kitten blog and who was originally the inspiration for this linking out post. So if you are a cosmetic or fashion addict and you live in Canada this is a place to go. Stephanie thanks for your help last week and I hope you got used to my blog before your batteries ran out. For the rest of you, keep in mind the network of blogs around you and make sure you respect them not only by visiting their blogs and commenting from time to time, but also giving a link here and there, even if it is a thank you not inside a niche topic like this one. The best way to end this post is by saying, link unto others as you would have them link unto you!