What is an outbound link penalty and how can you avoid it?

Did you know that Google can penalize your website if you link to the wrong pages? Your website might be penalized because of some links to other websites, even if you did not add these links intentionally to your site.

outbound link penalty

What is an outbound link penalty?

If Google detects many links to spam pages on your website, Google can think that your website is a source of spam and your website will be penalized.

This can be a site-wide penalty (all pages of your website will be penalized), and it can be a page penalty (only the page with the spam links will be penalized).

Penalized websites and pages do not get high rankings in Google’s search results.

How can you avoid an outbound link penalty?

Avoiding an outbound link penalty is easy:

1. Do not link to spam websites

If a website is obviously trying to deceive search engines and/or customers then do not link to that website. In addition, do not link to websites that offer tools and services that help you to deceive your customers and/or search engines.

2. Be careful with links in user created content

If your website offers a public forum or public comments, make sure that the links that your website users post in the forum and the comments use the rel=nofollow tag.

You can also disable links to other websites at all and display URLs as plain text in user comments.

3. If you allow guest posts on your website, check the links

Of course, a guest post can contain links to other websites. However, you should check these links to make sure that the guest posts do not contain links to spam sites.

4. Do not add paid links to your website

If the other website offers some kind of compensation for the link (money, goods or services), Google might think that the link is a paid link. That’s not good and it can trigger a penalty.

Don’t forget: linking to other websites is good

Links to other sites add value to your website. The websites to which you link help your website visitors to put your website into a larger context.

If you link to high-quality sites with useful content, web surfers will associate your website with these high-quality sites.

If you do not link to other websites then you simply send your visitors back to search engines. Carefully chosen links to outside resources can improve the experience of the visitors who visit your website.

The links to other websites are only a minor factor that influences how your web pages are ranked on Google. The Top 10 Optimizer in SEOprofiler analyzes many more factors and it helps you to make sure that your website gets first page rankings. If you haven’t done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

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Tom Cassy

Tom Cassy is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at “http://blog.seoprofiler.com”.