While every search engine optimisation (SEO) company you are likely to approach will tell you just how important it is to have lots of high-quality websites linking to your own site if you are to rank well in Google (just a little clue: it’s very important), there has been less agreement over the years about outbound, or external links.
These are the links that your own website makes to other sites, and one thing that is clear is that Google’s Search Quality Raters do look for outbound links.
There are clues of this in Google’s Search Quality Rating guidelines, which refer to how “often very high quality news content will include a description of primary sources and other original reporting referenced during the content creation process.”
Furthermore, in a post from August 2019 entitled “What webmasters should know about Google’s core updates”, the search giant mentioned insufficient or low-quality outbound links as a possible reason for a site being adversely impacted by core algorithm updates.
But it’s not just about Google
Putting aside anything Google says, there are many other reasons why your site should make good use of external links. High-quality content on your site should be able to link to authoritative sources for any statistics or facts that it cites from elsewhere. This, in turn, will help visitors to your pages to have greater trust in your brand.
Externally sourced information can also help to give a greater sense of impartiality, thereby reinforcing the messages you impart through your content. Oh, and content with lots of well-sourced and useful data is also likely to attract more views, engagement and shares.
So, what should your site’s external links be like?
The aforementioned Google guidelines lay out the concept of E-A-T, which stands for expertise, authority and trustworthiness.
You can help to ensure these qualities in your own outbound links by always referencing the original sources for information that you cite, rather than sources citing other sources.
In addition, you should always check the accuracy and trustworthiness of any sources you use, and ideally only reference relatively recent and up-to-date information – from within the last two years, for example.
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From SEO and Google Ads to copywriting and, of course, good old link building, we can provide a wide range of services here at Jumping Spider Media to enhance your brand’s online fortunes. Enquire to our team today, and we’ll discuss with you the steps we can begin to take together.