How to ensure your outgoing links don’t create more competition for your site!
 by Casey Markee

How to ensure your outgoing links don't create more competition for your site!

  • When linking out to another web site, will using my keywords in the link help my site score better in the search engines? For instance, suppose my site sells 'spa supplies' and the site I'm linking to publishes a resource titled: 'Federal guidelines for using spa supplies.' Would having the keywords 'spa supplies' in the link help my page rank better for those keywords?

Answer: Actually, that's not such a good idea because you would be helping the OTHER site rank better for your keywords. In essence, you'd be creating more competition for your site in the search results. That's because you'd be sending your link equity to the competing site. A better "SEO" way for you to link to the other site would look something like: Federal guidelines for using spa supplies.

That places the keyphrase spa supplies in the body of your page's content instead of the actual link. This is better because:

  1. You've worked your keywords into your page's body content.
  2. You've avoided sending relevance and link juice for those specific keywords over to the other page.

This way, instead of the engines thinking the other page is about spa supplies, you're telling them it's about Federal guidelines—keywords that your site is NOT attempting to rank for.

Whenever possible, you should avoid substantially strengthening your competition's rankability for your specific keywords; even while maintaining a link to their useful and relevant resource.

One other aspect to consider is whether you want to send the other page any of your link juice at all. If not, then you should consider adding the rel=nofollow tag to the link. Although this is a somewhat controversial linking strategy, the fact remains that many sites elect to use nofollow when linking out to other sites. They do this in order to save all...

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