Linking out to other sites in your posts and articles is a controversial issue because many people will tell you that it will lower your search engine ranking. Like with most opinions this one is both right and wrong. It’s right in that you do not want to link to others without consideration about where you are linking them. But it’s wrong that you should never link to others within your posts and articles.
Before linking to others consider the following:
- Reputation — Is the place you’re linking to reputable? If it’s a helpful, reputable person, website, blog or resource, then linking to them should not hurt your rankings. It is nicer if they have an affiliate program, so check before linking so that you can get credit. Search engines also judge the sites you’re linking to so if it’s a quality site, you will be seen as a quality site too.
- Usefulness – If the other site is a great resource to your visitors that already exist why not link to it, affiliate program or not? You can’t be everything to everyone, and there is no reason to be repetitive, duplicating exactly what someone else has done unless you truly believe you can do it better.
- Interactivity — Linking out to others can create a sort of interactive sharing of information across other channels. If you’re linking to them, they may link to you, and you can have cross blogging conversations, and other joint endeavors if you choose.
By linking to others you are going to create a conversation that starts at your blog, and leads across the web. Some ideas for links out include:
- Lists — Create a list of valuable resources, tools, and even people to link to. Usually the recipient of such link love will return the favor. This can garner you a lot of traffic if the people you’re linking to are more popular and you wrote something particularly favorable, or even controversial.
- Expert Interviews — Interview successful people in your area of expertise, or the area you want to be an expert in. Link to their blogs, sites, and products, and offer the interview in podcast form and written form. Linking to the person who is more popular than you can often create fans out of them and their own visitors.
- Link to yourself — Yes, don’t forget to link to your own articles and blogs even if the appear elsewhere. Have articles on Associated Content, Ezine Articles, Idea Marketers, or other content sites, show people! If the post you just made relates to another post you made in the past, link to that too.
Linking is how the Internet works. Pretty much every site, and every blog is somehow linked to each other. Therefore, as long as you strive to include reputable, relevant and useful links both inside and outside your blog or website the search engines, and your visitors will appreciate it.