Outbound Links and How Do They Affect SEO?



1 Apr, 2024


Are external links good for SEO?

It is essential to have a firm grasp that the subject of outbound links in SEO appears to provoke some divergence of opinion. Linking to external websites is something that some people advise against doing because it can cause users to leave your site, which would increase the bounce rate.

What kind of an impact will these links to other websites have on the position that your website gets in the search engine results?

Every marketer operating in the digital space uses the covert weapon known as link building.  We will deep dive into how SEO specialist should consider SEO outbound links, refute some of the prevalent myths, and even provide our top advice for the best practice in outbound linking.

But before we go into anything else, let's go over the basics first.

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What Are Outbound Links?

Outbound links, also known as external links, are hyperlinks that take your users away from the webpage on your domain they were now viewing and to another domain entirely.

Similarly, inbound links are the backlinks that direct visitors from other websites to your own. When it comes to your website's rating, both inbound and SEO outbound links can be incredibly beneficial, but the outgoing links are the only ones that are completely under your control.

These links can be added to provide a reference for specific facts, research, or data. Increase the trustworthiness of your information by linking it to external resources. If you have taken photos or quotes from another site and want to give credit for them, you will also be required to add links to external websites.

In addition to establishing credibility and ensuring that content is properly acknowledged, outbound links also contribute to improved search engine optimization (SEO). You can assist web crawlers in navigating and ranking your site by linking to other authoritative sites on the internet. However, the nature of the outbound link does play a role in the ranking process.

Types Of Outbound Links

Types Of Outbound Links

To simplify things, you can categorize outbound links as nofollow or dofollow.

1. Dofollow/Follow Links

You can assume that search engines will follow any link you make to your site.

Internet crawlers will use these links to go around your site. An attribution link (sometimes known as a "dofollow" link) is the proper way to connect to another site. Taking credit away from those who deserve it is unethical and unfair. When you link to another site via a dofollow link, you essentially endorse that site and give it more authority and trust.

2. Nofollow Links

This indicates that the link value is not transferred to the webpage targeted by these links. A nofollow link effectively halts search crawlers. In order to prevent search engine spiders from being directed to spammy websites, it is important to include nofollow tags on any links that users provide in the comments section. 

Nofollow should also be applied to affiliate links, paid links, or links leading to a product page. Because of the possible financial gain, Google insists that you automatically set these links to nofollow. If you don't, the search engine can lose trust in your site and demote it in the rankings.

Why Are Outbound Links Important?

Reasons why outbound are importantDo external links help SEO? The inclusion of outbound linking SEO on your website is recommended for several different reasons, which are outlined below.

1. Increases popularity

Search engines like Google aim to provide users with the most pertinent information in response to the queries they enter. Additionally, the number of external links that point to a specific web page is an excellent indicator of how popular that page is. The popularity of a website can be gauged by the number of links to it from various other websites.

This leads to positive signals to search engines, raising a page's rank in search results. As a result, more people will click on the result and view the content.

2. Raises the level of significance

Additionally, links provide essential information regarding the importance of a page, which is something that search engines find incredibly helpful. In the end, search engines want consumers to find the information they are looking for, and you are doing them a fantastic job when you offer links to content that is valuable to them.

In addition, the anchor text that is used in the links is typically an excellent predictor of the material that can be found on the page or website that is the destination. 

Both the page that is being linked to and the page that is being linked from, in addition to the domain that is being linked to, all provide valuable indications to search engines about the relevance of a certain page. Search engines can better build knowledge hubs on the Internet, which they can use to validate the significance of a page or website because links point to other content connected to the topic at hand.

To put it another way, if you link to information pertinent to your topic, it helps search engines comprehend your niche and can improve your website's confidence.

3. Enhances reputation

The reputation of your website may also be affected by the presence of outbound links.

If you link out to websites known to be spammy, this will reflect poorly on your own website. As soon as a person clicks on a link to a spam website, they will immediately recall that you sent them there, and they will most likely correlate the content of your website with that of the spam website. Because of this, link farms and other reciprocal link schemes are terrible ideas that can result in google penalties.

Websites that have no links leading further are known as dead ends, and in general, people want to avoid visiting dead ends. Unfortunately, this can give the impression that your website is not useful and of a lower quality, which can negatively influence your ranks in search results.

If you visit a website with no outbound links, it is comparable to reading a research report that does not contain a bibliography. People are going to be curious about where you are getting the information from and if it is coming from a source with a high level of authority.

On the other hand, having outbound links to other sites that are relevant to your topic and have a high level of authority will increase your reputation and make you look like a more authoritative source.

4. Boosts value

No matter how well-designed your website is, it is impossible for it to have all of the information that somebody could be seeking regarding a particular subject matter.

You can boost the value your website delivers to users and make their experience more rewarding by linking to other helpful content on other websites. Customers will view your website as a more credible and valuable online information resource.

