Recently, I had a client ask me an intriguing question.
I’m putting together an article explaining the difference between [two different things in their industry]. If I were to link to my competitors, will that help or hurt my search ranking?
I suspect it will boost the competition, but no big deal.
This is an excellent question, one I know many people wonder about.
Linking to your competition will indeed help their SEO. But linking out to competitors when it makes sense might be more beneficial to boosting your blog posts than you might initially think.
Google actually expects some degree of back linking when it makes sense in the context of the article.
Keep in mind that Google always wants to return the search results that satisfy the intent of the searcher. In almost every case, the most thorough, or highest quality article is going to rank highest over time.
By listing any links to resources related to your article subject, you help raise the content quality of your article. Not to mention, it some guts to link to competing businesses. Not everyone has the fortitude to do this, which makes your article stand out to your readers.
Examples of Linking to Competitors
Let’s say you are a Italian restaurant, and you are writing an article on all the best Italian restaurants in your area. You talk about what makes each place great, and what their main specialties are.
Your article might get a lot of traction on Facebook and Twitter. It may even some up on the first page of Google when people search for best Italian restaurants in your city.
Satisfying the Searcher by Putting Content First
Your competitors will get a little SEO boost when you link to them, that’s true. Anytime a site from within the same industry links to your site, it is more relevant than a link from a random site.
But linking to competitors will not take away any SEO or ranking power from your own site.
Think about whether your article or resource page can be improved by linking to someone else. If it makes sense, then go ahead and link out.