Link Types

Outbound Links

Glossary  |  2 mins

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Outbound links are any links that point from a page on your site to a page on another domain. They’re an extremely common element of any website, and are often used in blog posts and articles in order to provide more context or to back up a claim made by the content. They can take the form of standard text based links, or use buttons, images, videos, and other page elements as an anchor.

Though outbound links are usually created naturally in the course of composing a piece of content, they’re also added to pre-existing pages in a conscious effort to help a site’s organic rankings.

Outbound links can be beneficial from an SEO perspective in two main ways. Firstly, they will enhance the user experience of your site by directing visitors to other valuable resources. Second, linking to topically relevant pages from your site will help Google’s crawlers understand the context of your referring pages, sending topical relevancy signals that will improve the chances of your site ranking for certain search terms.

Though outbound links are an important tool for SEO professionals seeking to improve a site’s user experience and authority, they should be applied carefully, and shouldn’t be added to a piece of content just for the sake of having them. Each new outbound link should be placed as naturally as possible, with a clear aim to provide value to the reader, either by citing sources or making it easier for visitors to navigate the site that you’re linking out to.

Forcing unnatural links into your pages are sure to hurt the user experience, and in some cases can cause Google to perceive the page as low-quality and spammy, thereby hurting its ranking potential. Having too many outbound links on a single page can also be detrimental to SEO, as it could push the page over what’s considered a natural page link total.

By keeping all new outbound links natural and helpful, and regularly checking your site for common outbound link issues, such as unnecessary nofollow attributes or dofollow, sponsored links you’ll be able to maximise your chances of strong organic rankings.

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Outbound Links FAQs

How do outbound links help SEO?

Outbound links help SEO by making it easier for search engines to determine the authority and context of your pages. Linking to high quality, authoritative pages will act as a sign of quality and authority for the referring page, and keeping your outbound links contextually relevant will help Google to understand what your page and the page referenced is all about, increasing the chances of your pages ranking for relevant search terms.

How many outbound links should you have in a blog post?

The right number of outbound links per blog post depends on a number of things, such as how complex the topic of the post is, and its total word count. The important thing to remember is that outbound links should be included naturally, and shouldn’t be so numerous that they overwhelm the reader. For typical blog posts, a good rule of thumb is to have no more than 3-5 links (both outbound and internal) per 500 words.

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