Are External Links Good For SEO?


July 2, 2020

Are External Links Good For SEO?

The web is abundant with links that link websites and specific pages. It is very likely that you have pages on your website that link out to other relevant content on the web.

But do you know how these outbound or external links impact your website ranks in search engine results?

In this respect, we will see what these links are, how do we used them and how they affect your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Recently, we have been asked a lot of questions if external links are good for SEO or why external links are good for SEO hence we decided to start an official section for this discussion so as to help others comprehend the advantages and uses of these outbound links.

If you’re considering a fast answer to the question mentioned above: Yes

Since this query has been solved, we’ll see why, and how, to get the finest out of your external links.


What are External links?

External links, also known as outbound links, lead visitors from pages on your website to other sites on the web.  From the inbound links, which direct visitors to other pages on your website, outbound links send visitors to completely different sites.


If some other site links to you, it is said to be an outbound link. However, if you link to another website, it is also known as an outbound link.


Quintessentially, external links lead greater value than internal links. This is because search engines consider that other people’s opinion about you is more imperative than what you say and think about yourself. Similarly, if more sites link with your website, you will seem to be a more reliable source.


External links are also tougher to manipulate, so they are one of the superlative ways for search engines to define the status and significance of a specific website or page.


Outbound links, or external links, are those that will direct your viewers from your website to other sites through the web. Generally, these are employed to confirm facts, holdup sources, or simply refer people toward resources.


They are the contrary of inbound links, where other sites direct their viewers to your website.

Different Types Of Outbound Links


This is generally demarcated by simply putting rel=”nofollow” (or not) into the HTML of the link.


There are types of outbound links: 

  • Nofollow articulates search engines not to follow links – as you’d expect. Dofollow links pass on ranking authority from your website to the objective page.
  • Dofollow links directs on ranking power from your website to the respected page.They do not pass on the ranking authority from your website to any other page. Nofollow links commands search engines not to follow links.


A better way to consider about these links is that they’re similar to votes, endorsing the pages you link to with a measure of power.If you direct people over to another site, you’re giving them a vote of assurance, thus boosting their authority and control.


If you decide to use a no-follow link, you’re hindering that vote from being passed on.

Nofollow links can assist you in avoiding certain penalization systems that Google and other search engines use to temperate the excessive use of certain kinds of links.


Mostly all links are habitually dofollow by default. To make a nofollow link, you have to add the rel=“nofollow” tag in your code.


By default, links are like this:


<a href=” “>Digital marketing trends</a>

Nofollow links include the rel=“nofollow” attribute, and they look like this:

<a href=” rel=“nofollow”>Digital marketing trends</a>


Later, we’ll take a look at when you should use nofollow tags when creating outbound links.


Why Are External Links Important?

Outbound links are important due to a number of reasons mainly:



The foremost aim of search engines like Google is to present the most relevant results for their queries.External links in SEO is a solid measure in order to determine the popularity of a certain website.

A site that seems more popular, receives more links from other sources.

This means that more positive signals will be sent to search engine which will foster and increase the rank of a page in search results. This will increase traffic of searchers who will view your content..



These links prove to be really helpful for search engines as they give major clues about the relevance of a page. Basically, search engines aim to provide users with the information they are finding, hence when you add links of helpful content, you are ultimately doing them a favor.

Moreover, the anchor text employed in links turns out to be a useful signal of the content on the target web page or site. For instance, if you are linking to a page of pets, you would not make your anchor text say “Cat food for sale”.

Useful hints are sent to search engines by the target, source page and the domain enclosed in the link about the relevancy of a specific page. Search engines can now launch better knowledge hubs on the web that can be employed to validate the importance of page or site, since links directs towards related content.

To put it another way, the trust in your website can be amplified by linking out to appropriate content that helps search engines recognize your niche.

Search engine algorithms can gain a lot of knowledge about your page from who you link to and how. You can imagine of your links as presenting clues to crawlers about the business you’re in, the queries you’re trying to solve, your competition, and the relevancy of a page for people who are searching online. Eventually you are helping building the structure of the web.

