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!