Does cross-linking help seo? Does it really?
July 19, 2019 8:11 AM Subscribe
I edit content for a company's blog and continually run into misconceptions and strongly held beliefs that doing X, Y, or Z is "good for seo
" and finding actual evidence of this is difficult. Specifically, I'm trying to determine if there's any truth to the widespread idea that "cross-linking helps seo
." What happens next will shock you. Um, I mean, please read on for details.
So I edit (and write, but less relevant to the question) a variety of content written by folks that range from developers, field support or sales, product marketing, product management, communications, executives, and so on.
For various reasons, we're conservative about including links. This ranges from legal not wanting to link to certain material to folks wanting to slip in links that are less than professional, or just turning a piece of content into a linkfest where every other word is linked to something for no good reason.
Often removing links is met with "but it's good for seo!" I don't claim to be an seo expert, but I know that inbound links from relevant / authoritative sites can help with search ranking. I've seen some material that suggests if you have multiple domains that are related, cross-linking between them can be a strategy that helps boost ranking.
But most of what I've found suggests that just linking out to sites just to do it, even if they're related in topic, will not help us with ranking. It may help the outbound site, but not us.
What I'm looking for is some hard data or current references that will either dispute this belief, or show me the data and convince me we're doing it wrong. Obviously I want to get the most traffic possible, so if we do benefit from cross-linking I'd like to know about it.