When search engines are serving your page to users as a result, you can increase its confidence, build its trust proving that you’re a legitimate player in your domain by providing backlinks to high authority pages.

If you provide backlinks to high authority pages, you build a search engine’s trust in your website that you are a legitimate player in your field, which will increase a search engine’s confidence when serving up your page as a result to their users.



Outbound links can also influence the reputation of your page.

Linking out to spam sites is in turn reflected negatively on your own website. The moment a user will open the link to a spam site, they will automatically associate your content to the spam website content as you directed them to that site hence the credibility of your content decreases immensely. This is the reason why link farms and reciprocal link schemes are bad ideas which lead to consequences.

Sites with no external links are considered dead ends, and people are not really fond of dead ends.It can make your website look uninstructive and futile, which can have adverse effect of your rankings in the search engine results.

A website void of any outbound links in equivalent to research report without any bibliography. You are compelling people to wonder about the source of your information and whether it is authentic and coming from a higher source of authority or not.

In contrast however adding outbound links to appropriate, great authority sources can enhance your reputation and help you to be seen as an authoritative source.  By containing outbound or external links to pertinent, high authority sources, you can improve your own reputation in the process.

Consider it as a form of association – you are stating that you activate in the same spheres as the prime names in your industry.

Usually people are short on time and they cannot visit several different authoritative websites to extract the information they require so providing shortcuts to their relevant information centers can prove to be beneficial for your site as you will appear expert and authoritative.


So it is almost impossible to be perfect and contain all relevant information a searcher might need about a certain topic. However by linking to other supportive sites you can enhance the value of your website delivers to search engine users and make their experience more worthwhile. Hence if people will be satisfied and certain that your content is better they will keep coming back for more, they will think that your website is a more valued source of information on the web.



Moreover, if you link to other credible sites on the web it is possible that the action may be reciprocated and they will link to you site and increase your reach. It will show to others that you want to join the web’s natural linking environment

Containing links to relevant content is a prodigious way to create motivations for bloggers, journalists, and website owners to involve with your site and link to your content. This not only expands the supposed power of your site, it can also lift your rankings in search results and help more people ascertain and relate with your business.

You can differentiate yourself from your competitors by producing quality content and linking to other quality content which offers a firm instant value enhancement for your readers.

This will increase the probability and likeliness of people coming back to read your blogs and while doing so they can get a leaded tour of the finest material currently accessible on the web for that topic.

As more people return to the site, you will see a large authority bump from the algorithms, which will grasp the trust people place in your site and rank higher too!


Are External links Good For SEO?

Receiving links to your website from other authoritative sources in an imperative ranking factor that can help you appear up higher in search results for keywords and phrases involving your business.

Clearly even the SEO experts approve that external links play the most significant source of ranking power because search engines see them as third-party votes for your website.


But the question is do external links on your own website influence SEO?


A latest study lead by marketing firm Reboot exhibited a positive relationship between a page’s outbound links and its ranks in search results. Reboot conjectured that Google can define the domination of a page or website based on the sources it links to.

For the experiment, the firm generated 10 new websites, each aiming the same keyword. However, only half of the websites incorporated links to high authority sources. All the sites enclosed similar content and tag structure, however it was unlike enough to avoid imitation content penalties.

Reboot then observed and logged keyword search for all websites results over a five-month period. Each of the pages that had external links classified higher than pages with no external links, and Reboot determined that appropriate, outgoing links to dominant websites positively influence search rankings.

Although Reboot acquired as many uncontrolled variables as possible, there are still certain unrequited questions. For instance, does linking to more dominant sources increase rankings more than linking to a lesser authority source? What about follow vs. no follow links?

There are still some unanswered questions, however this research shows that containing external links to greater authority sites can aid your SEO struggles. So if you’re uncertain how to link out to other sites, just give us a call and avail a free consultation to kick start your External linking!


Fahad Bin Zahid is a Digital Marketing & SEO consultant and the co-founder of Social Gravity.


Fahad Bin Zahid is a Digital Marketing & SEO consultant and the co-founder of Social Gravity.

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