Are outbound links and clicks bad for SEO?

I’ve been working in SEO for over 20 years at this point (eeek, I know). And if there’s one single true takeaway from all that time, its this: there’s so much myth and disinformation out there, it’s unreal.

One of the biggest myths out there: linking to other web pages might hurt your own page or post by losing ‘page rank juice’ or some other such silly phrase. The notion goes there exists some magical ‘link juice’ that flows like an ever decreasing nectar from page to page, lessened through link after link. Don’t let the precious juice flow away some shout!

Forgetting the fact I run many websites myself that have pages that are nothing more than (invaluable to end users) link indexes (that rank REALLy well) lets look how silly the argument is:

Google knows how the web works

Right? They know that the nature of the web is interconnected pages and posts. They themselves started their business by crawling the web through links. They still do that to this day, though the nature of that has changed a little bit. Google have repeatedly underscored that they know how the web works, and how users interact with it – for example.

Google wants to encourage the web to keep working

If Google really penalized websites for linking out to other websites – and that knowledge was confirmed – the whole web would de-link overnight. What? This is hurting my SEO? KILL ALL THE LINKS!!! It just doesn’t make sense.

Why wouldn’t you link out?

You can’t be all things to all people. Let’s say you are car dealer. You want to give your clients a little more information about the manufacturer of certain models you’re selling – it doesn’t make sense that you’d start to build our detailed company history’s of ever manufacturer on your site. You’d probably link to a wikipedia article on Ford Motor Co than rewrite the history on your own page right?

Link to high quality sources

With that in mind – make sure when you link – you link to quality websites. Don’t link to anywhere and everywhere. Be selective, be smart, link when it makes sense as added value to the reader of your page; and make sure when you link that website is authoritative on the matter.

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