The Balance Between Inbound and Outbound Links
Link building is a process used in SEO alongside other techniques to make your website gain greater visibility in the search results pages. A website’s authority is dependable upon many things, but ultimately it is the quality and the quantity of links pointed towards the site that will have a huge say on where that website is ranked for it’s key terms. So therefore, it is important to consider how many links you have leading into your site from other sources (inbound links) and those going away from your pages to another location (outbound).
Links from the correct sources can create additional strength. For example those from .gov or .edu sites will serve you well, and so too will reputable and established sites such as the BBC, although these can be difficult to obtain. Links can also have an effect on your search engine rankings and also your Page Rank. They can be built through a variety of methods, including directory listings, social bookmarking, content marketing.
Before you go rushing off to build links, a word of caution. Don’t ever buy links or exchange in reciprocal linking programmes, as this wont help your efforts whatsoever. Reciprocal linking can be an issue, as you could end up with a similar number of inbound and outbound links. It’s also frowned upon within the search engines. People are normally concerned with the links pointing towards their site and less so about those that are pointing away from their site when really they should be.
If you are looking to link to pages away from your website then you should only do so for pages that are connected to your brand, products or services. If you are linking to irrelevant pages, not only will this affect usability, but it will also look suspect to the search engines. More often than not, when an irrelevant link is found on a website, it has usually been bought/sold, which again goes against search engine’s guidelines. It’s best to link to sites that have a great deal of relevancy to your own website as this will also make the user experience more valuable. You want to be regarded as a useful website that does not mislead your visitors so that your reputation does not become negatively affected.
In addition, adding relevant links to relevant sources will enhance the chances of users coming back to your site in the future. Recommendations and returned visits will only serve you well so make sure you do all you can when it comes to link building to keep this process in place. If your site has a high number of outgoing links then people will become confused as to what it is that you do. Find a healthy balance between the content that you have to link to, and the content that you link to in order to build strength.
As a guide you shouldn’t have too many links on one page, Google advises that in terms of outbound links, each page should have less than 100. However, this is an easy target as pages on your site should only have between 250-400 words of content anyway. Think what you would like to see when you visit a site, you don’t want to be bombarded with links, links, and more links.
Link building is not the only strategy to improve visibility and you can always consider an SEO agency or consultant to take your work even further and improve your rankings. Find a healthy balance for your links and only link to the correct sources, the last thing you want is to affect your website’s performance within the search engines.