5. Promotes the creation of backlinks

In addition, if you link to other reliable sites on the internet, those sources will be more inclined to link to your website if you also link to them. Additionally, it communicates to other users that you are interested in participating in the web's organic ecosystem.

Including links to relevant information is an excellent way to incentivize website owners, bloggers, and journalists to engage with your website and link to the content you produce. This not only raises people's impressions of your website's authority but also can improve your rankings in search engine results, facilitating more people coming across your company and engaging with it.

6. Enhance The Topical Signals And Provide Additional Depth

Linking to relevant content

Outbound links help demonstrate the breadth of the subject matter you are writing about and point readers toward further resources they can utilize to gain a deeper understanding of particular ideas. This is of the utmost importance when writing about complicated subjects that may require additional elaboration for the reader to comprehend what is being referenced properly.

Outbound links are essential to producing outstanding content naturally and providing depth; you should not be scared to use these wherever necessary and whenever it makes sense.

7. Establish Credibility With Your Audience

Outbound links are the best way to mention your sources when writing on the web. This has been confirmed on several occasions by Google. When you cite a source, whether it be a person or a piece of study, be sure to link to the content being mentioned. By citing your sources and demonstrating them to the people listening to you, you can earn the respect of those reading what you have to say. If you are new to the above concepts, take the help of professional link-building services.

Negative Impact of Outbound Links

When it comes to SEO, outbound links do not always have a favorable impact. If you link to spammy or low-quality websites, or if it is obvious that you are engaging in black-hat link activities, they have the potential to be negative to your website.

Examples of harmful outbound link SEO behaviors include the following:

1. Including links to irrelevant and spammy websites in your content

When you add links to your content, you should make sure that you are not linking to any websites that are of low quality. Your credibility will suffer if you link to websites that are irrelevant to your topic.

In addition, search engines analyze the sites that you connect to in order to determine what sector of the economy your website belongs to. If you link to websites or pages that are not pertinent to the topic of your page, then it is possible that your page will be classed wrongly. This, in turn, will lower your search rankings for the pertinent search queries for which you should have ranked.

2. Using Two-way Backlinks

A significant number of individuals make requests for links in exchange for connections. In addition to this, they communicate with websites in order to construct link farms. However, what they are not aware of is the fact that search engines can discern these patterns. Search engines will note if two websites have an excessive number of links leading to and from their respective websites.  You should avoid making repeated requests for links in exchange for links because doing so puts you at risk of being penalized.

3. A High Number of Outbound Links

Any website with excessive connections to other websites runs the risk of being labeled as spam by search engines.

Additionally, the addition of an excessive number of links to external websites will serve to divert the attention of your viewers and cause them to leave your website. Longer pieces of writing often have a natural tendency to have more external and internal links. However, it becomes distracting if you link to the same topic multiple times within the same paragraph. 

On some devices, it will undoubtedly impair the user experience because having an excessive number of hyperlinks can lead users to accidentally click on an outbound link when they are only attempting to scroll down the page.

When Should One Use The Nofollow Attribute On Outbound Links?

Now that we've covered the benefits of nofollow links, let's look at when it's suitable to use them.

In general, you should use nofollow links whenever you don't want to pass on ranking power to the page or website that a link targets. Every time you don't want to pass on ranking power, this is the case. You can teach search engines not to treat links to pages as "votes" in favor of another page or website if you use links with the nofollow attribute. In a more straightforward explanation, the nofollow tag stops credit from being given to other websites linked to your own.

The following are some instances where it would be desirable to use a link that does not follow the standard protocol.

Use of No Follow links


If you enable visitors to leave comments on your website, you should anticipate that some will include a link to another website. This indicates that in order to earn link juice, they will provide links to their website.

On the other hand, you should reconsider endorsing their website. You can stop search engines from giving link juice to the commenter's site by using the nofollow attribute.

2. User-generated content

Similar to this vein, if you enable other people to contribute material to your website, those people can insert connections to their own websites in order to benefit from the link juice generated by your website. You can prohibit your website from giving credit to other websites you don't necessarily wish to endorse by utilizing a nofollow links feature.

3. Paid links

On your website, you might include connections to the websites of affiliate businesses or content that a third party sponsors.

Use a "nofollow" link whenever you wish to prevent credit from being passed on to other websites due to links that consumers buy on your site. Because of this, you won't give Google any reason to suspect you and won't have to worry about unwarranted penalties.

4. Embeds

Links can be set to "nofollow" if you include widgets or infographics from other sites but don't want to promote them. You may utilize nofollow links whenever you link to other websites, even if you don't want to be seen as promoting those other websites.

How To Build External Links for SEO?

After learning about the significance of outbound links, it should be obvious to you that you should keep them in mind while you are developing content for your website. However, what guidelines should you follow when directing visitors from your website to external resources?

