Guide to Spreading Link Love
Outbound links, especially quality ones, can share your website’s “Google Juice.” In this post we’ll explain if there’s an optimal number of outbound links that should be on a web page or blog post. And since we’re in the holiday spirit, we’ll also explain why links to your website can be sales gold.
What Is An Outbound Link?
An outbound link is a reference to another website or domain. You’re pointing to someone else’s content and telling your audience it’s content worth reading. For the receiver, it’s like a vote of confidence… something like a LinkedIn endorsement.
How Many Is Too Many?
The definitive answer is…. when it detracts from your audience’s experience. If the entire page is filled with blue hyperlinks, it starts to feel spammy. We suggest using links when referencing in-depth articles, blog posts, or other material written by others that enhances and adds value to your content.
Google, via their complex and ever-changing algorithm, gives your website a PageRank score. Links to other websites shares your search rank. Let’s use an example to help explain this concept.
Imagine your website has a PageRank of 5, and on a blog post you have 10 outbound links. Each link will receive 10%, as your Google Juice is split equally among the links. If you had 5 links, that ratio increases to 20%. Want to hear the official explanation? Matt Cutts released this video last week:
A Word About Link Exchanges & Schemes
Our advice: don’t do it. Basically outbound link exchange schemes go against Google’s quality guidelines. Want to get a spanking, then go right ahead. Otherwise, play by the White Hat SEO rules for online marketing longevity.
For the reasons stated above, receiving a link to your website (especially from a quality website) is like a vote of confidence and receiving a big of PageRank love. Assuming that you continually add quality content to your website, you will organically collect links. These links not only pass PageRank but also should be driving qualified visitor traffic that you can convert into sales.
If you want to accelerate the process, link building can be a powerful and advanced SEO tool. When it’s done right, that is. Google is really cracking down on websites that have abused the outbound link loophole. Using link exchanges and other Grey Hat unnatural link techniques will get you into serious trouble… with a manual penalty that can banish your website to Internet Siberia.
In your opinion, how many outbound links are too many on a page?
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