Let's talk no follow links, shall we?

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization (SEO)' started by Singapoor, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Singapoor

    Singapoor New Member

    I've read quite a few places that we should pay attention to outbound links on our sites.... that too much link love can be detrimental to a site's SEO. On that same note, I've come across equally as compelling talk that they're really not worth paying as much attention to as used to be required (since google bots are now much smarter/better at getting a better view overall).

    I know what Matt Cutts has to say about it (if you don't know who that is, you may want to find out), but I wanted to get a discussion going. Thoughts? experiences?
     
  2. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    When it comes to gaining high page rank, outbound links may not be as important to the webmaster as inbound links are, but they do have their benefits.

    Example:

    If your site carries some weight as an authority in your niche, and you use outbound links to offer your readers additional sources of reference on your topic, it accomplishes a few things.

    1. It says you are commited to providing quality content, directly (from your site) and indirectly (via the outbound links) to other sites.

    2. The visitor who follows the outbound links to get additional information to round out their search will appreciate your thoughtfulness and willingness to share resources.

    3. Your site will become more important in the visitor's eyes because she knows she can get access to reliable and comprehensive information when she starts at your site.

    4. The external site you linked to might be more inclined to extend a reciprocal link because your information complements theirs, and they can provide the same convenience to their primary visitors as you do to yours.

    These benefits may have marginal impact on your SERPs but could yield tremendous word-of-mouth gains and cement customer loyalty.

    Hermas
     
  3. Newbie Shield

    Newbie Shield Gold Member

    Hi Singapoor,

    Good topic and good points Hermas. Although many of his tips fit into the intangible or less tangible category, never underestimate intangible benefits.

    The visitor always comes first and sometimes a little attention to the intangible can set you apart from the competition.

    To clarify on the outbound thing - don't put too many follow outbound links on any single page else you'll bleed PR.

    Additionally, most of your outbounds should be No Follow. Only time to let your links be Follow is if you have good reason.

    Yes, it matters but don't worry too much because what I've just stated covers all the bases. It's simple.

    To clarify further, all Follow outbounds are like a "vote" for the site they link to. Another way of putting it is it borrows some of your PR juice and lends it to the target site.

    Things may have changed recently or may change in the near future but last I checked that's how it was and probably still is.

    ~Newbie Shield~
     
  4. Singapoor

    Singapoor New Member

    Hi NS,

    Thanks [​IMG]. I also agree with A8ch - and, in fact, the practice of linking to outside resource sites is how I ended up looking into the topic in the first place. There's also the camp who feel that if you put links to outside sources AT ALL (including links to affiliate products) before building up a certain traffic base, that it works against your efforts to ascend the SERPs. There's nothing about my webmaster background that I can give to confirm nor deny that since I'm super wet behind the ears, with not much experience overall to pull from.

    Newbie Shield: Things may have changed recently or may change in the near future but last I checked that's how it was and probably still is.
    Yep, still the same in that you're probably bleeding PR when you have many "follow" links to other sites (I use the word "probably" because only the google Gods know for sure the algorithms and, thusly, the extent to which this is the case).

    But the "getting smarter" bit was more about follow and no follow links on the site itself (i.e. - not bleeding PR to your "About" page, for instance). The bots are better about that and that takes a bit of weight off of a webmaster's shoulders since you're not thinking about the no follow for new, less important pages you may be adding.

    A8ch: When it comes to gaining high page rank, outbound links may not be as important to the webmaster as inbound links are, but they do have their benefits.
    So true, and this fact makes this topic interesting for me. Thanks for the great points Hermas. Additionally, reader satisfaction is a great topic too (hmm... maybe worth another thread), because the intangibles are what build the experience for them and they are, at the end of the day, the people you're talking to, so why not do small things to help give them a cozy feeling/large dose of info/funny anecdote/whatever that leaves them feeling happy they found (or came back to) your site? All of this also reiterates the fact that content is king, and delivering it in a high quality is helps. (Well, "helps" is an understatement, but you know what I'm saying).
     

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