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Are Outgoing Links Good for SEO?

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are-outgoing-links-good-for-seo?

An interesting news item just hit the streets — and of course, I had to share. 

The article dove into the much-touted advice that linking to other, authoritative sources “helps a site’s SEO.” 

That is, with all other things being equal, a resource article with outgoing links to authoritative sites would position better than one that didn’t link out. 

On the surface, this makes sense. It seems like linking out to an authoritative source would get Google’s attention. After all, those links have power. 

Plus, this is one of those things that feels true. A well-researched article with smartly sourced reference links gets my attention. A link-free article — even when a resource is cited — feels different. There’s no easy way to click the link and double-check the source (or to learn more.) 

Considering Google’s push for quality, authoritative, standout content, it would make sense that outgoing links could give you a positioning boost. After all, don’t outgoing links somehow mean a page is better? 

Right? 

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Nope. Outgoing links don’t help your SEO. 

Here’s the deal…

Think about it: if linking to an authoritative resource was something that moved the positioning needle, we’d link to Wikipedia, news sites, and major brands all the time. 

Get insta-rankings simply by inserting an outgoing link? Yes, please.  

It’s not that easy, unfortunately.  

BUT (and as you know, there’s always a “but” when it comes to SEO)…  

In the wild world of SEO writing, not everything we do is for “the Google.”  

Instead, we focus on what our readers expect to see — especially if we’re writing about a topic where linking to additional sources makes sense. No, we’re not linking to that resource for extra Google points. We’re doing it because linking out provides our readers with additional value.  

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And that’s precisely the right reason to drop a link.  

If this blows your mind, this write-up discusses how outgoing links = SEO juice is a surprising SEO misconception. If you’re also surprised, know you are not alone.  

“Thou shalt link out” is a well-promoted content marketing tip.  

People just messed up about why it’s important. 

So the question remains: should you link out if it doesn’t help your SEO?

My take? Yes. Granted, it depends on the content and its goals. I wouldn’t link willy-nilly from a sales page. 

But if you’re trying to support your point — and another blog has more information — why wouldn’t you link out? Assuming the reader does scoot away to visit the page, they’ll scoot back if they clicked with your content. 

And if they don’t come back? There’s a good chance that they didn’t click with your content in the first place. 

What do you think? 

Have you learned that you needed to link out “for Google?” Leave a comment and let me know! 

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Source: Heather Lloyd-Martin

SEO

Google Settles Consumer Privacy Lawsuit For $85 Million

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Google Settles Consumer Privacy Lawsuit For $85 Million

Google parent company Alphabet Inc. will pay $85 million to end a consumer privacy lawsuit filed by the state of Arizona.

The suit, which was filed in May 2020, alleged the search engine violated the state’s Consumer Fraud Act and misled internet users about its use of location data and data collection practices. It accused Google of continuing to track user location without consent in order to increase ad revenue, even after users had turned off location history in settings.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office began investigating Google’s location data collection practices following a 2018 Associated Press story that revealed how the search engine company tracks user movements.

“When I was elected attorney general, I promised Arizonans I would fight for them and hold everyone, including corporations like Google, accountable,” Brnovich said in a press release. “I am proud of this historic settlement that proves no entity, not even big tech companies, is above the law.”

The settlement includes $77,250,000 paid to Arizona’s general fund and another $7,750,000 to the outside counsel of the attorney general’s office. The bulk of the settlement will be used by the Arizona legislature to fund education, broadband and internet privacy efforts and purposes.

Under the terms of the settlement, Google will not have to admit to any wrongdoing or violation of laws.

Google Argued Suit Was Based On Outdated Policies Changed Years Ago

In its defense, Google claimed Arizona’s lawsuit was based on outdated policies that are no longer in use.

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“We provide straightforward controls and auto delete options for location data, and are always working to minimize the data we collect,” Google spokesman Jose Castañeda said in a statement. “We are pleased to have this matter resolved and will continue to focus our attention on providing useful products for our users.”

In 2021, ad revenue accounted for 81% ($209.5 billion) of Google’s $257.6 billion earnings. Much of this is generated by collecting user data, with or without express consent and/or knowledge.

If, as Google claims, the lawsuit is based on policies no longer in practice, this settlement should not significantly impact those earnings.

The search engine giant previously attempted to have the case dismissed, arguing that state consumer protection laws require alleged fraud to be connected to a sale or advertisement. A judge denied this request in January.

Google Facing A Number Of Similar Suits

This Arizona case is just one of several privacy-violation lawsuits Google is facing. Similar complaints have been filed by a group of state attorneys general, including Indiana, Texas and the District of Columbia, over location data in their respective state courts.

In January 2022, a California U.S. District Judge threw out two of five claims in a class action lawsuit that accused Google of collecting app data from Android users in a similar manner to those outlined by the Arizona Attorney General. Alphabet Inc. did not seek to have the three other claims dismissed.

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