Search engine optimization is more than just a series of techniques. It is a concept of continuity, which is why linking out (to other sites) matters equally if not more than who links to your website.
For the sake of relevance and to create the right continuity, you’ll need to create the appropriate signals to search engines that convey (a) your site is an authority and (b) that is it a resource to expedite trust (which equates to pure search engine dominion).
The Premise of Outbound Links
For example, if I wanted to rank for the word SEO, then by me linking to a site that already ranks highly for the term augments the continuity of the content on my site. Although they may not link back (unless you appeal to them in some way shape of form) the transaction still has a favorable impact on your link profile.
Transparency and Hub Status
By linking out to quality sources, this establishes your site as a resource known as a hub site, meaning just in case you didn’t find what you were looking for here, we have included some great links you can follow to complete your search on the topic. By doing this properly, this tactful and selfless action can spring-board your pages past your competition and virtually leave them in your shadow as far as rankings are concerned.
This strategy involves achieving a state of balance through observance of the quality and quantity of links in to links out (per page and for the entire domain) creates a distinct profile that eventually is used to identify the caliber of your content. Obviously, this is yet another layer of the process of SEO, but a very important one for consideration when your aim is to create a series of strong pages about a topic to garner a high ranking position.
Using the Link From Domain Search Command to See Your Outbound Link Profile
Rand Fishkin from SEO Moz (note the tactful outbound link) discussed a great search command in the “Give it Up Session” from SMX Advanced, that works using MSN Live search that provides a snapshot of who your site links to by using a simple search command, linkfromdomain. In order to use the “link from domain command” just open MSN Live Search and type linkfromdomain:website.com and hit return to see the outbound link profile of the site in question. Obviously, you will need to replace the generic website.com with the site you are inquiring about.
Obsessing about who links to you is your choice, but to truly gain authority, It is all about achieving hub status where through a process of osmosis your site is grouped in a unique category of authority sites that through link affiliation reflects in a positive light for your domain and the company it keeps.
In closing, have fun with this tool from Walk 2 Web to visually see the relationships your site has with others through the connectedness of the web.
Just remember, it is not always who links to you, it is who you link to as well. If extending your reach to encompass a new audience is a prime directive for your website. By augmenting your link profile through linking to quality sources, your site increases its relevance on a fundamental (algorithmic) level through ranking by association. So, make sure you utilize this SEO tactic at every opportunity to expedite authority for your pages.
The Takeaway for Developing Hub Pages and Authority for your Content:
1) a low number of outbound links from the page (keep it under 5 if possible or use the no-follow tag) to provide all of the real link juice to the right links (the ones with optimized anchor text instead of click here).
2) quality inbound links specifically to that page (preferably from a page that already ranks in the top 10 for that term) with the link anchor text to your site with the keyword you want to rank for.
3) Add content regularly about a topic to reinforce relevance.
Search engines look for more than “it’s all about me” when considering the value your website has in the grand scheme of things. Just make sure you remember to link out to other sites to augment your online profile.
As a matter of fact, you can start here with this page or any other from SEO Design Solutions if the subject matter is compatible. Or if you liked these tips, then pass it on to others (by linking out and including it on your site as a reference) or through sharing it via social media.
SEO boils down to links in and links out as well as about 200 other factors to create a series of multiple top 10 rankings, however, some factors have more weight then others, and this just happens to be one of them.