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  1. rod@missionop.com
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    Outbound Links - Authority Site Linking


    Many SEO firms are stuck on a bad premise - linking out is a bad thing. They believe:

    1. Outgoing links are a drain on their hard fought Google's PageRank (a version of link popularity) development campaigns

    2. Outgoing links reduces ranked positioning is search engines, and

    3. Outgoing links can also give away valuable visitors to other sites

    Some will attempt to protect themselves from these occurrences by using JavaScript on outgoings links (where search engines cannot follow JavaScript) to avoid passing on PageRank. They will use a Meta Robot Tag with "Noindex" (to avoid the page being indexed thus no loss of PageRank) or "Nofollow" (to stop the search engines indexing robot from following these links). They will use their robot.txt to "disallow" search engines from pages with outgoing links on them, so not to have these pages indexed. They will also hide the link � making it appear as simple normal text on the page stopping visitors from easily finding these links.

    Although these firms are successful, their original premise is flawed.

    Google (and other search engines) value outgoing links particular if the "linked to" page is of the same topic as the page being linked. More importantly, your visitors will benefit from such links. If these outgoing links are to an authority site (a trusted source of information e.g. NASA website for the topic of space) you stand an enormous chance of gaining far more than you lose.

    To appreciate how outgoing links can assist your site's ranked position one look beyond "my site" and the site (page) being linked to in order to see the bigger picture. PageRank transfers not just to the "linked to" page (this so-called PageRank drain) but all subsequent links down an endless link path and not just a single path but also millions of endless new links paths as you move further away from your own website.

    Links by Proxy

    By adding a link to an authority site on a related topic, Google immediately recognizes the stature of that link. As many SEO contend � you also transfer PageRank that if no link were present the PageRank would be passed within your website internal links (the so-called PageRank drain).

    If your investigation stops here, it is obvious that no benefits are apparent (if no reciprocal link is return). PageRank is however, "liquid" it follows all available paths every link through a site and out of the site, and to other sites.

    Authority websites have many incoming links they also link appropriately to other authority sites, and sites of lesser authority, thus your passed PageRank (like a river) flows to all of the new sites. In turn, these sites, link to more sites, some of which are lesser of an authority and your passed PageRank continues expanding outwards.

    Most of the fore-mentioned sites additionally, have listings in many directories such as DMOZ.org. DMOZ.org (and others) is considered a hub (an aggregation of topics by linking out to sites deemed to have quality information). As hubs, contain a vast assortment of quality topical information many of the authority sites link to hubs again passing your PageRank on.

    Your PageRank passes through all the naming link conventions (categories) and if you have a listing that PageRank you passed to the authority site comes back to you.

    Additionally, many of the sites along the link upstream also link to hubs for the same reason (more quality information) and your PageRank that followed these paths filter through all the naming link conventions (categories) and again if you have a listing that PageRank you passed comes back to you.

    Additionally, any site that was not even in that authority link upstream yet has a listing in DMOZ.org receives some of your passed PageRank from those authorities linking to DMOZ.org. If these sites have, a link to you that PageRank you passed comes back to you.

    Not forgetting all other major hubs, both general all encompassing directories and specialty topics oriented ones, if any of these authorities sites link to these directories and you are also listed, and/or sites linking to you are listed again your PageRank is passed back to you.

    In my opening comments, "many SEO firms are stuck on a bad premise". I submit that few, if any, have taken the time to investigate all "link paths" to ensure there was nothing "downstream" that sends their PageRank drain back.

    The essence of the World Wide Web is "connecting" and the more you "actually connect to" the more you get in return. The simplicity of the web is "getting linked" and forward thinkers make meaningful linkage, but if you only look at your immediate adjacent returns � you are not seeing the whole picture.
    Last edited by fathom; Jun 16th, 2004 at 11:04 AM.
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    good point, and well said! :smile:
    -
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    EGOL
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    Wow! Thanks fathom!
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    Nice post, thanks for the info!
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    uhh... so... my question is this...

    if i link from site with a PR6 to 2 sites without any other backlinks and PR0's, will my PR6 be effected?

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  11. rod@missionop.com
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    This depends on why the "linked to" site is PR0.

    If penalized - then your "linked from" page will be penalized.

    If because of no inbound links to the PR0 site then no negative affect (a small amount of PageRank would be transferred to the PR0 page - which would not be available for transfer in you site).

    Note: transfer is approximately 85% of built PR divided by the number of links on the "linked from page".

    This however does not have anything to do with Outbound Links to Authority Sites as all of these sites do have high PageRank.
    Last edited by fathom; Aug 2nd, 2003 at 04:34 PM.
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    I am fairly new to the link exchange world and I must say I am a bit confused. If our pages have a good page rank and we link to sites that do not link back and do not have a good page rank, does this negatively affect us? What if we link to sites that are not Authority sites but have a good page rank and they do not return that link? Does this negatively affect us?
    Also, does google care about link organization? For example is it is better to have your link pages list the links in alphabetical order or by category etc? Thanks for your help. I really appreciate your assistance.
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  15. rod@missionop.com
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    Hi karenhudgins and welcome to SEOChat!

