So, Rick and I were having a conversation the other day about the many nuances of outbound links and their effect – or lack there of – on search engine rankings. Yes, we may have been travelling down the “rabbit trails” of the topic a little too far, but we did manage to derive an interesting theory out of our speculation.
Introducing the “Bread and Butter Theory of Outbound Links” by Tommy Bussey and Rick Maggio, understanding this will be the best thing you’ve learned about Search Engine Optimization since sliced bread…
Now, through the course of our discussion on this topic we journeyed down a few of the beaten paths of search engine optimization; not forgetting page rank, quantitative back linking, qualitative back linking, on page optimization and the rest of the gang. For some reason, we ended up discussing the importance – or triviality – of outbound linking.
You may have heard that linking out from your site can hurt your search engine rankings. Well, there’s not much truth to this rumor. Obviously, if you have 1,000 links from your site to web properties that encourage toddlers to play in traffic and other “less-than-reputable” topics and practices, you may experience some (sarcastic) poor search engine rankings. But linking out to other websites that are reputable will not hurt your website.
So, what is really important to know about outbound links? Well, you need to start thinking of outbound links in terms of “slices of bread.” Now, at the same time, you need to think of the authority of the sites linking back to you as “butter.” If you can consistently get links back to your site from sites with lots of authority (butter) and fewer outbound links (slices of bread) your website (slice of bread) will receive more authority (butter) and satisfy the algorithms (appetites) of the search engines in a more pleasing manner. Why? Because with less slices of bread (outbound links) there’s more butter (authority) to spread on your slice of bread (your website).
Feel free to take a look at this chart I quickly put together to illustrate the bread and butter theory ;-)