Outbound Links Tutorial

Outbound links

Why are outbound links good for SEO?

Quick Answer: Outbound links are important for your SEO because they increase the relevance of your website. They also help search engines determine how useful and helpful your pages are. This is because they provide trail of crumbs that allow search engine algorithms to process what you do, and the industry you’re in.


You’ve got a link here and a link there. The internet is full of links. Each time you click a link, chances are, it means you’re traveling from a certain webpage to another. In SEO, understanding the outbound link is one step forward for your on-site optimization. I’ll also be talking about hidden keywords in your links below. This is a Tutorial for Outbound Links

Going out of your way

Outbound links are links that are meant to take you elsewhere. These are links that are going to direct you to another specific webpage or website altogether. Most, if not all, websites have outbound links.

Two sides of a coin

There are two (2) kinds of outbound links. There is the nofollow link and the dofollow link.

The dofollow link is the normal link. It is the default link. The common link. The normal link. You don’t have to add to the code, you don’t have to change anything. Just make a link and it’s automatically a dofollow link. A dofollow link is what every link should be like. It passes on Google PageRank juice from your webpage to the targeted webpage.

A nofollow link is the abnormal link. It does not pass on any Google PageRank juice to the targeted webpage but instead, it blocks off the Google PageRank flow. A nofollow link has a rel=”nofollow” tag inside the code. This tag says to the Google spider ‘not to follow’ the link.

Why do you add a nofollow tag to a link?

Adding a nofollow tag stops the search spider from crawling that targeted webpage. Most webmasters do this when they do not want to give out Google PageRank juice to the targeted webpage.

For example, I need to link to Facebook to advertise my Facebook page. Since Facebook already has millions of incoming links to it and my link towards Facebook would make minimal difference, I decide not to give it any PageRank juice so that I can keep some for myself. So I add the nofollow tag to my link which makes it look like this:

<a href=”http://www.facebook.com/SEOHacker” rel=”nofollow”> Join the SEO Hacker Facebook Page</a>

That’s the only reason why I put in nofollow tags. Otherwise, if I want to cite out a specific source of relevant information, I give out dofollow links because:

  1. It is only right to do so
  2. It makes Google recognize you as a hub of that specific resource – which makes you rank higher in the long run
  3. The webmaster of the target webpage might recognize you and perhaps link back to you

Don’t use nofollow tag for every outbound link because nofollow tags still deduct some Google PageRank juice from your webpage even if it gives none to your targeted webpage. It’s a lose-lose scenario. Play fair. Give out dofollows if the target webpage deserves it.

Where are you going?

An anchor text is used to describe a link. In fact, it is nearly the only description of your link that users will see. These are the underlined texts highlighted in blue (in most cases) that are clickable. Anchor texts are used to describe a link – which means that it is also used as keywords of that targeted webpage.

A good anchor text from another webpage is important to support your keywords. A link with the right anchor text could greatly boost the search engine’s  awareness of your webpage’s keywords. If ever you would have the chance to get a link from another blogger, keep in mind that the anchor text he/she will give you can help your webpage/site to rank higher with your target keywords if you let him/her use it as the anchor text.

Hidden Keywords

The Anchor Title attribute of a link is one of the neglected attributes. It is an attribute that can hold your keyword inside but more importantly, it is an attribute that helps people know more about the target webpage you’re pointing out to. Not many people give notice to the title attribute since it is not practiced by many. But that’s exactly why you should keep your title attributes up to date – because it’s an edge you can use.

The code for the title attribute is  title=”insert title here”

For example:

<a href=”https://seo-hacker.com” title=”SEO for beginners”> Learn SEO in simple terms</a>

Tips for Keeps: Be mindful of your outbound links. Add the nofollow attribute when necessary. Otherwise, give some link love. Take the time to write out a good anchor text and anchor title for other people’s benefit. You’ll never know who might return the favor.

This entry is part of the SEO Hacker School series: Complete On Site Optimization Tutorial

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Sean Si

About Sean

is a Filipino motivational speaker and a Leadership Speaker in the Philippines. He is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. He does SEO Services for companies in the Philippines and Abroad. Connect with him at Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out his new project, Aquascape Philippines.