Link building is the oldest way of growing the authority of a website on search engines, and in extension a way of getting referral traffic. Outbound links do not necessary add to the SEO juice of the page that they originate from, but they help users find additional information when they follow the links. In some cases, the pages or websites that your pages link to will link back to you and at this juncture, you will be able to get the appropriate link juice. Many website owners embark on the creation of numerous outbound links in the hope that they will be able to attract as many reciprocal inbound links as possible. While this is a good strategy, it should only serve as a portion of the overall strategy of search engine optimization; besides, the wrong inbound link association can also present negative effects to your website. In any case, the following factors are the answers to what you need to consider before linking out?
The length of the page you are linking to
The latest Google Penguin algorithm updates seek to verify a site’s relevancy by looking at its association with other relevant sites. One way to gauge the relevancy of a site is to look at the length of its content. Generally, long written pages give the impression of a rich pool of information and help to distribute a keyword appropriately so that the keyword density is not too high to make the content look like spam. Before you link to another page, you might find it hard to determine just how relevant that page is to your site, and looking at its length will let you dismiss or accept it. As a rule, try linking to pages that are at least 300 words long. If they have images with good description and caption, then that would be an added advantage.
The anchor text you intent to use for your link
You might get a good link for your content but need also to use your keyword as the anchor text. In this case, it would make more sense if the keyword matches the topic of the page that you intend to link to; thus, it is not enough that pages look similar, your anchor text must match the destination so that both your users and search engines do not get confused when they decide to follow the link.
The location of the link relative to the fold of your page
Outbound links take visitors away from your site, when they decide to follow those links.Search engines rely on the bounce rate or the time it takes a visitor to leave a page, as parameters for estimating whether the page was useful to the visitor. If your outbound links appear high on your page, most users will click on them before even seeing the rest of your content. You should either structure your page content so that your link appears below the fold, to trigger a scroll action before the visitor leaves your page, or have the link at the bottom of the page as your content source.
The reason for linking
You should know why you are including the outbound link on your page, and this should not be a vague reason. You need to avoid linking to spam content on other websites, you also need to ensure that your webpage does not appear as spam. Too many links that look unnecessary may make your site look suspicious and cause search engines to flag it. On the same note, try to link only when it is necessary, and if possible, minimize outbound links to the same page.
The authority of the page and website you link to
Lastly, you need to have your reader’s perception in mind. People, just like search engines, will judge you and your content based on the association you claim on the internet. If you link to pages that have no authority on your niche, and your visitors follow through your links, they will associate you or your business with those low-grade links destinations that you provide. This is not to say that you should never link to small sites, but you should keep in mind what your visitor will be thinking when they eventually follow those links.
Jason Smith is an online manager for Inbound Marketing Company. Jason likes blogging about online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.