    You are almost correct in your thinking.

    I try to look at things as "forward thinking".

    While it is true a no PageRank site/page has no value today, the web evolves, sites evolve, and PageRank evoles all the time.

    You can get a link from a "high PR page" today, and a year from now - their are 1000 links on that page making your link (that could have been a PR5) now worth less than PR1 but more than PR0.

    You could link to a site that does not link back who is PR0 today, but they link to a site and that site links to another and this one actually links back to you. In a year the orignal site goes from PR0 to PR6 and because of the "link path" that now is worth the orginal lose.

    Dont' confuse by original post with this post. An authority site - has much PR, and a recognized industry asset.

    Mostly certainly they link to sites related to that industry and some of those )through link paths) must somewhere get back to you (unless you have no inbound links what-so-ever) but in this case - you would not have PageRank.

    An authority in some industry (these can also be regionally oriented)

    1. space - NASA

    2. oceans - Woods Hole Institution

    3. Tourism - official state/province tourisim sites and/or associations

    4. SEO / SEM - None currently but maybe SEMPO one day

    5. Nearly all governement websites (at varying degrees of authority status)

    6. DMOZ (although really a hub - their status as the leader in the directory community is unchallenged

    8. Software - Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia are a few in their own specific areas.

    Also, does google care about link organization? For example is it is better to have your link pages list the links in alphabetical order or by category etc?
    Not at all. The greater issue is the least amount of links per page (regardless of internal links or external link) the better

    Google says no more than 100 per pages, I attempt to keep to 25 in total and develop site breadth and depth.

    As far as "outgoing links" I stick to a rule - two per page, and no "links page".

    Others will say "this is bad advice" - your choice.
    Last edited by fathom; Aug 29th, 2003 at 01:45 PM.
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    Pretty Long Post. Took time to read. Worth reading. Thanks to fathom and & fathom !!
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    Google (and other search engines) value outgoing links particular if the "linked to" page is of the same topic as the page being linked
    Lots of good points in your post Fathom - but had a question about the comment above.

    Can you explain how Google values outgoing links?
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    Finally someone that makes some sense out of this link exchange mess.
    I really appreciated your topic and conclusion and could not agree more.
    It is funny like many sites PR6 and PR7 have some stupid requests to get a link back from them and later on you simply realize that their link page is a pr0 full of outgoing links.
    Don't waiste your time in link exchanging with High pr with too many outbound links.
    Much better a pr3 with 5 or 6 links than a pr5 or 6 with 100 of links on it.
    The category is only marginal if you consider directories and how do they affect them.
    You can research how important is a link to you by simply typing url:www.yourdoamin.com in google, you will soon realize that the links on the top are the once that weight more than others and many times you will be surprised who is on the top of the list.
    When you make a search on your links google exactly does the same thing for your page as for any search term.
    The most relevant searches will appear on the top.
    Neverless directories are the most important one.

    ohh wait I am building a directory lol.
    What do you think?
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    Linking out to authority sites might create some big problems, imo.
    Increasingly more webmasters are going to link out
    to authority sites. Those sites will get a lot of free links and thus will be even higher in the SERPS. It will become very hard for the new sites and other commercial sites to settle in.
    And also, to what type of authority sites are usually linked to - goverment, education and information sites. Noone will link to his competitor that sells the same things. So this means that commerical sites will go down in SERPS and information sites up.
    It might be a little exaggerated, but one day majority of webmasters know the deal with the authority sites and then it will happen.
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    bbb, I can understand your reasoning. The authority sites are most likely not going anywhere and their stature in the the SERPS will really not change much. I think the key is to link to authority sites that have related content. We have employed this on a few of our sites with very good success...and in a short amount of time. I agree too that it does add some value to your visitor's experience. I used to be of the mindset that you never want to have any outbound links on your site. But, the bottom line is, people are going to keep looking for whatever it is that brought them to your site. You may as well make it a win-win situation as much as you can.
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  27. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by chachi
    But, the bottom line is, people are going to keep looking for whatever it is that brought them to your site. You may as well make it a win-win situation as much as you can.
    Ya know people "don't" think about this or put it into perspective... if you ain't got it, and don't link to it, they go anyway... how foolish is it to think you can stop them -- but not linking! ;)

    Obviously -- risk management is needed but "risk" is usually filled with rewards where "no risk" often has none.

    Great to see that you are one of the envisionaries chachi that can see beyond the cloud of PageRank leak!
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    Thank you for the kind words Fathom. It took a while for me to get to the point where I was comfortable with that mindset. One day I was thinking about landing pages for CPC campaigns and realized that it was so idiotic to not have pages customized or at the very least similar to the search term that brought them there. I think we all (at least I do) get lazy sometimes and just expect other people to do what is easiest for us...so silly. Sending people to the home page and expecting them to search the site for what we know is there is very silly. It really is the little things that count. And for anyone who is reading this and not providing landing pages for their CPC campaigns, you are wasting your time and money.

    It reminded me that people don't wait for much on the internet...I don't. So, if they are going to leave I may as well get something out of it if I can.
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