Too often I hear how Incoming links (links to your website from other websites) influence search engine ranking. Its true, when a website links to yours, the search engines are satisfied and your ranking improves. However it’s not a one-way street. Search engines also like to see the “web”— the tie between websites that link to you and the sites you link back to. This is literally the web that connects everything together on a virtual plane.
However when I recommend outbound links to clients I hear grumbling. There’s resistance to giving out a free link to another business and fear that if their web visitors follow an outbound link they won’t come back to their website.
Remember what we learned in kindergarten about sharing? The web is a lot like the playground; we have to share to make friends and get a good “grade”—in this case it’s making the grade in search engine ranking.
Skip the grumbling. Follow these two tips to improve your search engine ranking with quality outbound links that won’t look like a “freebie” nor will they direct web visitors to your competition.
Social Networking. What if I told you that you could link to someone your web visitors would like to know more about and it’s someone who will never steal a customer—link to you! When you’re short on outbound links, create text links to your social networking accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any others you use.
Known Experts and Authorities. If you apply Metcalfe’s Law to the increasing number of websites online, each website uses other websites as resources and thus becomes a greater resource. Fulfill your website’s duty by becoming a resource and adding links to other websites that support your philosophy, skills, product recommendations, etc.
Choose websites that compliment rather than conflict with yours:
-Link to your vendors and suppliers who often have detailed product information on their websites.
-Link to related articles on Wikipedia, EzineArticles, and other resource sites.
-Link to complimentary websites to cross promote to the same customer base.
We like to keep things simple and comfortable. These two tips help you be a vital part of the growing web with outbound links that improve your searchability.