External links are an easy but important SEO tool that you should be using on your blog to improve SEO and build your site's authority.
What are external links?
External links direct your blog readers from your blog post or website to another blog or website outside of your domain. Hence, external links are the opposite of internal links.
Will External Links Hurt Your Blog?
This is a great question because as a blogger it's logical that you want to keep your readers on YOUR blog and reading your posts instead of sending them off to another blog that may be owned by a direct competitor.
However, according to Yoast, there's a good reason to include at least one external link in your blog posts.
By including external links in your posts and on your pages you're helping search engines like Google and Bing to connect your blog to another related blog and so on and eventually these external links help to expand the web of related sites with high-quality content and make the internet and finding good content better for everyone, including you.
So, external links improve your blog. Let's dig a little deeper into that.
External Links Improve Your Blog's SEO And Authority.
Optimizing your blog for search engines is vital to growing your readership and turning your blog into a passive income generating property.
Think about your own experience when reading other blogs.
Imagine you've done a search for the answer to a specific question you have about blogging. You find a post that answers the question you asked, but from that post the blogger also includes external links to another site where you can find more information on the topic.
You click on the link and end up reading more about the topic you've been looking for information about.
Do you have a lesser opinion of the blogger who sent you to that additional site?
Or are you thankful to her or him for helping you find more information on the topic?
You're definitely going to be thankful that she provided an external link so you can learn more, right? By doing that, she's increased her authority in your eyes because she's already done research on the topic you're looking for answers to and has been instrumental in helping you get as much information as possible on it.
This example highlights that external links improve your blog.
External Links Improve Your Blog's E-A-T Rating
What is E-A-T?
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness and is one of the factors that Google use to measure the quality of a blog or webpage. You can read more about E-A-T in Google's Search Quality Rater Guidelines.
I'm not going to go into any depth here about E-A-T as that's not the purpose of this post.
Suffice it to say though, how your blog's content is viewed by Google and other search engines is important if you want your blog to rank well so you can increase traffic to your blog.
Your blog posts must
When it comes to expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, you must ensure that your blog posts:
- are high-quality.
- provide value to readers.
- answer the questions that people are asking online.
- educate readers with factual information.
- help readers solve problems, achieve goals, or overcome challenges.
And in your efforts to achieve the above with your blog posts, external links are an important factor.
Google Says External Links Improve Your Blog's SEO and Authority
In the video below from Ask Google Webmasters, John Mueller states:
“Linking to other websites is a great way to provide value to your users. Often times, links help users to find out more, to check out your sources and to better understand how your content is relevant to the questions that they have.”
There is a caution here though. Be sure that you're linking out to sites that add more context or additional value to your readers. Is the external link taking your reader to another blog post or site with relevant and high-quality information?
If so, then no problems. Those kinds of external links improve your blog's SEO and authority.
How Many External Links Are Needed In Each Blog Post?
Based on my own research and my own use of external links, experts suggest approximately 3 external links per one thousand words of content.
You'll notice in this post that I've included 3 external links to highly valuable information on this very topic. So, don't overdo the external linking and at the same time remember to link to highly valuable and relevant sites to help your readers.
- external links improve your blog's SEO and authority.
- external links improve your blog's E-A-T rating.
- Google encourages external links to improve your blog's SEO and authority.
- experts recommend including approximately three links per one thousand words.
There you have it. Go forth and begin linking. And have fun doing it.