Do The Position Of Outbound Links Matter?

When building a link to your website or article, such as through a guest blog post, or press release, or if a website is reviewing your product and linking back to your website, did you know that the position of the link on the page can actually have an effect on how the link is seen by search engines?

Gone are the days of simply filling a website’s footer with links to pass link juice through, Search engines now work intelligently and try to read the page like, and act like an actual human visitor.

As a visitor to a website, ask yourself how likely you are to click a link in each possible position;

The header

If you’ve just loaded up a website, and there is a link in the header, it is one of the first things you will see, so that’s good, right? Well not always – Chances are, you loaded the website to read an article or find some information, so immediately leaving the website via a link in the header won’t be high on your list of priorities – search engines try to use this reasoning too, and therefore may see a header link as less “quality” than some others.

Ok so the header isn’t the best place, what about the footer? You’ve visited the website and read the article to the end, often the footer doesn’t show up on the page unless you scroll further, due to sidebar content or related posts information or similar, are you likely to read the information you were looking for, and then carry on scrolling to look at the footer of a website, and click a link you find? We’d tend to say no, and we feel that search engines agree when applying weight to a links quality.

So the header isn’t great, the footer is arguably the worst of all, what about the sidebar? The sidebar is marginally better than the other 2, it’s generally in the same fold as the main content which is being read, and may be something you click on once you’ve found out the infortmation you were looking for.

Finally, the best place, in our opinion, and perhaps the opinion of most search engines is within the main content itself – that said, the link should be relevant to the content, and the content should be well written and authoritive on the subject it is addressing, there is no point in having a website giving information to motor mechanics with a link to a website talking about flower arranging.

So if you’re writing an article for your website and wish to link to someone elses website, or you’re writing a press release to be released on another website, by far the best place for your link is within a clear, well written, accurate article.

Have you had success with links in other places on a website? Let us know what you find is best in the comments below.