Linking Out: Good for SEO? #AskGoogleWebmasters


In this first episode of #AskGoogleWebmasters, John Mueller explains if linking to other websites helps or hurts SEO and what to watch out for if linking out.


30 replies
  1. zebnat
    zebnat says:

    If you think about your users…
    1. Linking them to relevant content YOU HOST. You will control everything, content quality, updates to that content, performance…
    2. Linking them to third party relevant content you don't host. You can't control performance or updates.
    3. Not linking them anything of value. Your uses will not enjoy your page.

    First of all, users will not care too much if that link is thirdparty or not if they can just go back to your site using the back button but sure its not the perfect thing to do.

    Google still uses links as a metric. it's not a strong metric like before but they really need you to put follow links in your pages or else they will consider all links (follow or nofollow) as equal. Having said that, even if linking to a thirdparty hurts you a bit in DARK EDGY SEO ALGORITHM METRIC you will get a push from the USER EXPERIENCE ALGORITHM METRIC. Also, those users will be happier and may leave links to your site, or just come back tomorrow.

    You are overthinking SEO. Think about users for longterm. Hosting all the content by yourself is a longterm goal but making users happy is your PRIMARY goal.

  2. Derek Booth
    Derek Booth says:

    Looks like linking to other websites like the SEO experts do is a great way to help you rank. I wonder would this even include phrases such as SEO Chester or SEO Warrington as an example.

  3. Martin Zanichelli
    Martin Zanichelli says:

    TRANSLATION FROM GOOGLITSCH TO ENGLISH: Yes, it helps as you provide a valuable service to your readers furnishing them to a website with recognizable content and provides the recipient with link equity. Avoid "dofollow" attribute if you are paid or it it is link exchange as these practices are prohibited.

  4. David S Freid
    David S Freid says:

    Looking forward to future videos that will help us, the viewers to better understand how to better our online visibility in Google SERPs. My personal take from this video was that "linking out" is good for SEO after considering whether a no-follow should be used, and several other considerations. i.e. whether the link points to "secure content" is one example. Thank's for your share…

  5. Allan Shaw
    Allan Shaw says:

    A great video doesn't explain why Google is not doing anything about webspam in the carpet cleaning niche in Australia or other niches. If you google this long-tail keyword "blood carpet cleaning deagon " I know it is not a very competitive keyword. One company has around seven of there sites on the front page. They are all different sites but it doesn't take much investigation to see that they are the same company. They all have the same MO they use a few articles and then use them on hundreds of pages on the site only changing the suburb. The point I'm making is this company makes Google look like a fool. Saying build good content then Google doesn't do anything about that bad content.

  6. Daryl Chambers
    Daryl Chambers says:

    G'day John. Long time no speak. Volvox777 here.

    For those complaining that the video did not answer the question…you need to learn how to understand Google-speak. Yes – linking to relevant content does help your ranking but the specifics of how, how much and even an unconditional "yes" is not something you should expect to hear from John…but if you can "read between the lines" so to speak I am sure you will find these videos very helpful.

    Reading between the lines I understand what John is saying to be – think about your site visitors. Does the link benefit them? If the answer is yes then you have your answer as to whether you should include that link but the amount of boost this might provide your rankings is difficult to quantify because each search can be so different.

    For broad searches, you can be sure that linking to "authoritative" content will help Google do a better job of identifying the best results…so if your link benefits your visitors and is of altruistic benefit to the online community at large I would say include the link and trust that Karma will look out for you even if Google doesn't.

    For further reading on how your link might help Google see here:

  7. Conor Treacy
    Conor Treacy says:

    Answered, but not answered. Does it help SEO?

    Sure, bad links don't help, and linking to relevant content is helpful to the user, but does it specifically help SEO Ranking?

    Do outbound links help the ranking of a page specifically? That question doesn't seem to have been answered.

  8. Aktienfinder
    Aktienfinder says:

    Did Google react to the fact that many relevant links are set "nofollow" automatically by CMS like WordPress (since version 4.7.4) when authors decide to open the link in a new tab (target="_blank")? I mean, Google should be able to qualify the quality of the link by metrics like placement of the link (side bar or inside article), the quality of reference on its own, etc.


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