How your external linking strategy can make or break your SEO success
External linking to related websites is an important factor in crawling and indexing your website. Google highly recommends this activity since it contributes to the greater good of the web. At the same time it establishes you and your website as an authority on the Internet hence, increasing your credibility amongst users. Through external linking, you offer your readers other useful information about topics that are similar to your content. Your generous and high value efforts will keep the readers coming back for more.
One important factor in external linking is the site to which you connect your website. Relevance is the key factor here. Search engines are continuously trying its best to make their search results as accurate and as specific as possible. It’s a simple theory. Let’s say there are two websites that focuses on the same niche, have the same link popularity and have equal number of contents. If the first website has more relevant external links (linking out to websites that have related content), search engines will greatly favour and give advantage to this given site.
Pages that should be linked to your website must be related or those that contain further research that is not only accurate but, on-topic information. These related sites contain articles that you cannot include in your own content for reasons such as copyright and duplicate content issues.
Beware of what search engines call “bad neighbourhood”. These are sites that have adult content, attack sites, link farms and other sites which have irrelevant or no content at all. Thus, it is of vital importance to be aware who you are linking your site to. Make sure that you’re not linking to a penalised website or else, your own site will suffer too. The principle is, if Google sees that you are linking to a site that is weak and/or non-related, it means that your website will be considered weak too.
Never link to an article or a site unless its inclusion is justifiable according to relevance and common sense. The burden of satisfying this justification relies on the person who wants to consider a particular external link. The thing is you can fully control what is flowing in and out of your site. This is the primary reason why Google sanctions you for pointing out to “bad neighbours”. Linking out to a bad site may penalise the page itself or your whole website.