Developing a Link Strategy For
Helping Boost Your Pages'
Paul Smithson - 28th October
people aren’t aware that outbound links can have a major
impact on how well their site ranks with
Understanding how outbound links work with
regards to Google PageRank is very important and a much
under-used strategy for gaining search engine dominance. Using
improper linking can cause what is known as unnecessary
PageRank bleed, which results in links sending less PageRank to
the pages you really want to send it to!
Sounds complicated? Let me explain this in
We’re going to use a hypothetical situation
here, because no one outside of Google can be certain of
exactly how Google uses Page Rank.
Let’s say your page has 100 points of
PageRank value (PR) to spread around. If you have ten
links on your page, you can pass ten points of PR to each page
you’re linking to.
If you have 100 links on the page, you can
only pass one point to each link! Remember, internal
links also pass PageRank, so you don’t want to bleed too much
of your PR into your outbound links. You should conserve as
much PR as possible to be passed on to your own internal pages,
and to other sites you own.
Let’s say you’re citing a few resources as
references in an article you’re putting on your site. You might
not want to pass any of your valuable PageRank to these
sources, because this does nothing for
The only exception would be if you were
linking to an authority site with a good PageRank, because it’s
theorized that linking out to quality sites also gives you
credibility in the eyes of the search
But if you’re linking to sites that aren’t
of the highest quality, you can prevent the bleeding of PR to
these pages by using the nofollow attribute on these outbound
links. Using nofollow will cause most search engines to
ignore that link as if it doesn’t exist at
If you use a web site builder such as
XSitePro you will often find powerful nofollow features that
allow you to set the nofollow on an individual link basis, on a
navigation menu level, or on a global level.
You may be tempted to use the nofollow
attribute on links that you send out to traffic trade partners,
but this is deceptive. It’s not considered good form to
do this, because one of the main purposes of reciprocal linking
is to gain backlinks.
If they’re linking to you properly, and
you’re linking to them with the nofollow tag, then they’re
getting no real value from your link to them. If you’re
trading links with other sites and you intend to use the
nofollow tag on these links, it’s important to state this up
front. Some sites won’t want to exchange links if you do
this, so keep that in mind.
Something else worth paying attention to is
where links appear on your page. If you want to be sure to pass
along as much PR as possible to a certain link, you should make
sure that link is not in a long list of links with no other
text between them. Search engines see long lists of nothing but
links as being a bit spammy, so they tend to weigh these links
with less importance. A link that is inside a paragraph of text
is typically given more weight, because it looks like a more
natural link. It looks like a news site citing a reference, or
a writer linking to a particular resource.
By being careful with your outbound linking
strategy, you can maximize the PageRank that’s sent to the
pages you really care about, while minimizing the bleed of PR
to pages you don’t. This is why it is so important to
carefully plan your outbound links.
About Paul Smithson -
Paul Smithson is the founder of Intellimon and the driving
force behind the best-selling XSitePro web site development
tool. Since graduating in Business Strategy and Direct
Marketing from two of Europe’s leading business schools, Paul
has set up five multi-million dollar companies, one of which is
now owned by the BBC. His areas of expertise include business
strategy, e-commerce, on-line and off-line marketing, software
development, and maximizing the potential of on-line
For more information about
this, and many other Internet Marketing-related
topics, visit Paul Smithson's site,