It’s nice to help others out by using outbound links to their site, or to link to useful resources for your website visitors, but be careful that you don’t “leak valuable link juice” from your site in doing so.

It gets a little technical, and there are plenty of other places to find out more, but in a nutshell, your web page increases “Pagerank” the more high-quality inbound links it receives (see our earlier tip about link building for your French holiday property website), but can leak some of this away when you link to other websites. This is one reason why link exchanges may not always work in your favour. One way to avoid this is to add what is called a rel=”nofollow” attribute to your link. This ensures that the link works for anyone clicking on it, but tells the search engines to ignore it for page ranking purposes. If you are running any paid advertising links on your site you should ensure you include the “nofollow” attribute on those links as Google may well penalise your site if it suspects you are giving link juice to paying sites.

If all of this wasn’t enough, don’t forget that every outbound link from your site has the potential to take real visitors away from your website. If you are going to allow this, think very carefully before delivering your hard-earned traffic into the arms of your competitors. One option you could consider is to open a new window for anyone clicking on a link from your page. To do this you need to add target=”_blank” to the link parameter – so putting it all together, your html for ensuring that your link opens in a new window and that the target site receives none of your valuable link juice would look like this…

<a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Link to my site</a>

Those who use a CMS (Content Management System) to edit their website content might also see the target option as a parameter when creating your links.

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