Linking Out to Other Sites is Not Only Good Karma - It's Smart Business
I can understand the mindset that some people might have.
"I am never going to link out to other sites," they will say, "I am going to keep all of my Google link juice to myself."
I must admit that I used to have this same attitude as well. The thing is - it's a flawed attitude. Linking out to other sites within your articles is good for many reasons, and your site will definitely benefit over the long-term because of it.
To start with, Google will reward your site if you are linking out to other relevant sites from your articles. Google is looking for sites that offer their readers a truly enriching experience, whether that be fresh and unique content, an easy to navigate site or a propensity to want to direct users to other sites of interest. Google likes that. Let's say that you are writing an article about horses - if you link to a Wikipedia entry, an article on horse breeding on a "competitor's" web site and an article on CNN, Google will like that, and your site will rank higher over time. It may seem counter-intuitive that Google would rank an article or site higher that links out to other sites (especially in its niche) but it is definitely true, and you will notice benefits from doing this over time.
Also, by linking out to other web sites, you are heightening the chance that they will link back to you. Owners of web sites look through their traffic logs just as you do. They see which sites are linking to them, and from which articles. If you link to another site in your niche constantly because they are a good resource, I can almost guarantee you that they will look to link back to you at the first possible opportunity.
In one of our most competitive niches, we link out to other competing sites quite liberally. Other sites in our industry will do anything that they can to avoid linking out to other sites, mistakenly thinking that this is going to preserve the strength of their site. The problem with this line of thinking is that they are rarely going to receive links back to their sites. If they basically steal one of my article ideas and they don't provide a link back, do you think that I am going to link to them in the future? Of course not. However, when I link out to other sites of interest in my niche, I can pretty much guarantee that I will be getting a link or two back myself. Not only will the site strengthen in the SERP's due to these links, but I will also enjoy increased traffic as people click through and arrive at my site.
Lastly, and this goes hand in hand with the last point, increased traffic to my site through increased links on other sites will result in higher RSS counts and a great number of bookmarks. These things can not hurt you, and will only lead to more links, more traffic and more bookmarks in the future. Google recently bought Feedburner.com - I firmly believe that Google will factor in RSS feed growth into their ranking algorithm. Why not? If your RSS numbers are growing, it likely means that you are offering a great selection of unique and fresh content to your readers. Google likes that.
Always remember to include links to sources that you use to write your articles. If you do that, I can guarantee that you will receive some link love back in your direction.
Filed under: Making Money Online | General Knowledge