The opposite of inbound links, outbound links are hyperlinks to a site outside your website. There are two types of outbound links – see NoFollow and DoFollow. DoFollow is standard and lets search engines start to recognize you as an authority for that resource.
What are Outbound Links?
Let’s break it down. Outbound links, sometimes termed “external links,” are hyperlinks that point from your website to another distinct domain on the web. Think of them as doors leading out of your digital home, guiding visitors to another reliable and relevant destination. While the core content on your website is essential, these links augment your content by providing further insights, references, or clarifications from external sources.
In essence, they are the opposite of inbound links, which lead users from external sites to your website, serving as endorsements or votes of confidence in your content.
The Two Faces of Outbound Links: NoFollow and DoFollow
Like many things in life, not all outbound links are created equal. Enter “NoFollow” and “DoFollow” – two pivotal attributes determining how these links interact with search engines and shape your website’s digital reputation.
DoFollow: This is the default setting for most links. When you create a hyperlink without any specific attributes, it’s a DoFollow link. The magic of DoFollow links lies in their ability to pass on what we in the SEO world call “link juice” or authority. When your website links to another through a DoFollow link, you’re giving a nod to search engines, signaling that the linked website is credible and valuable. Over time, if used judiciously, these links can bolster your stature as a trusted resource, making you an authority in your domain.
NoFollow: This attribute tells search engines to essentially “ignore” the link in terms of SEO. Why use it? Sometimes, you may want to link to a site without endorsing it, especially in comments or forums where spam links are common. NoFollow ensures that while users can click and go to the linked site, no SEO value (or link juice) is transferred.
Why Outbound Links Matter
In the realm of SEO, content remains king. But how you support, substantiate, and enhance that content can make all the difference. Outbound links offer multiple benefits:
Enhanced User Experience: By providing relevant external links, you’re equipping your audience with more resources to deepen their understanding, making their visit to your site more rewarding.
Building Credibility: Regularly linking out to authoritative sites can position your website as a hub that prioritizes value and accuracy over isolation.
SEO Benefits: While striking a balance is essential, strategic DoFollow links can gradually boost your website’s authority, improving search engine rankings.
Outbound links do more than just connect pages. They link your website to the broader internet, establish relationships with other sites, offer additional information, and reinforce your online presence.