Ever since I started blogging a few years ago, the topic of linking out has been a common source of debate. On one hand, you have people who swear that linking out causes you to lose link juice and drop in the search engine rankings (more on this later). On the other hand, there are people (including me) who believe that linking out is a powerful tool for blog promotion and that it’s something all bloggers should be doing.
Below are the top 6 reasons you should be linking out.
- It puts you on their radar—Any time you drop a link to another blog, a trackback is sent to that blogger. This lets them know that you linked to them. Chances are that when they see this, they’ll come check out your post to see why you linked to them and what you had to say. Now, you’re on their radar. This means they’re likelier to return the favor by linking to you at some point in the future, and this could even open the door for future guest blogging and promotion opportunities.
- It lets your readers know you’re giving them the full story—As a blogger, it should be your goal to turn your blog into the leading resource in your niche. You want people to instantly think of you when they’re looking for news and information related to the topic you cover. And while providing quality content is one way to achieve this, linking out to other useful posts shows your readers that you’re giving them access to all the top resources from around the web. Don’t worry about losing readers or traffic to other blogs. If your readers know you’ll gather all the best information in one place, they’ll continue to return to you.
- You have to give links to receive links—It’s old but true “You have to give if you want to receive.” This is true for link building as well. Why would other bloggers link to you if you never link out to anyone else? The blogosphere is a community where everyone tries to help each other out. If they see you link out regularly, they’ll be likelier to give you a hand when you need it.
- You bring others into the conversation—I mentioned earlier that whenever you link out to another post that blogger is alerted with a trackback. This means they’ll likely come visit your blog. Many times, they’ll comment on your post. It could be as simple as “Thanks for the link!” or it may be a thoughtful response that adds value to the conversation. This is a great way to get to know the other blogger, and it can keep your comments section active and buzzing.
- You won’t lose rankings by linking out—It’s one of the SEO myths that just never seems to die. Some people swear that if you link out to other blogs your rankings in the search engines will drop. There just isn’t any truth to this. Linking out is natural. It’s expected. When you don’t link out, it looks strange to the search engines. Just make sure you aren’t linking out to spammy sites or bad neighborhoods.
- Link love posts are great for linkbait—Remember back in January when everyone was writing posts like “Top 100 posts of this year”, “Top 50 Blogs to Watch Out for in 2014”, and “Best Blogs of 2014”? Bloggers who did this knew that link love posts are powerful linkbaiting tools. With so many trackbacks, everyone is alerted of the post, and they all help spread the message about it. A good link love post stands a great chance of going viral.
Do you link out to other bloggers? Why or why not?
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