Debunking The SEO Myth About Outbound Linking

You probably already know that linking is an important component of SEO. Strategic internal linking makes your addiction treatment center’s site easier for search engine algorithms to crawl and communicate which keywords your site should rank for. 

Of course, external linking is also valuable. If authoritative sites with high traffic—for instance, those providing rankings of the best addiction treatment centers—link to your site, your ranking on the search engine results page (SERP) will improve

Does Including External Links Improve Your Website’s Ranking?

The links to other sites you include in your articles, known as outbound links, can help your SEO as well.1 The question is, which websites should you be linking to? One popular method suggests linking to credible sites with high SERP rankings to improve your own placement.2 The logic here is essentially that you can borrow another site’s popularity.

You might think this makes sense, but it’s actually a myth! This type of linking isn’t a viable strategy for improving your site’s rank—at least not directly. Remember, though, your SEO definitely gets a boost when those high-ranking sites link back to yours. 

While this linking myth is intuitively believable, the truth ultimately makes more sense. Search engine algorithms are designed to direct users to the sites they’re most interested in seeing. These algorithms use many different heuristics to make informed guesses, including traffic volume, keywords, and inbound linking. Each metric is an indirect measure of a site’s usefulness and appeal. 

Outbound links to other authoritative sites simply aren’t a good way to measure the value of your website. Rather, you should focus on strong SEO foundations, such as choosing the right keywords and obtaining legitimate backlinks.

Should You Still Use Outbound Links?

While outbound linking isn’t the one-stop solution many believe, this strategy still plays a role in improving your addiction treatment center’s visibility on the web. External links to credible websites might not appeal to search engine algorithms, but your site’s human visitors may feel differently

Citing your facts and giving readers the chance to verify your claims about addiction treatment so they can read more about what interests them is an excellent practice. But linking this way is only helpful if you’re pointing users to truly relevant websites—like a scholarly article that reinforces your approach to addiction treatment. Avoid linking to big-name sites just for the sake of linking. This delivers no value to your users and is simply a waste of time. 

When outbound linking improves the user experience of your site, you’ll see a greater number of repeat visitors. In turn, this makes your site more attractive to search engines and more competitive with those of other addiction treatment centers.3

Outbound links also help you get backlinks. Notably, sites you link to are more likely to return the favor by linking back to yours.4 Here too, the relevance of the linked site is key. 

A website focused on health care with articles discussing addiction treatment options might want to link to your site if they view your center as a good example of the ideas they discuss. They’re even more likely to link to your site if you’ve cited one of their articles first. 

When it comes to best practices for SEO, sorting fact from fiction is tricky. An addiction treatment digital marketing agency helps you improve your marketing and linking strategy. Dreamscape Marketing can help. Call us at 888.307.7304 to schedule a discovery session and learn more about how we can help you optimize your addiction treatment center’s website.



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