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SEO Article Marketing: I’m A Blog Publisher–Does Linking Out Hurt My Site’s SEO?
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Here is an excellent question I received recently from a blog publisher:

Your article distribution service is certainly a great tool. But what you are offering us blog publishers sounds more like an opportunity to provide out bound links. Correct me if am wrong, but doesn’t that serve us negatively in terms of SEO?

I’m so glad you asked that question. Here’s my answer…

Each blog post we send out provides at max a couple of links to other relevant web pages. One reason blogs tend to do so well with Google and other search engines is because they frequently link out to other relevant web pages, and in doing so they provide more value to the visitor.

Linking out to other **relevant** sites actually improves your SEO because the post provides a more valuable resource for search engines to send traffic to.

The only point at which outbound links are going to tip the balance the other way is if the number of links you have are either excessive or irrelevant – but even with the number of links there are no hard and fast rules, for example some of the highest ranking web pages consist of compiled links to useful relevant resources.

In deciding how a page will rank, it’s the value provided to the visitor that a web page is judged on, along with the web page’s relevancy to a particular query. Links to other relevant resources serve to increase that value to the visitor further.

If you think about it this way, if a visitor was doing a search on Google and clicked through to a blog post with zero outbound links, they are more likely to quickly skim the information and hit the “Back” button and end up back at Google. The speed with which they head back to Google tells Google something, and that is one factor used in determining the relevancy of your web page for that search term.

Let me say that again:

If the searcher finds your website in Google and then immediately turns around and goes back to the drawing board for another search, that info (the speed with which the searcher returns to Google after looking at your site) is used as a factor for SEO.

If on the other hand the blog post had links to other useful resources, the visitor is more likely to click through somewhere else, with a longer window of time before they head back to Google to do another search.

This tells Google that the post with more links was more valuable or useful to the visitor than the one with zero links, with the former likely to rank higher than the latter if all other factors are discounted.

So, first and foremost you want to create a website that serves your readers (your readers are Google’s search customers). Don’t be afraid to link out–if done correctly, it can help your website’s SEO.


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4 Responses to “SEO Article Marketing: I’m A Blog Publisher–Does Linking Out Hurt My Site’s SEO?”

  1. dave says:

    It is a well known fact that Google HATES paid links. Isn’t that what you are doing by having people pay you a member fee and then you provide links?

  2. Steve Shaw says:

    @dave: Hi Dave,

    I’m happy to clarify what our service actually does. People don’t pay us to provide links.

    We are an article distribution service– People pay us to distribute their articles to potential publishers who have indicated that they are interested in articles on certain topics.

    The publishers post the articles that they are interested in and that they consider to be quality content that their readership will value. The publishers are not paid to post articles–they do so because they want to and because they benefit in other ways.

    For example, they benefit by having quality content on their site, by providing content that their readers appreciate, and by (as this post explains) having their blog link out to relevant pages, which helps SEO.

    Each publisher on our list is an independent site owner who selects content that they like. The vast majority of our publishers have specifically requested to receive content from our members, because our site is known for distributing quality content.

    The author of the article ends up building backlinks as a natural side effect of submitting free reprint articles (as well as establishing expertise, building relationships with potential customers, and helping people in their target market), but the emphasis is on natural.

    Our authors work hard to create quality content, to stay in tune with the type of content that their readers will find helpful and that publishers will want to publish on their websites.

    This is not a link exchange or paid link situation.

  3. Two points:

    1. Outbound links manifest your neighborhood and thus, help in your SEO.

    2. This is NOT paid linking. This is rather guest posting in an indirect manner. Trust me, guest posting is going to rule the next century.

  4. Christian Rieger says:

    Thanks for clarifying the value of outgoing links having strength if they go to relevant sites.

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