Links are what makes the world wide web, a web–sites linking out to other websites. Links pointing from point A to point B.
However, there are many types of links. Today, we’ll be discussing outbound links. What are they? Are they important for SEO? How many is too much? We’ll answer those questions below.
What Are Outbound Links?
Outbound links are links that point from your site to another site. Most, if not all, websites have outbound links. They are used to reference other articles, share information from other sites, link to social media profiles, and more.
Its counterpart is inbound links. Inbound links are links from other sites pointing to your site. They are also called backlinks. These links are extremely important for SEO as these links determine the authority of your website. Inbound links are a different topic altogether. However, if you want to read more about it, here’s a good article on how to build backlinks. (By the way, that link points to another site, that is an example of an outbound link!)
What Are The Types of Outbound Links?
There are two types of outbound links. They are dofollow and nofollow.
Dofollow links pass link juice. This type of link passes authority. If you have a dofollow link from an authoritative site, you’re getting some of that site’s authority. It’s like a trusted individual vouched for you; most people would think you’re a stand-up guy, too. Generally, this is the type of link that you want for SEO.
Nofollow links do not pass link juice. But, it doesn’t mean that they’re useless for SEO. Nofollow links are often used if you’re unsure if the site you’re linking to is trustworthy. This is commonly used on blog comments and other user-generated content that may contain an outbound link.
Nofollow links from other websites can be good for SEO, too. In fact, Google “expects” several nofollow links pointing to your site. These “expected” links come from social media profiles, trusted directories, online maps, etc.
A nofollow link may look like this: <a href=”https://www.site.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Site</a>
Why Are Outbound Links Important for SEO?
Outbound links are a ranking factor. Authoritative sites link to other trustworthy sites. So, always remember to link to other relevant authority sites. It shows relevance and enhances your credibility.
Aside from its direct SEO benefits, linking to other sites will likely result in those websites noticing you. They are webmasters, too, and they monitor their backlinks. If you have great content, one way or another, they may link back to your content as well.
How Many Outbound Links Per Page?
There is no exact number. However, this study only used two hyperlinks, and they’ve seen definitive results.
In our SEO Services, we usually practice adding 2-3 dofollow outbound links to authority sites per page we optimize. But, whatever feels natural is OK. Take a look at this post, there are more than 3 outbound links here. But it’s OK because it’s the natural thing to do. I’m talking about a lot of topics, and I have to reference a lot of stuff.
Are a Lot of Outbound Links Bad for SEO?
If the links point to relevant authority websites and their placement is natural, no. But, if you put a bunch of irrelevant links that offer no value, especially if those links point to low-quality spammy sites, it’s going to be a problem.
What Are The Cons of Outbound Links?
Even if it doesn’t hurt your site’s SEO, you have to keep in mind that outbound links may drive visitors away from your site as it points them to a different website. Determine the purpose of the page first. If it’s for SEO, then feel free to add relevant outbound links. If the page’s purpose is to capture leads like a squeeze page, then you may have to think again.
- Outbound links to relevant authority sites are good for SEO.
- Outbound links to spammy irrelevant sites are bad for SEO.
- Dofollow links pass link juice–the type of link you want for SEO.
- Nofollow links do not pass link juice, but they still have some positive SEO effects.
- Add 2-3 outbound links to relevant authority sites per page you optimize. More is OK, so long as it’s natural and adds value to the page.