Back to - Website Search Engine Optimization - Part 3
Inbound and Outbound Linking
There are two types of links - inbound and outbound - that have a direct impact on your site’s search ranking relative to other similar sites.
Inbound links, also called “backlinks”, are links to your site found on other websites. Outbound links are links on your site that go to other sites.
Like a popularity contest, the number and quality of backlinks to your website help search engines to determine how important your website is. If a number of high-ranking websites (usually large established brands) have links to your site, your website’s ranking goes up and it appears higher in search results pages. Fortunately the reverse does not apply: if a bunch of lame-duck sites have backlinks to your site, your ranking is unaffected. Search engines know that you cannot control backlinks.
The links to other websites that you include on your site can also affect your search ranking. Search engines see the outbound links you provide as offering value to the user. In this regard, search engines want to share your site with users by boosting your ranking. The rule of thumb is to link out to sites that are credible and are related content wise to yours. Having too many outbound links, however, can make your site look like a link farm (or worse, a spam site) to a search engine. So be careful in the number of outbound links you provide.
Read Next - Website Search Engine Optimization - Part 5