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Google: Outbound Links Are NOT A Ranking Factor

  1. janderson99 profile image87
    janderson99posted 8 months ago

    "John Mueller said that external links, links on your web site that point to outside web sites (or outbound links) are not a ranking signal. Just to be clear, links are a ranking factor - but you linking out to other sites doesn't help you rank better. He said the content you use for the link anchor, is content, and content is a ranking signal. But the link itself is not a ranking factor.
    The question:
    External linking from your own pages to other sites seem to be one of the 200 ranking factors. Does Google consider external links even if they are nofollowed? Or does "nofollow" eliminate this small ranking factor for pages which only have no-follow links?
    The answer:
    Our point of view, external links to other sites, so links from your site to other people’s sites isn’t specifically a ranking factor. But it can bring value to your content and that in turn can be relevant for us in search. And whether or not they are not followed, doesn’t really matter."

    https://www.seroundtable.com/google-say … 21545.html

    So why does HP make such a fuss about external links and de-index pages, including no-follow if hubber score less than 85?

    1. Will Apse profile image90
      Will Apseposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      One reason is to deter those people who only come here to link to other sites. They usually offer very thin content and then throw in their links. Many of those kinds of page and the whole site looks like a
      link farm.

    2. relache profile image87
      relacheposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      Because outbound linking has a lot to do with sales, and HubPages has always wanted the web reader to end up here and be active here, as opposed to being sent to a site where they get no cut of the more lucrative, direct sales action.

      They didn't want us making pages here that sent people somewhere else, and they emphasized that once those readers/visitors got here, they should go shopping. 

      Until of course, they decided that having direct sales as an end goal had to go.  And never replaced it with anything as functional.

      By killing all the retail on this site, and by not ever creating any other tools for the content creators to make any end-goal other than sales a viable return for their efforts, this site no longer serves economically-valid purposes.

      1. Will Apse profile image90
        Will Apseposted 8 months ago in reply to this

        Is there any chance of someone explaining what this means (preferably with concrete examples)?

        1. Solaras profile image91
          Solarasposted 8 months ago in reply to this

          LOL - I thought I could not understand it because I had not been here long enough to know how things used to be.

          1. Marisa Wright profile image92
            Marisa Wrightposted 8 months ago in reply to this

            She means that HubPages has always discouraged affiliate links, because HP gets no commission on those links.   They wanted us to use their Amazon or eBay programs instead, which they do earn commission on. 

            The silly thing is that now, they still discourage affiliate links - for no apparent reason.   Because they're forcing us to remove Amazon and eBay capsules, they no longer get any benefit from denying us the chance to make sales for ourselves. 

            Though I should say, I've always understood outbound links CAN be a ranking factor IF they are irrelevant to the topic of the Hub - which is why products need to be chosen very carefully.

            1. Will Apse profile image90
              Will Apseposted 8 months ago in reply to this

              You keep saying the same old things, Marisa. Times have changed. I can't remember the last time I saw an affiliate link on a site outside of hubpages, unless I was actually searching for a product or a product comparison. You need to take on board how much people hate ads, marketing and sale speak and how far Google will go to accommodate its users tastes.

              1. psycheskinner profile image81
                psycheskinnerposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                That's funny because I see them all over the place.  If it is the kind of site that is going to link to a product at all--about half the time it is an affiliate link.

                And what Google is trying to do is get people to look at ads.  So their only real goal is to get people to not hate them.

              2. Marisa Wright profile image92
                Marisa Wrightposted 8 months ago in reply to this

                Like Psycheskinner, I see them on plenty of sites so I'm not sure what you mean. 

                Leaving aside the fact that my own sites, which have plenty of affiliate links, are still chugging along in spite of me rarely adding any new posts - and in fact, one surprised me by suddenly doubling its annual income last year.

    3. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image96
      TIMETRAVELER2posted 8 months ago in reply to this

      Because they do not want you sending people away from this site.  It makes perfect business sense.

