The discussion about should you link to other sites can now be closed. A company named Reboot SEO & Marketing conducted a structured study on the effect of external (or outbound links) on the ranking of the content containing the outbound links.
A link to their published results can be found in their article titled….. Research Proves Positive Effects Of Outgoing Links.
This post is a summary of how they performed their test for those of you who want a brief summary.
They created 2 meaningless terms as names for new beauty products. Both names were confirmed to produce zero search results. The terms are: Phylandocic and Ancludixis.
They purchased 10 meaningless domain names so the age of the domains would not influence the study results.
They published the same number of equivalent articles on each of the 10 websites, with the articles being structured the same in terms of frequency of keyword usage, placement of keyword within the articles, etc.
Each of the articles referenced 2 leading university websites and one website related to genomic research.
5 of the 10 sites contained links to the 3 referenced websites, the other 5 sites contained references to the 3 sites that were not linked.
The links originated from phrases containing the word phylandocic. The word ancludixis was never linked out. This was done to provide a control group phrase.
After 5 months the result was clear.
The sites with the external links significantly outranked the sites without the external links.
External links matter!
The absence of external links in your website content will cost you dearly.
Learn more….SEO Needs Link Building