Outbound Links: Does It Matter in SEO?

Have you ever thought of different websites or Web pages for linking to your site. But were hesitant to do the same?

What did we say if we said connecting to different sites within your Web content could help to boost your site’s position in search engines? Particularly if your content offers the user value and fits into their context.

Links to other websites help improve SEO (SEO) and help build authority for your domain and boost trust among your visitors. These links are known as outbound links. Learn more about the reasons you should pay more focus on outbound links and how they impact SEO.

What Is an Outbound Link?

Outbound links fall into an external link category. External links lead users to any URL or domain from the original domain or link. External links come in two kinds: outbound and inbound links. Inbound links are those that connect users to various websites on your site. Outbound links are links that direct users to other websites via your site.

Links that are both outbound and inbound aid in improving domain authority and establishing credibility. They also increase the organic traffic to the website. Outbound links provide more information to the Web page and help readers to learn about a subject more deeply. They guide users to other websites that may give additional information and support the discussed topic.

They’re also known as authority links since your web page link to credible sources or websites. Linking to websites with an established reputation instantly boosts the trustworthiness of the site/content.

Why Use Outbound Links?

The efficacy of outbound links is the subject of a debate that is ongoing. Though there are many myths regarding the efficacy of outbound links in SEO, many SEO specialists, Google employees, and even Google’s chief Google search advisory John Mueller swear by the positive effects of using outbound links in SEO.

The idea behind using outbound links may be a bit familiar as you think about it in the context of actual life. You may have been taught about the importance of citing reliable sources and sources at the classroom or in college. It is possible to think of outbound links as references by way of quotes, sources, statistics, and other detailed explanations of your content base.

Here are some of the main benefits of using outbound links:

Outbound Links Boost SEO

Links that are outbound do not have an immediate impact on SEO However, using external follow links that bring the most significance to your Web content and answer the questions your intended audience has will boost your rank in search results.

The effectiveness of external hyperlinks as an element of ranking has been proven numerous times, and there is evidence to back the claim. In 2016 Google’s Andrey Lipattsev stated in an interview that, in addition to Web content, hyperlinks are among the three factors that rank the most on Google.

Additionally, John Mueller quoted that linking to other websites is an excellent way to offer users value. Links can help users learn more, look up your sources, and learn more about how your content can answer their questions.

Reboot Online, a digital marketing firm, investigated that external links are an essential ranking factor and an important SEO recommended practice. This is true only when the external links come from domains that have an established reputation and are from sources that provide contextualization for your website’s content.

It does not apply to fake and unnatural outside. Follow the link. They are ineffective. If search engines discover that the hyperlinks you create are deceptive, manipulative, forced, or completely inappropriate, they will consider the content to violate the Webmaster Guidelines and hand out sanctions. Thus, you could conclude that adding links to reliable sources can enhance your SEO and increase your rank.

Strengthen Topical Signals

Topical signals, also known as authority, are the perceived authority of a website and knowledge in a specific topic, field, or niche. When search engines crawl websites, they examine the relevancy and knowledge of the site’s content about the subject to determine whether they can provide value to the right target users. In addition, outbound links can increase the authoritativeness or the importance of your site’s topical signals and show the search engine that your site has a deep knowledge of the topic and are not afraid to direct the user to authoritative sources that have greater understanding and comprehension of the subject.

Make Reader Trust the content you publish.

With the avalanche of false news and misinformation, It is only natural to take all necessary steps to establish your brand or website as a trustworthy source of information. Outbound links can provide the proper context for your website’s content and make it easier for users to be confident in your website.

If visitors see that you’re not afraid to refer them to a reliable and authoritative source that helps people better understand a subject more effectively, the odds of them believing in your site increase. Incorporating outbound links into SEO will not only aid users check the authenticity of the content on your site and help search engines such as Google or Bing comprehend your website better and increase the chance of it being ranked higher.

Search engines can recognize your site with information that is valuable and relevant to the question. Thus, they are more likely to consider them included on the results’ first page.

Demonstrate Expertise

Based on Google Webmaster Tools, outbound links can help to establish the EAT factor for web pages. EAT stands for the level of expertise, authority, and credibility of a web page. While there are various ways to boost a website’s EAT number, adding external links is a good option.

If you connect to sites that offer greater depth and accuracy to help you understand a complicated subject in the first place, you automatically ensure that you can identify reliable sources from false manipulative, fake, or artificial sources. This, in turn, increases your knowledge and understanding of the field, as those with only a basic knowledge of the subject will be unable to recognize the right sources and connect to outbound links that are unnatural.

