We’ve all met that person (or, maybe, we’re secretly guilty of being this person). You know the person — the one who won’t share.
Yup, there, I said it, I’m on to all of you people. Didn’t you learn anything in kindergarten? Seriously, share and share alike. How do you expect to make friends when you never share anything?
By this point, you’re probably wondering, “That’s fine and all, but what does this have to do with linking out to other people’s websites?”
Let me put it very simply — do it. Don’t be afraid to share, put that link out there.
Linking Out Excuse 1: If I Link Out, People Won’t Stay on My Site
Here’s the thing about the Internet, it’s designed (on purpose, mind you) as a way of sharing knowledge. If you’re writing about something and happen to know a reputable resource on the subject, link to it!
This will have various added benefits for you. Your users will think, “Wow, this person is providing a great resource, I’ll come back to them in the future because they’ve really helped me out.” Honestly, do you remember the Boston Tea Party because of the book you read it in, or do you remember it because of your 7th grade teacher who pointed you to the book?
Linking out also tells Google the neighborhood where your site lives. When you’re connected to a bunch of authority sites on fishing through outbound links, and you’re a fishing site, it’ll make sense for Google to rank you higher for fishing. Why? Easy, you’re all in the same neighborhood of fishing authority sites! When you link to other authority sites, it makes Google and the other search engines perceive you as an authority site.
And, seriously now, if you never put an outbound link on your site because you think it’ll keep people on your site, do you really think they don’t know how to work the back button? Or, know how to look for a more authoritative site than yours?
Linking Out Excuse 2: Linking Out Will Lose Link Juice
Alright, let’s ignore the whole neighborhood and authority site status (really, that should be enough to stop you from being scared to link out). Now you’re worried about your link juice. Rightly so, I mean, if PageRank flows from page to page via links, when you link out, it’ll spill onto someone else’s page right?
Here’s the deal: yeah, some of your link juice will flow over there, but that’s not the whole story. When a website gets a link to it, the webmaster will notice. This person will then come over to your site and check you out. If you get a link from a site, you check out the site linking to you, right?
This is the point of SEO, getting people to your site because you have great information. By linking out you have successfully had one more person check out your site! However, the story doesn’t stop there. The webmaster comes to your site, sees that you have a lot of great information and then they might just link over to you themselves, from a post they wrote about a great site they found! Now you’re an authority for them!
Link Out and Reap the Rewards
Remember this when you’re linking out — who you link out to matters! Link out to high quality sites that are relevant to yours. Since you control the outbound links, if you link to trash, your users won’t like it and the search engines won’t like it. Though, when you know of a great site, and have found a great resource, link to it and get ready for the benefits!
Don’t want to take my word for it? Well then, check out what the experts are saying on linking out for yourself!