Are Outlinks As Good As Inlinks?

Perhaps you don’t understand the question, since the words are somewhat new. It’s all related to the question of whether it’s better to give than to receive. Let me explain.

The links we’re referring to here are not just any old links, as in golf or in chains or in connections. The word links here is short for hyperlinks. That’s a short piece of text or an image, like a button, that is associated with an address or URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of another web page. Clicking on that hyperlink will open up that other web page in your web browser window.

Google Backlink
Yahoo! Inlink

For that other web page, such a link is often called a backlink. Google is the one that is responsible for the popularity of that word. They would define backlinks as incoming links to a website or web log. Google’s search engine is based on the notion that the number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity or importance of a given web page.

Unfortunately the word ‘backlink’ is not the most descriptive of words. People do not easily remember what it means. Yahoo! seems now to be pushing another word that seems much clearer. That’s the word ‘inlink‘. That’s a link from some other web page that ‘points’ or directs traffic to this web page. The meaning couldn’t be more obvious. Hopefully ‘inlink’ will slowly displace the word ‘backlink’. That’s in no way to be interpreted as a comment on the relative merits of the Google and Yahoo! search engines. It’s just a sensible choice.

Once you begin to get at ease with the ‘inlink’ word, it leads very naturally to the associated word ‘outlink’. If a link (hyperlink) is called an inlink in reference to the web page it directs you to, then it would be natural to call that link an outlink for the web page doing the direction. Although the word has been used fairly frequently, a Google search would suggest it is about one third as popular as the word ‘inlink’. More’s the pity since the word brings increased clarity in discussing these matters.

So we can now return to our question: Are Outlinks As Good As Inlinks? For a given web page, if you’re concerned about search engine rankings then inlinks are certainly important. However for readers of the web page, they get no value from these inlinks. What may be much more important are the outlinks. Outlinks suggest other related web pages where new aspects of the subject can be explored. If you’re concerned about what you can do for others, giving useful outlinks can be of inestimable value. So forget backlinks, pay only appropriate attention to inlinks and really think about creating useful outlinks. The world (wide web) will be grateful for your efforts.

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2 thoughts on “Are Outlinks As Good As Inlinks?”

  1. If you ask Google, they will always say “Just link naturally, our algorithm will figure it out”. Outlinks can give away some of your link juice, but I’ve seen sites fall from their historic rankings when they became stingy with their out links sitewide.

  2. Why doesn’t Google give some credit even to those who do ‘inlinks’ to relevant sites. At least they’re helping out not to clutter the web.

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