Outbound links don’t affect a website’s ranking directly. But, it can help or, negatively affect your web page depending on the way of using the links. There are differences of opinion among peoples.
Social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, etc. use a no-follow tag for external links. But, you may notice that all other sites are using the do-follow tag for external links. Even Wikipedia and Reddit don’t use no-follow for trusted outbound links. Let’s understand the whole concept.
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We are trying to figure out both the positive and negative effects here in this article.
How Do Outbound Link Help SEO?
We have a common idea that we are passing link juice from my site to other sites. It is reducing my ranking and increasing others. The fact is not like that.
Passing link juice will not affect your ranking if they spend more time on your site. If the outbound links help readers clicking to those links will increase the ranking of your site too. Because it will reduce the bounce rate. The way it helps SEO-
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1. Relevancy Signal
Any kind of links used in a page indicates relevance. Google categorizes blogs and shows the most relevant results. Using high-quality outbound links related to your page, you can send a relevancy signal to Google. It actually helps the ranking in the long run.
2. Increase Readers
You may surprise to hear this. Outbound links or, external links really can increase your readers. Trust me, I am getting visitors regularly from outbound links. When you give links to another site, the site owner will visit your site and stay for at least a few minutes. If they like your site, they may return once again. Other bloggers on the same niche may also visit your site as a part of their research.
3. Improve Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is one of the most important ranking factors. There are many bloggers who are struggling to reduce the bounce rate. Below 50% is considered good and below 30% is best. When a visitor visits a webpage if he doesn’t click or, do anything on your site and leave it is considered as a bounce. Relevant links obviously reduce the bounce rate.
4. Natural Practice
Do you use SEO tools like Yoast or, Rankmath? You may notice that they all suggest you use internal and external links. If you don’t use external links it does not look natural. Links are an important part of a website. Web page with links works better in terms of SEO ranking. Keep doing natural practice.
5. Backlink Source
WordPress has a feature pingback. Whenever you give a link to another site, they got a notification, and sometimes a pingback automatically created from their site. So, you are getting backlinks automatically. If the feature is not available there, still you have the possibility to get backlinks or, mention from their site.
Wikipedia backlinks are no-follow. But bloggers like to get links from Wikipedia because these are natural and can lead visitors. They never discourage mentioning sources and allow do-follow links for big brands. Therefore, these are great sources of relevancy signals. So, don’t hesitate to giveaway links to others except for competitors.
You also can read- How many outbound link per page is okay?
How Do Outbound Link Affect SEO?
The common problem with the outbound link is you are sending visitors to other sites. Giving a link back to a site optimized for the same keyword is obviously suicidal. It can negatively affect SEO is several ways-
1. Reduce Traffic
Giving links means you are driving some visitors to other sites. Sometimes, they may return back to your site and sometimes they don’t. If you don’t answer all the queries in your article and send the visitors to get an answer from somewhere else, it will reduce your traffic. As a blogger, you should focus on improving traffic not reducing.
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2. Give Authority To Competitors
Follow links pass link juice. Sometimes, it gives authority to your competitor’s webpage. You are going backward from a perspective. It really harms the SEO of a website. You are sending a signal to Google that my competitor has better content which is suicidal.
3. Reduce Average Time Spend
We all know that visitor time spends on a particular page is a very important ranking factor. We, the bloggers use bullet points, photos, infographics, and videos just to increase average visitor time spend on a page. Along with the bounce rate, it is also important. People click on links and go back to other sites. Thus, the time spends naturally reduces.
Outbound links in an unnatural way may be considered as spamming. You can’t simply link other sites from your website. You need to think about the relevancy, authority, and usefulness of that web page. Spamming always negatively affects the SEO of a web page. Google sometimes gives a demotion in ranking and sometimes penalize a site.
Read about- architectural SEO
Final Thought: Outbound linking is a natural practice. It helps SEO of a page in many ways. To get more SEO value, you have to consider the drawbacks. You have to be more strategic and calculative.
Read- what is inbound link?