• Why you should actively link out from your blog

    by  • April 7, 2008 • Blogging, Linking • 15 Comments

    There are some bloggers who link to everyone everywhere at anytime. They just love dishing out the link love! However, not all bloggers are living in the free love world. Since the advent of the nofollow tag – which was marketed to bloggers as a way to stop blog spam – bloggers have seemingly become much more stingy with when and where they dole out those links in their blog posts… and that is if they aren’t nofollowing them in the first place. And if they are PR-conscious – that’s PageRank, not public relations! – they tend to be even stingier, under the impression that their PageRank will be better if they hoard it all to themselves.

    But there are benefits of actively linking to other sites and blogs from within your own content.

    More value to your readers
    If you can provide useful links or additional commentary of your blog topic du jour, your blog has just become that more useful to your readers. If they are just going to go and Google your topic to find out more, instead of staying on your blog, why not just link to other sites in the first place? Then you also have the added bonus of choosing where your readers go off to read more next, instead of letting Google pick the sites.

    With the great dashboard implementation in WordPress, if you link to another blogger, they will know it… even if they never look at their blog stats. If they aren’t familiar with your blog, chances are pretty good that they will click the link to check you out and see what you wrote about them. And if they like your blog well enough, you have just got yourself a new subscriber by the mere act of linking to another blogger’s post from your own entry.

    Sharing link love
    If that blogger you linked to likes your stuff, chances are good that if they aren’t adding you to their blog roll, that they just might follow your stuff for the opportunity to link back to you one day. So that single outgoing link in your blog post can easily result in another link back to your own blog.

    Promoting smart anchor text
    Try and avoid linking with “here”, although sometimes that is what will happen so it doesn’t seem out of place or interrupt continuity in a blog entry. But do your best to link with the blog entry name or the blog name if possible. This will help those you link to, but also encourage others to link that way as well, and hopefully a few of those will be in links back to you!

    Linking to Authority vs. non-authority
    If you are blogging about Chevy trucks, you should link to Chevrolet‘s official site, which definitely falls under the category of an authority outgoing link. But you might also want to link to your local Chevy dealership (which I would here, if they actually had a website I could find in Google!), which could be considered non-authority. I try to link to authority websites as well as some non-authority, but just do a check to make sure that non-authority site isn’t also lurking in a bad neighborhood! (Not sure what makes a link or site be in a bad neighborhood? Read Revisiting your linking strategies for a health check). There are also SEO benefits to linking out to authority sites, so definitely include them in your links.

    Great for writer’s block
    Stuck for a few days with nothing to write about? Do an entry where you link out to favorite blog posts you have read in the past week or two. But instead of doing snippets from the blog you link to, provide the link and your own blurb about each, such as why you think people should read it or something useful you got out of it. This will help differentiate these kind of posts from the usual “links of the day/week” that many bloggers are fond of.

    Avoid the nofollow
    Unless you are linking to someone with nofollow for a specific reason (which can be anything from being in a bad neighborhood, or you just don’t personally like the blogger!) dole out straight non-obfuscated links in your blog posts. If you link to a blog with a nofollow, trust me, they will notice and chances are pretty good they will either not link to you at all, or you can guarantee if they do, it will definitely be nofollowed back. There are far more benefits for you if you actively link out with straight links.

    These obviously aren’t the only reasons why linking out is good :) But definitely some food for thought if you are one of those bloggers who rarely links out because you don’t want to share the link love!


    Jennifer Slegg is a longtime member of the SEO community and is an expert on social media, content marketing, Google AdSense and search engines.

    15 Responses to Why you should actively link out from your blog

    1. April 7, 2008 at 11:44 am

      I’m not sure if linking with the word ‘here’ is such a bad thing – mainly because I do that myself all the time!! I sometimes talk about another post or news story and end it with something like ‘Click here to read the full story at BBC’ or whatever. However sometimes I just write link and then write the name of the article.

      I don’t ever link to people using nofollow either (unless I have a problem with the owner for some reason) but I dont think that the blog owner will notice, far from it. Successful blogs get hundreds of back links every week. It’s one thing checking inbound links, it’s another viewing the source and seeing if they used the nofollow tag :)

      Your right though, its a great way to network. I’ve noticed a lot of blogs because of the incoming links in the wp dashboard.

      good post :)

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    3. April 7, 2008 at 10:42 pm

      Great post, do you use stumbleupon a lot? thats how i found your site, in case you were wondering!

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    5. April 8, 2008 at 6:29 am

      Once again, great points for bloggers whether just starting out, or seasoned veterens! Linking out also gives you a ‘warm fuzzy’ (did I just say warm fuzzy?) that you are not just blogging for internet marketing purposes, but you are networking, and interested in what others are doing, not to mention you realize how much you don’t know!

      Keep it up Jen,

    6. April 8, 2008 at 12:02 pm

      When I started blogging with WordPress, I wrote 2 posts and suddenly I got several emails that someone responded to my post. I had no clue that I appeared in someone’s dashboard, but he wrote a post about me and I got a headstart with my blog!

      Linking out can be good, especially if you criticize other bloggers :)

    7. April 8, 2008 at 4:41 pm

      Todd Malicoat was telling me this at SMX West and I totally agree – it’s one of the most underutilized tactics around! Yours truly is a lover, not a hoarder :D.

    8. April 8, 2008 at 6:25 pm

      Good post. I probably should link out from my blogs more often. It’s not that I try not to — and I never use the nofollow attribute! — but at least in my SEO blog I tend to write about my ideas, rather than read a great post like this and say “Hey, I should blog this, too!

      In my personal growth blog I am more prone to taking some great blog posts or news stories (Thank you Google News, a blogger’s best research tool!), write a summary with some added opinion and then say click here for more info or the full article. Do I use “click here” as the anchor text? I’m thinking. I’m thinking. OK, I will have to check. Thanks for raising the issue.

    9. April 9, 2008 at 3:43 pm

      Thanks very much for this article! I’m subscribing to your blog b/c this is exactly the kind of content I need and want to read more of as a brand new blogger. :) All the best!

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    11. April 12, 2008 at 6:13 pm

      Hello, I’m a new reader and I just subscribed to your feed. Would it be possible for you to run a full feed instead of a partial one? Thanks. I’ve really enjoyed the few posts I’ve read so far.

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    14. May 7, 2008 at 12:26 pm

      Jennifer, nice article. This is well thought out. I also like your use of light green color for now-and-then emphasis in the copy block which complements your title color. I like your moderate ideas on linking and networking wherever possible. Great post!

    15. October 25, 2008 at 12:42 pm

      Great article. In the end spreading linklove will eventually benefit you I think.

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