Are Outbound Links Good or Bad For Your Site?
For several years now I’ve maintained that outbound links do not harm a website. What’s more, if you are linking to relevant sites that enhance your own content then you are providing extra high-quality resources for your visitors. The search engines know this, and there is some (minor) evidence that they will reward your site for such practice.
Outbound links will not harm your own page rank — a fear held by many. Outbound links will be harmful if you link to sites in ‘bad neighborhoods’ however, so be careful. ‘Bad neighborhoods’ are sites or groups of sites that practice spammy or other frowned-upon techniques to try to gain an unfair advantage.
A useful rule of thumb when linking out to good content is to see if the site you are considering linking to has page rank — any amount will do really to show that Google does not frown upon it. This does not mean that I would never link to a site with no page rank. If it is a new site with high quality content then it may be that it is simply too recent to have gained any page rank. You have to exercise careful judgement in this.
There’s a useful article on this topic at Outbound Links Controversy.
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