co Why Outbound Links Matter |

In a discussion about PageRank sculpting, which is something you don’t need to know anything about, Google’s web spam guy, Matt Cutts, recently said this:

Q: Okay, but doesn’t this encourage me to link out less? Should I turn off comments on my blog?
A: I wouldn’t recommend closing comments in an attempt to “hoard” your PageRank. In the same way that Google trusts sites less when they link to spammy sites or bad neighborhoods, parts of our system encourage links to good sites.

You know what this tells me? That outbound linking actually has value in itself.

It looks like Cutts is saying if you only link to yourself then you not much more trusted than a site that links to bad websites like those that download malicious software. You may as well just be a spammer.

I don’t think this is referring to internal navigation links. Static websites should use an internal linking strategy and not have many, if any at all, outbound links. But a blog is a different kind of website. It’s social in nature and should have some outbound links. If your blog is just a self-promotional website that only links to your own sites and nowhere else, you could be hurting your social reputation. That’s not good.