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Linking Question

I got this link building question that I thought was worthy of a post today:

In the spirits of both good link karma and getting more keyword rich content, should we publish other's articles on our blog? Or would it be better to just give a link? Or neither?

I like the thinking of this individual when it comes to building a solid linking campaign, so here goes!

My personal feelings, and strategies that I implement myself always lead me to in the direction of not being stingy when it comes to outbound linking. I will always give away a relevant link without hesitation if its worthy. I think if you are being stingy with your outbound links it can hurt your link building strategies in more ways the one.

If you are not going to be giving out any links, you may lose opportunity of some people wanting to link back to you simply because you linked to them in a story, on a blog roll or just in a link somewhere on your site where it makes sense. I have found that if I include a link in a blog post to another site, a lot of times I will get a link back on a story done about my site (or post) inside that site. Also, when linking to other sites (or blog posts) a lot of the blogs have what are called "trackbacks" that will include a little "snippit" of what you said including a link to your site. The bad side to this if you have trackbacks enabled you will probably get a good deal of spam, and need to stay on top of it, unless you have some pretty good spam filtering software.

I also believe that linking out to other sites helps improve your search engine rankings. I know a lot of internet business owners will shy away from linking out in fear of visitors leaving their site, but if you have a site that is worth coming back to, they will do just that. I do not claim to know exactly how Google works, or how they crawl the web and pass authority, but I do know that linking out has never hurt any of my sales, back links, conversion rates or SERP's (Search Engine Ranking Positions).

So the quick answer to this question would be any kind of linking out, if its to related sites or articles is never a bad idea. If you are linking to them through an article they wrote, the content part of it really won't help you (when it comes to building quality content) because they created the content, but linking to it and having the article on your site will not hurt you. If you had nothing but duplicate stories, and never original content (or blog posts) that could hurt you for sure, but I don't think that is what was intended with this question that I got asked.

The bottom line is to work hard to build up credible links back to your site, (from authority sites, and related sites) and if you can do this by "scratching someones back" (linking to them in a post or article) for the chances of linking to you, I never see that being a bad thing!

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