Official Google statement: the effects of outbound
links on your website
Last month, Google published an official statement about
linking out to other websites. Some webmasters still think
that linking to other websites might have a negative effect
on their Google rankings. That is not the case.
Links to other websites can have a positive effect on your
website if you link to the right websites. Here's a summary
of Google's statements:
The good side of outbound links
Relevant links to other websites can help your website
visitors. For example, you could provide your readers in-depth
information about similar topics or you could offer your
readers your commentary on existing resources.
Outbound links can also help your credibility. Links to
the right websites show that you have done your research
and that you have expertise in the subject manner. Good
links to other websites can make visitors want to come
back for more analysis on future topics.
A very positive effect on links to other websites is that
they help you to build relationships with other domain
experts. If you send visitors to another website then that
website might send visitors to your website in return.
The bad side of outbound links
Links to other websites can have a negative effect on
your website if you don't monitor to which websites you
link. According to Google, unmonitored (especially user-generated)
links and undisclosed paid advertising outbound links can
reduce your website's credibility.
If your website allows user comments or other user created
contents, then you should make sure that these comments
are moderated and/or you should add the rel="nofollow" attribute
to user generated links.
Google doesn't like paid links. If you accept money for
outbound links, you should also add the rel="nofollow" attribute
to the link.
Google recommends not to have more than 100 links per
web page. Too many links on one page confuse your website
Should you worry about the PageRank of the linked
Google makes it very clear that you shouldn't worry about
the PageRank of a website as long as you are linking to
a website you believe your website visitors will enjoy.
It doesn't matter if the linked website has a lower PageRank
than your website as long as the website is somehow related
to your site. According to Google, webmasters should consider
outbound links as a common sense way to provide more value
to their users, not as a complicated formula.
If you link to good websites, outbound links will have a
positive effect on your site. IBP's link
builder helps you to find good related websites, it helps
you to build relationships with other websites and it also
helps you to increase the number of inbound links to your
Further information about link building, how to get good
inbound links and how to avoid common mistakes can be found
in our free SEO