How Many Outbound Links Per Blog?

When publishing a blog post, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not just about the content you put out there. You also want to consider how your blog post can benefit your readers.

A significant way to do this is by incorporating external links, also known as outbound links. Outbound links can help to add value to your blog post and increase your website’s authority and ranking.

The challenge lies in striking a balance between incorporating enough links to add value to your content without overdoing it and turning off readers.

This article aims to guide you on the importance of outbound links and how many outbound links is too many.

An outbound link is a hyperlink that directs readers to a different website, page, or resource.

When you add outbound links to your blog posts, you provide your audience with a platform to access additional information outside of your site, which they may find useful. 

Outbound links also pass link juice to other sites, which is an essential factor in SEO.

Outbound links can enhance your site’s perceived Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T), which is an important factor in Google’s search algorithm. 

By linking to credible and authoritative sites related to your niche, you create a connection of authority with these sites and demonstrate that your content is well-researched and reliable.

Outbound links also improve user experience by providing additional resources and information, thus increasing the value of your content. This can indirectly boost your SEO as search engines aim to provide users with the most relevant and useful results

How many outbound links should I have?

There is no set number, but most experts recommend a ratio of 2-5 outbound links per 1,000 words of the article. This figure caters for both your readers’ requirements and search engine optimization.

Keep in mind that the number of outbound links you add to your blog content can dictate the overall value you provide to your readers. Ensure that you only link to high-quality and relevant content.

The use of correct tagging in your outbound links can enhance your site’s SEO and provide a better user experience.

In general, you can tag outbound links from your site using the following methods:

  1. Do-follow or No-follow: By default, all links are do-follow, which means they pass on SEO benefits to the website you’re linking to. If you’re linking to a site but don’t want to give them this benefit (for instance, in case of competitors, paid links or untrusted content), you can add a no-follow tag (rel=”nofollow”).
  2. Open in New Tab: It’s a good practice to use target=”_blank” attribute in your outbound links. This ensures that when a user clicks the link, it opens in a new tab or window, keeping your website open in the original tab.
  3. Sponsored Links: If the link is part of advertisements, sponsorships or other compensation agreements, you should use the rel=”sponsored” attribute.
  4. UGC Links: For links within user generated content, use rel=”ugc” attribute.

You can check outbound links from a site through several methods. 

1. Manual Inspection

This involves going through each page of your website and inspecting the hyperlinks one by one. However, this can be time-consuming, especially for larger websites.

2. Using a Website Crawler

There are various SEO tools like Screaming Frog, SEMRush, or Ahrefs that can crawl your website and provide a report on all the outbound links. These tools can also give you insights into broken links, redirect chains, and other important SEO factors.

3. Browser Extensions

There are several browser extensions like ‘Ahrefs SEO Toolbar’, ‘SEO Minion’ that can quickly scan a web page and highlight the outbound links for you. These tools can be very handy for spot-checks and quick analysis.

Use Ahrefs SEO Toolbar to check external outgoing links

It’s not about the number of outbound links you add to your blog post, but rather the quality of the links. When adding outbound links, it is essential to consider factors such as your target audience and your blog’s purpose. 

Follow these best practices when linking to other sources:

1. Quality over Quantity

It’s not about the number of outbound links you add to your blog post, but rather the quality of the links. Google insists that the main priority of outbound links is to be beneficial to your readers rather than for interactions with algorithms. A high-quality outbound link can help support the content of your own blog post.

However, low-quality outbound links can have an adverse effect. Avoid linking to spammy websites and irrelevant web pages. Making sure to only link to top-quality websites with high domain authorities is a fundamental rule of thumb for any blogger.

Adding outbound links to your blog posts’ is good for organic traffic, but it’s essential not to overdo it.

As a general rule, experts suggest adding 2-5 outbound links per blog post. Any more than this would be considered spammy, and Google algorithms might penalize your website for it. Consistently adding too many links can have adverse effects on your website’s SEO.

Adding outbound links to a credible website with high domain authority is critical. A credible website could be a government website, educational websites or renowned newspapers. Google algorithms differentiate between trusted and non-reliable websites. Hence linking to trusted sources helps to beef up your website’s authority, increasing your website traffic and your organic search results significantly.

Linking to other websites’ content is all about delivering an enhanced user experience. So it’s vital to link to sites that provide value to your readers, such as research articles, how-to’s, or industry news. However, it’s also critical to not link to sites that already rank better than you. When adding outbound links, it’s important to link to relevant sites and keep user experience as a top priority.

Before publishing your post, it’s always best practice to evaluate your outbound links to ensure they are working.

A broken link not only affects your user experience, but also impacts your website’s SEO. Fortunately, many link checker tools are available online, which can be used to analyze the functionality of your outbound links.

Conduct a regular audit of your site and make sure you remove any broken links from your site in a timely manner.

Learn more about how to remove 404 error pages from Google.

Final Thoughts

Although there is no “one-fits-all” formula for the number of outbound links per blog post, limiting the links to about 2-5 per 1000 words works for most bloggers. Always remember to consider the relevancy, quality and usefulness when adding outbound links to your blog content.

Aubrey Yung

Aubrey Yung

Aubrey is an SEO Consultant with 5+ years of B2B and B2C marketing experience.