While promoting your website or business online, there are a lot of different factors to think about, especially when it comes to SEO. You may have heard a lot about link building in relation to SEO. It’s a valuable strategy for building authority for your site, but it can be a difficult strategy to get right.
There are three basic types of links in SEO: inbound, outbound, and internal. Internal links are those that direct the user to another page on your website, whereas outbound and inbound links are a little more complex.
But don’t worry, this article is here to clear up any confusion around inbound and outbound links. I’ll give you some simple tips to not only help you understand the different link types, but also to help you grow a website with authority using these links.
Let’s get started…
What are outbound links?
Outbound links are links on your website that are pointing to another website or a webpage on a different domain. These links play a vital role in demonstrating your website’s niche, helpfulness, and authority to search engines. Studies show that linking out to relevant and authoritative domains has a positive impact on a website’s search rankings.
As a webmaster, you have full control over outbound links. You decide which webpages to link to and how you will link to them from within your content. Choosing well-researched content on high authority sites that are related to your content and industry will help to boost your level of authority as well as establishing your niche.
Now for some of the technical stuff: Outbound links can either be ‘Dofollow’ or ‘Nofollow’. Let’s look at what this means…
A Dofollow link is the default format of an outbound link. This type of link can be recognized by Google so that the site your linking to gets credit for the link. Often referred to as link juice, this gives a small boost to the SEO ranking of that website.
A Nofollow link does not pass along this link juice to the website you’re linking to. Your readers will be able to follow a link to the site, but search engines will not crawl the webpage to boost its search ranking. As this is not the default, you have to add the tag rel=”nofollow” into your site’s code.
Building outbound links set to ‘Dofollow’ can help you build relationships with other websites and bloggers that operate within your niche. This can help to build a mutual partnership where you’re linking to their website and they’re linking to yours. And we’ll get onto why this is so important when we talk about inbound links.
Here are some points to consider when adding outbound links to your website…
Avoid link exchanges with link directories or link farm sites
A link exchange is when you agree to add outbound links to another website if they do the same for you. This can be beneficial with the right partners, but it should be avoided on link directories or link farm sites. When you submit your URL to a website like this, you don’t know the quality or authority of the site that you are exchanging links with. If a low authority site starts linking to your webpage, this could be detrimental to your SEO ranking.
Link out to only high authority and relevant websites
It’s important to do your research before selecting a website to link out to. First of all, the content you link to should be high-quality and relevant to your content so that it is helpful to your readers. Secondly, the authority and relevance of the outbound site are things that Google will be paying attention to when ranking your page. Before linking out to any website, always check the domain authority and page-rank of that website.
Never sell links
Don’t allow your Webmaster to link out to a website that is providing you money, free products, services, or any other form of compensation for a link. If Google discovers this practice, then your site could be seriously penalized.
Never participate in link schemes
Participating in any link schemes can badly harm your SEO. As well as buying and selling links, a link scheme may include excessive link exchanges or automated link building. Google strongly recommends avoiding such link schemes.
Link to only selected domains
Outbound links should be more about quality than quantity. Linking out to lots of different websites can harm your website’s authority in the eyes of search engines. You can get penalized for linking out to low quality and spammy websites, so always look for domains that have high-quality and well-researched content. It may be worth auditing your current outbound links to identify and remove any bad links.
What are inbound links?
An inbound link, also known as a backlink, is a link on another domain that is pointing back to your website. Inbound links play a vital role in determining your ranking in search engine result pages and are considered as one of the most important ranking factors for Google.
Think of an inbound link as a vote for your website. It suggests that people think your website and its content is worth seeing. The more backlinks you have, the more votes you have for your website, helping Google to rank you more favorably.
But not all inbound links are built the same. Just like with outbound links, backlinks from low-quality, low-authority sites can actually hurt the authority and credibility of your site in the eyes of search engines.
Quality and contextually relevant inbound links are very important for growing search traffic for your website. Now let’s look at how inbound links can benefit your website…
Improve ranking in SERPs
More backlinks from high authority websites that are relevant to yours mean more virtual votes for your website. This improves your ranking, helping you to appear higher in search engine result pages (SERPs).
Improve the authority and credibility of your website
If high-authority websites are linking to your content, then you must have something worth reading. Google and other search engines notice this, helping to boost the authority and credibility of your site in their rankings.
Google’s bots or “spiders” crawl billions of pages on the web to index and rank them. If you create a new site or add new content to it, then you want Google to index these pages quickly to help you appear in SERPs for relevant search terms. Google’s spiders follow links across the web to reach new pages that need indexing, so more quality inbound links to your website helps these bots index your webpages faster.
Links from other websites provide a new route for users to take to your website. People who have never even heard of your company or blog might come across a link on another site and follow it to yours. This means more people will discover and visit your site. Plus, since inbound links help you move up Google’s rankings, more people will discover you this way, too.
Strategies to get free inbound links to your website
As we’ve mentioned, inbounding linking plays a vital role in getting higher search engine rankings. Here are some simple ways to get more backlinks pointing to your website…
Google doesn’t like copycats, and they will penalize websites for having duplicate content. Always aim for unique content that will be interesting and useful for your readers. Unique and well-researched content helps to attract bloggers that might link to your content from their page.
Social media promotion
Publishing unique and well-researched content is often not enough to get natural inbound links to your website. Promoting this content on social media will mean more people see your content. The more this is shared on social media, the better! This will also help bloggers in your niche discover your content.
Writing guest posts on high-authority websites is one of the best ways to get quality backlinks to your site. It will also help get you recognized as an expert in your niche. Moreover, it will help to create awareness of you and your website among new audiences.
Create and publish infographics
Audiences love infographics. They’re visually engaging and contain bitesize information that’s easy to digest. Creating infographics may be a little costly, but it is a great method for getting natural inbound links. Infographics are also extremely shareable, giving them a good chance of going viral on social media within your niche. Infographic submission sites are one of the easiest ways to get backlinks.
Writing about your business for press release sites is another good way to build quality inbound links. Write an interesting, newsworthy piece of content and submit to a high-authority press release site.
Share your knowledge
Sharing your knowledge with others is the best way to get backlinks and authority for your site. Participate in discussion forums and Q&A sites like Quora, share your valuable tips and strategies with their users, comment on high-authority blogs within your niche, and share your views with their readers. Don’t be afraid about giving away your knowledge for free. This will help you earn some backlinks as well as getting you recognized as an expert in your niche.
Inbound and outbound links are both important when it comes to ranking higher in search engines. Make sure you build a proper balance between the two.
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