Outbound linking is the process of linking to a site outside of your website.
With an outbound link, you are actually sending your visitor away from your website. Website owners have different opinions about outbound link building.
There is a risk of losing time and money when you engage in outbound link building, webmasters who are opposed to this method argue. But those who favor the idea of outbound link building assert that it is not always the case because referencing to high quality websites actually increases your website’s value and makes it more enticing to search engines.
In order to help in determining the real impact of outbound link building, here are its pros and cons for your evaluation:
The Pros of Outbound Linking
1. It builds a relationship with other sites
The greatest benefit that outbound linking can possibly bring to your website is the relationship it could build with the website it is linking to. By the principle of reciprocation, there’s a possibility that the other sites will provide your website with inbound links in the future.
One thing you should remember though is that outbound linking is different from link exchange. Search engines nowadays consider the practice of link-for-link exchange as black hat. A website making an outbound link should not expect links from any website it is linking to; it is just making that link as a supplement to its own content. But there’s actually a fine line that separates outbound linking from link exchange.
2. It provides help to your readers
When you create a link from your website or blog to any other website that take on the same niche as you do, you are actually strengthening your own credibility to your readers. This will lead to trust which can turn your website into a valuable resource for them.
Even if your outbound link is driving your readers away from your site, the mere knowledge that your website knows what it is talking about will always lead people back to it for more information.
The Cons of Outbound Linking
1. It drives your readers out
There’s no argument to it; each outbound link is a way out for your readers to disappear after all the hard work you’ve done to get them into your site.
While some of them might come back, there is no guarantee that it will happen because it is beyond your control. Besides, there is much disorder on the web that can distract them and keep them away for good. It is common knowledge that website users have very little attention span; you can actually lose your visitors even with a small amount of distraction.
2. Other sites are beyond your control
Another risk involved in outbound linking is the fact that the sites that you are linking to is out of your control. Anytime, those sites can be removed, rebranded, moved or deleted. An outbound link leading to any of these sites is a minus to yours.
Now, you already know the benefits and risks of outbound linking. Engaging in this process is totally up to you. If you decide to engage in this practice, you must link only to reliable websites. But you must also be ready to face the consequence of losing your reader once you give them a way out.