Outbound LinksDid you know that linking to other sites affects your search engine ranking?

Many different factors go into the search engine algorithms including the outbound links embedded in your site content. However, overuse or misuse of links can be detrimental. Here are several questions to ask yourself when using outbound links.

Does the link enhance the reader’s experience? It’s crucial that the link be relevant to the content and its inclusion adds value to the reader.

Have you included TOO MANY links on your page or post? Overuse can irritate your readers. Also, be careful not to dilute the value of your outbound links; FYI, the value of each link is divided by the total number of outbound links.

Did you use descriptive keyword anchor text when creating your link? Don’t ever use “click here”….its overused and doesn’t help the spiders index your content.

Have you checked out the site you are linking to? Be cautious not to link to sites with shoddy or questionable content. Be absolutely certain that the site isn’t full of spam as some of the search engine algorithms penalize you for the link. If you absolutely have to link to a “less than desirable” site, tag the link as “no follow”.

Have you scheduled time to regularly check for broken links on your site? This is important site maintenance because a broken link is bad juju especially if it stays on your site for a long time.

One last tip – don’t be tempted to create “resource” pages just to have a bunch of outbound links. If you need, or just want, a resources page mark the entire page with “no index” in the code. Consider using the WordPress blogroll widget instead.

In a nutshell: use only relevant outbound links, not too many, and take the time to ensure that your links are accurate and connect to the page that you intend them to connect to.