1. Think About Who Or What You Are Linking Out To Carefully

Your content's links shouldn't only look natural; they should be natural as well.

You should employ outbound links to cite your sources or allow your viewers to travel to a site you reference. You must carefully consider the websites you link out to and decide whether or not they are reliable sources before doing so.

If you discover that you need to insert links into your material forcedly, you are most certainly tackling this issue incorrectly. Links often make perfect sense if you write naturally and note the sources you consult while researching various subjects and ideas.

If you do not have faith in the website you are linking to, it is in your best interest to refrain from doing so.

2. It's A Good Idea To Link Out To Other Useful Sites On The Web

It is a good practice for a website to include information that is of high quality and relevant, as well as to reference other reputable websites in order to strengthen the facts presented on a web page. Representatives from Google have stated that this does not contribute in either a positive or negative way to ranking signals.

3. Make Use Of Elaborative Anchor Text

Anchor text is underlined and highlighted; it is the text you can click on to navigate to a different website.

When constructing a link to an external resource, you should use descriptive keywords in the anchor text. You risk setting off spam detectors if you consistently employ the same keyword. To avoid this, you should avoid using the same keyword.

You should, however, use content that is easy to understand and conveys the subject matter or keywords included on the target page. Because of this, usability will be improved for both people and search engines.

4. Investigate The Possibility Of Creating Natural Links

It is generally not a good idea to create a resources page with many outbound links because the links do not feel natural for the users.

Instead, you should search for opportunities to integrate relevant connections to external websites within your content directly. You can integrate natural-sounding outbound links into your pages to clarify technical references and present additional points of view. In addition, you can link to authoritative resources on the web that provides further valuable information on a specific subject or help clarify a particular point further.

You may also include links to the studies and figures that back up the claims you make in your articles. Take the help of link building SEO services if you are confused about how to move ahead with it.

5. Stay Away From Too Many Links That Lead Outside

Even while there is no question that outbound links add value, overwhelming website users with an excessive number of these links can be frustrating. You have an obligation to ensure that any external links you embed on your pages are beneficial and pertinent to the people who are reading them if you intend to include them. In order to avoid confusing your readers and driving them away from your website, you need to be careful about having an excessive number of links that lead elsewhere.

Here are some additional recommendations for optimal practices regarding outbound links suggested by our link-building agency experts:

  • Before you publish, it is important to check your links to ensure that none of them are broken.
  • Utilize a tool such as Google Tag Manager, which allows you to add and modify your own tags to simplify conversion tracking and website analytics.
  • Don't forget to add links with the nofollow attribute whenever required.
  • You might, for instance, prevent individuals from spamming and putting irrelevant links in your comments section by including links that do not follow the "nofollow" protocol.
  • Make sure that all of your external links have appropriate anchor text so that you can notify readers about the kind of information you are linking to. Readers could be led astray by your anchor text if it is not pertinent to the page to which you are connecting, resulting in a loss of credibility on your part.
  • Make sure that any links to external websites open in a new window or tab, so the page you're on doesn't get closed.
  • It is possible to make all outbound links open in a new tab by including the target=" blank" attribute in the HTML code of your website.
  • Always include a link to an external page that discusses a topic that is pertinent to the one you are discussing in your post.


When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), outbound links can have both beneficial and bad impacts. Everything is dependent on the connecting techniques and content strategies that you are employing at this time.

Therefore, if you want to witness the benefits for yourself, follow the best practices outlined in this blog. In many cases, outbound links do not receive the recognition that is due to them. Having said that, you should give them a little more consideration when deciding how and who you link out to.

In the end, you won't be able to put together a successful external linking plan until you have a well-thought-out content marketing strategy. Get in touch with our team at JanBask Digital Design immediately if you want to raise your website's profile in search engines' results pages. Our link-building SEO agency will tailor a content marketing strategy specifically for your company and the objectives you wish to achieve.

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1. Do outbound links help SEO?

One of the most beneficial effects an outbound link may have on your content is to increase the level of confidence the readers have in it. Additionally, it assists in the development of authority and lends credibility to your website simultaneously.

2. Why are outbound links important?

Because they are interpreted as votes from other websites and a sign of credibility, outbound links can significantly affect the positions that a website holds in the results of search engines.

3. Do outbound links hurt SEO?

No, the presence of outbound links does not hinder SEO; rather, it contributes to the enhancement of the SEO of the page or website. It contributes to the demonstration of the content's relevance.

4. How many outbound links are too many?

You can include at least three links to other high-authority websites on your website.

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Riley WalkerKyle LeeRafael LewisColin RodriguezJosue Rodriguez Recent comment authors
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Josue Rodriguez

Great suggestions.


Colin Rodriguez

This practices are definitely very useful.


Rafael Lewis

Any tools I can use for this?


Kyle Lee

Can to fix a broken link.


Riley Walker

Nice article

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