While we have heard that there are benefits of doing SEO, there are also disadvantages of doing SEO. For example, you might have heard that big publications are keeping every outgoing link on their websites as nofollow. By outgoing links, we mean that links that take you to a different website if you click on the link.
Many SEO professionals believe that this is actually the best way and the reason behind it is also simple. The website owners do not want to give the “link juice” of their website to the outbound link which might have a similar, higher or sometimes lower ranking. They believe that if the link is set to dofollow, their website might rank lower because of the passing of link juice.
However, Google’s John Mueller has cleared this confusion once and for all. Also, he has not minced his words while answering this question as he mentioned that this practice that website owners perform is “completely wrong”.
Here is the question that was asked to Google’s John Mueller in a Webmaster session:
“What do you think about the practice of some big publishers tagging all outgoing links with rel=nofollow? From what I know, the reasoning behind this is that with follow links you would leak link juice and then rank worse.”
Now, let’s see what John Mueller had to respond on this question:
“So that’s definitely wrong. It’s definitely not the case that if you use normal links on your website that you would rank any worse than if you put nofollow on all outgoing links.
I suspect it’s even, on the contrary, that if you have normal linking on your page then you would probably rank a little bit better over time – essentially because we can see that you’re part of the normal web ecosystem.
So it’s definitely not the case that you have any kind of ranking advantage by marking all outgoing links as nofollow.”
The answer from Google’s John Mueller does make sense (as always). He says that if you keep the outbound links on your website as it is, they will make your website seem like a normal one in Google’s eyes and it might rank better. However, if a website has nofollow for outbound links then that website might be seen differently by Google.
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