The Google Webmaster’s blog summarized the issue: Does the content provide information in a manner that inspires you to believe it? Are the sources trustworthy? Is there any evidence to show that you are an authority on the subject? Do you have enough background information on the site that has published the content by linking to an author’s page or the site’s About page?

Best Practices for Outbound Links

To allow an easy way to access information.

If you are adding outbound links to your web page or Web content, ensure you give users easy access to information. This means you must pay close attention to the type of web pages you select to include outbound links.

The Web page must be designe to simplify and address the subject matter in a way that is easy to follow.

Beware of adding outbound links on the same page as outbound links. Visitors who click the links that are outbound click, hoping to get answers to their questions at the website that you recommend.

Linking to websites with high Domain Authority websites

When adding links from outside to your site or Web content, you should link to domains with authoritative or well-established authority. Domains with high authority have higher rankings due to a reason. This is because the search engines have already found their credibility and authority sufficient to place them in the first place.

Don’t include outbound follow links to your SEO campaign just for the sake of it or to alter the algorithms of search engines. The links you put outbound must be relevant to the subject and be consistent with the rest of your web content. If you attempt to insert irrelevant or non-natural outbound hyperlinks into the content you publish, this could result in a backlash.

Do not link to websites that offer bad user experiences.

According to Hubspot, over 60% of internet users visit websites using mobile devices. This is why having a site with a user-friendly and responsive design is crucial. Research conducted by Google discovered that five-thirds of mobile site users abandon the Web page if it does not load in less than three seconds. In addition to ensuring that your website is responsive, mobile-friendly, and free of lag, ensure the sites you choose to include outbound links to are lag-free, have speedy page loading as well as user-friendly navigation and other tools to help your audience find the information they’re seeking as fast as is possible.

Link to competitors’ websites to find the most relevant content

To be unique and stand out from your competitors, Do not be afraid to give your readers the highest value from your content. Citing sources and linking them is among the longest-running and reliable literary methods. Why wouldn’t you if the greatest authors across the globe did it?

Use attractive and clear anchor text.

The anchor text appears on a hyperlink that will lead you to another website. When you add external links outbound on the Web content, make use of anchor text that entices users to click the link, and convince search engines that your content is valuable. Avoid using abstract and vague anchor text, such as words and phrases.

Number of Links Outbound to include

There isn’t a magic number of links outbound that works best for all. The general guideline is to include 1 to 3 outbound links on SEO on your Web content, but in a manner that is not artificial or not natural.

All links within or to your website, including external or outbound links, are not mean to appear natural but must be natural. You don’t have to think about how natural and flowing the link appears if you create original and authentic content. You should also note all sources you research the data related to your subject of interest. If you conduct your research organically, you’ll come across natural hyperlinks.

Search engines such as Google find that you’re adding unnatural and irrelevant outbound links onto your Web or blog’s content. They issue penalties for manual actions and declare it a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Links that are outbound must be opened in the same window.

Outbound links are designed to reference your sources and allow your readers to access reliable websites and gain knowledge about the subject. Although we’ve made it clear that you must look at the websites you hyperlink carefully and select reliable sources, you must ensure that your links outbound are open in the same browser.

Being directed to a different window to read more about the subject can impact users’ experience. Moving between one window and another can cause a slowdown. It is recommended to ensure that outbound links are open in either a new tab or in the identical tab. Many people prefer to open another web page in a separate tab. To allow them to change between tabs without difficulty. SEO experts recommend external links be place within a new tab, while internal links may bring you to the same page or a different one.

Use rel=nofollow where needed.

The rel=nofollow attribute offers information about the page linking to the link’s target. Using the rel=nofollow attribute in a link signals an engine to tell them that they must not give any authority to an external link. This attribute can be used when links outbound in your content aren’t put in place organically and result from the advertising, sponsorships, or user-generated content posted in forums and public comments.

What are the best times to avoid external links?

The excess of something isn’t likely to produce anything positive. This is the same for external and outbound links. While 1-3 outbound links within SEO is the norm and a certain amount of natural links is suggested, you must avoid adding too many unnecessary outbound links. The inclusion of too many different perspectives or resources could annoy and make readers confused. It could also be negative and cause the search engine to believe that a site contains excessive and unneeded outbound links. In reality, in 2016, Google started handing penalties by imposing an automated spam. Penalty for websites with inbound links that were not natural or relevant. Google believes unnatural links can increase other websites’ rankings artificially.


Adding outbound links to your web content can have more benefits than cons. As long as you provide real worth to your Web. If you’re doing it correctly, external links from outbound sources can boost your rank and increase your online visibility, gaining a targeted audience who trusts your brand, and ultimately, increase the number of people who visit your site and your income. Contact LSS – Local SEO Services to get free SEO consultation for your website. 

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