Two Schools of Thought: Let’s look at them.
Linking Out to Sites is Bad!
1. It will empty our bucket of Google juice on other people’s sites.
2. Not linking out keeps users on your site, which is good.
3. Not linking out doesn’t give your SEO Juice power away to another site.
4. Not linking out helps to maintain a good ranking, not hurting it.
5. Not linking keeps your users on your site and not the competitions.
Linking out is Good! (Must link to Good* pages.)
1. Gives your users more valuable info, they will like that.
2. Google will read the links and see that the links are appropriate for your page content and will help your users.
3. Great for meeting other companies we want to work with/link to by passing a .5 link juice to them for free. They may link back, Tweet or post your link, which will give you more page power, PR, and links back to you.
4. Might help your ranking for your main product/service on the page if they are appropriate links. (Don’t use links with your product name, or description on the link!)
5. Will add contextual signals that help connect the referring site and the receiving site.
Guess what? Both of these schools of thought can be considered correct. You need to decide what camp you want to live in. Our opinion at GoMarketing is it is best to reach out and touch someone, even if they don’t touch you back (metaphorically of course!). Linking to high quality, informative, authoritative sites will help your users, right? Well then, let’s do that. Let’s start the conversation that could lead to a sharing of knowledge and possibly a sharing of sales and exposure.
Tip: To avoid Google possibly thinking you are part of a traffic scam or such non-niceties, simply add this html code to every link: rel=”nofollow” This code tells Google not to consider that link as a vote in that site’s content. This way there is no way for Google to see you as an influence seller, possibly for money, for that linked site.
*Good Links are:
1. Links that will help your users.
2. Links to highly ranked sites.
3. Links to authoritative sites.
4. Links you do not pay for.
5. Links that have text that matches the destination, not your product.