Quite often web-developers use links on their websites that lead to other sources. Why? External links are a part of SEO strategy. By using a relevant link on an external source, you will make your content more appropriate and significant, and at the same time, you will be able to care for your visitors, helping them to get information they need.
Why External Links Are Useful?
First of all, developer link to the source, where visitors can read more info about the subject discussed. For instance, if the site owner mentions the word Google somewhere in the text, he won’t explain the basic concepts of it, he will just transform this search engine name into a link to another webpage. This way, the user reads your blog, then clicks on the link and learns about Google and its functions.
The number of links depends on information on a page. If the article contains little-known facts or personalities and unfamiliar terms, there will be many website transitions. If the article is full of easily recognized data, there is no need to make outbound links to the other webpages to explain info to the user in detail. Highly rich content appeals to a visitor who wants to find as many facts as possible. As a result the reader will be satisfied, and visit your resource frequently. Let’s use an example. If the site owner posts blogs about sport trainings, using links leading to his colleagues’ resources will turn a resource into a perfect thematic platform for users keen on this topic. A website visitor will find all the required information on one place, since there will be no need to look for identical data on the other resources.
Authors also create links on external websites because of advertisement. Many advertisers want their banner ads to be placed on webpages with a large audience. That’s why campaigns as well as their representatives are looking for popular platforms to put their links on. A website owner sets those links leading to the other resource and receives a financial reward to his account. Website owners can also use outbound links for visitor exchange. We can compare this to advertisement, but without payment. Usually two people, who wish to boost their pages, make a deal and promote each other, each placing a link on their website to neighboring sources. Thus, resources create mutually beneficial link exchange.
Effective Outbound Links
“In the same way that Google trusts sites less when they link to spammy sites or bad neighborhoods, parts of our system encourage links to good sites.” (Matt Cutts). This quote clarifies everything. It means that the best way to use content is to refer to the appropriate expert resource. Effective links will scale your website, allow the user to get a wider range of information and eventually, your resource will become useful and rich for search engines.
Links that Should Be Avoided
Here are 3 link types that discourage visitors from using your website rather than engaging
- Links generated by users (links that can’t be controlled). They can quickly spread on your website, and it may be sanctioned by search engines.
- Links used for advertising. Users and search engines usually treat such references negatively.
- Links leading to spammy sites (web pages created to manipulate search engine results and cheat the user).
Recommendations Regarding External Links
Write a parameter target=”_blank” in external links, then an external resource will open in a new panel. After reading the additional information, the user will be able to return to the previous page. You can also add icons, images and other signs indicating an external link. You don’t have to close the outbound links in the noindex and nofollow.
Summing Up: Do’s and Don’ts
Let’s sum up.
- The first thing is that content must be convenient and useful to the user.
- Use links on the external resources that are trustworthy, and keep a balance within their quantity.
- If the reference can be beneficial to the user or makes your content more valuable - use it, it will make your website scalable.
- Don’t apply links leading to the unverified resources, as they may contain spam content.
Put this recommendations into practice, and you will see how your resource will develop!