Mythbusting: Linking out to authority (or other) sites does not help rankings

djbaxter

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Google Again Says Linking Out To High Authority Sites Does Not Help With Your Rankings
by Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Roundtable
Dec 30, 2019

Google's John Mueller said again that linking out to high authority web sites does not help you rank better in Google. He said "no" when asked if it is true based on what this graphic says, which is "multiple SEO experiments and studies show that linking out to high-quality resources is correlated with higher rankings."
EM-H4eWU0AUxQIo.jpeg

Read more...
 

Stuart

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After 20 years playing in the search engine space I take anything that any Google mouthpiece says with a great amount of scepticism.

What Google says can be far removed from what really happens and sometimes Google just plain lies.

When Matt Cutts admitted that a few years ago I didn't have to test it, I already knew it to be the truth.
 

Yan Gilbert

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Funny.. here he gives a more nuanced answer from a few years ago...


Question:
External links from your site to other sites..is that a ranking factor? Or does "nofollow" eliminate this small ranking factor for pages which only have no-follow links?
Answer:
Our point of view, external links to other sites, so links from your site to other people’s sites isn’t specifically a ranking factor. But it can bring value to your content and that in turn can be relevant for us in search. And whether or not they are not followed, doesn’t really matter.

 

Conor Treacy

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We've always followed the rule that if it provides useful information to our user/visitor, then we should link to it.

Google pretty much says the same in that they want to provide the best information to their searcher and end user experience. So linking OUT and not hording all the links, is usually good.
 

djbaxter

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Funny.. here he gives a more nuanced answer from a few years ago...
I don't see that as nuanced. The question in the OP was will linking out help you rank better. The question address in your quoted post was will it add value to your page content.

Two different questions. Two different answers. No contradiction at all IMO.
 

Yan Gilbert

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The question was the same, he answered differently. One was a hard 'no', and the other was 'no, not directly'. Maybe he is trying to simplify his answers, but as @Stuart adds and most of the comments on the actual article show, the damage is done as far as credibility. Basically we have to test everything regardless the answers at this point.
 

djbaxter

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The question was the same, he answered differently. One was a hard 'no', and the other was 'no, not directly'. Maybe he is trying to simplify his answers, but as @Stuart adds and most of the comments on the actual article show, the damage is done as far as credibility. Basically we have to test everything regardless the answers at this point.
No. Not really.

From Barry's article:

Google's John Mueller said again that linking out to high authority web sites does not help you rank better in Google.
From your post:

links from your site to other people’s sites isn’t specifically a ranking factor.
In both cases, the answer is it's not a ranking factor.

Added: You may want to jump on the word "specifically" but if you read John Mueller or watch his videos you'll not that it's a word he often uses as a "filler", the way some people use "literally". Remember that English is not John's first language.
 

innateseo

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It helps to cite, especially when referencing content. It will make your content look more legitimate both from a robot and human perspective.

I would not link out for the sake of just linking out, you will lose link juice.

Also be sure to utilize "no-follow" tags on the links.
 

keyserholiday

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How do you measure link juice? I am curious how you can see an increase and decrease in it.
 

djbaxter

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You don't lose "link juice" by linking out. All that happens as you add more external links is that the amount of "link juice" you can pass to each of those external sites decreases.

You can see this in the old original PageRank patents. To simplify, the amount of PR a page can pass to another page can be approximated as

PR passed to outgoing link = .85 * (PR of original page / total # outgoing links on original including internal navigation links)

Of course, in the real world things are much more complicated but you are not losing anything in terms of PR by having outgoing links on a page. You're just diluting how much PR you are passing to each of those links.

See




Outbound links do not increase PageRank. They do "pass" PageRank to the pages they link to, but they don't "take it away" from the page the link is on .

Matt Cutts also reminds folks that a [the amount of] PageRank [your page can pass to another page] is divided by the number of outbound links. Thus, the more outbound links you have, the less PageRank gets passed to each individual link
 
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The backwards notion of linking out to high authority sites to rank better is really obscene if you think about it. If this is your mindset then you are not considering the user at all. Link to sources that provide further value to your reader. Forget the rest, end of story.
 

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