External links are very important for many reasons, SEO not being the least of them. Something I don’t do nearly enough is link to other bloggers. I know I should but I don’t because I don’t have the time to do it properly. There are many really good reasons why we as bloggers should link to not only our fellow bloggers but to any relevant site that adds value to our post.
The Importance Of External Links
Even though this fact has been out since February of this year I’ve only just come about it today. It was a video of Matt Cutts answers the following question.
Hi Matt, does the big G have a version of the search engine that totally excludes any backlink relevance? I’m wondering what search would look like and am curious to try it out.
Matt Cutts And External Links
We don’t have a version like that that is exposed to the public, but we have run experiments like that internally, and the quality looks much, much worse, It turns out backlinks, even though there’s some noise, and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really, really big win in terms of quality for search results.”
“We’ve played around with the idea of turning off back link relevance, and at least for now, backlink relevance still really helps in terms of making sure we return the best, most relevant, most topical set of search results.
Now I know Matt is talking about backlinks but as far as I’m concerned backlinks and external links are the same thing. They’re both pointing from one site to another. Without external links search engines would find it extremely difficult to find relevant information for it’s myriad of users. Google is trying to find a way of doing it but so far is failing.
That is why linking to other bloggers, especially if it adds value to your blog is a great for SEO. Google needs and wants to know what you think is important and relevant because if it’s important to you it’s probably important to others as well.
That’s also why Google hates paid posts. Links within paid posts have little or no value, especially if the link has nothing to do with your post and is only there to fool the search engines.
That’s also why Google now looks less favourably on guest posts as it once used to. There are too many people out there writing guest posts for the sole reason to get links back to a particular site.
Remember how at the beginning of the post I said the reason I don’t link to other bloggers is because I don’t have the time to do it properly? This means that it takes time to find relevant sites to link to. You can’t just link to any site. As far as Google is concerned that is a waste of it’s time. If it’s going to follow a link then it should be adding something to the post not just sending it off on and irrelevant tangent.
Are you taking the time to make sure your external links are relevant to your post?