  2. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 8 months ago

    All I can say, as someone who is hardly an SEO expert is: Well duh.

    I never heard anyone with any real expertise say that outwards do-follow links did anything but slightly bleed (lower) your rank when you did it excessively.

  3. Solaras profile image91
    Solarasposted 8 months ago

    I would like to hear Making a Mark weigh in on this.  Seems her very successful articles are "curated links to other sites." These articles, as I understand it, a resources for where to go to find the best info on X.  Apparently Google likes this a lot, and send her a lot of traffic.

    1. makingamark profile image77
      makingamarkposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      Curating information was the "thing to do" when people became swamped with too much information around about 5-6 years ago. It has of course only got worse since then. Plus a number of the big corporates have learned how to "wangle" the so-called user review sites. Hence the independent reviewer has scope to do well.

      I've also got a blog with 8.6 million pageviews where every blog post is loaded down with links to more information.  It's never ever done the blog any harm - quite the reverse!

      I tell people where they can find more information about a topic BECAUSE they will come back to me when they want to find out more about another topic.

      My lenses - now hubs - became the repositories of all the links in a summarised form when I tackled a subject - and they did very well - until they got rehomed at HubPages which refuses to have more than two links to the same domain. However they're now on the move again - and gathering back the Google traffic which it enjoyed before - and more besides!

  4. makingamark profile image77
    makingamarkposted 8 months ago

    The thing is HubPages has never been able to identify and differentiate an affiliate link from a resource link (i.e. here's information which is useful that happens to be elsewhere).

    It has absolutely no concept of the notion that people will come back to the author because they are a good curator and resource who knows where good information lies on the Internet

    It assumes too much linking out automatically means you must have an affiliate relationship even if you have no affiliate relationships and never have had (like me). It labels everything as "overly promotional" on assumptions and not evidence.

    The HubPage strategy on links is pitiful and not based in fact

    It's why my hubs which did so well on Squidoo - and were nobbled as soon as they came to HubPages (ie unpublished) - do so well and get masses of Google traffic when moved elsewhere.

  5. Will Apse profile image90
    Will Apseposted 8 months ago

    Google makes most of its money from ads at the top of search results (Adwords). A fraction of its income comes from Adsense (ads on pages).

    In other words, what Google is mainly concerned about is that people continue to use search. Serving up pages that readers don't want is the last thing it will do. Its business will die.

    How do we know that people hate ads? Around fifty per cent use adblockers. That number will continue to rise fast.

    People still want products, of course, and will continue to search for them. Google usually sends them to reputable professional review sites or to pages with user generated reviews (Yelp, Amazon, Tripadviser).

    Readers will not not be forced to deal with marketing BS in either case. Info is presented about the product, independent opinions are offered and there is an option to buy.

    Google will always sacrifice its Adsense income to keep search relevant and will systematically downgrade affiliate monetized pages because onpage ads annoy readers.

    Online marketing that uses natural search is pretty much finished. If you haven't noticed this, ask yourself how many marketers are left here.

    Telling people it is OK to litter their hubs with affiliate ads when they do not understand the issues has done this site harm.

    1. makingamark profile image77
      makingamarkposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      That would be the user-generated review sites with carefully placed reviews from those working on behalf of the corporates.....

  6. Micha Boettiger profile image60
    Micha Boettigerposted 8 months ago

    It helps to prevent people from posting for advertising purposes. People who get do-follow links have to invest time and effort to the point that it's unlikely that they'll just start spamming crap as soon as they get access to the privelege

    1. Marisa Wright profile image92
      Marisa Wrightposted 8 months ago in reply to this

      I have no problem with not allowing do follow links.  That is not the same as affiliate links (which are usually no follow anyway).

  7. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 8 months ago

    It is okay to use affiliate links where they are relevant.  Google does not penalise that per se.  That is all I am saying and it is 100% correct.