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Most SEOs will tell you that the way to boost your rankings in the search engines is to build lots and lots of inbound links. Don’t build external links – those that link out – because they drain your authority juice away. Build your inbound links with great anchor text from relevant high authority websites and you’ll be the golden boy of SEO.

That advice really sucks. I’ll tell you why.

Google has long caught onto the practice of spammy links that follow all the rules of the book. They’ve done changed their algorithms at least a couple of dozen times to prevent those links from helping websites that shouldn’t rank. So do all the crafty link building you can following all the usual rules. It won’t work.

What does work is linking out to other sites within your niche. Don’t worry about draining your authority juice. You probably don’t have any yet.

Rather, consider yourself an authority in your niche and act like it. Would an authority link to a resource off site that would help a reader more than anything else you can post on your own? Of course he would. Then do that. Real authority websites link out promiscuously. They link to websites that are helpful to their readers.

That’s not to say you should link everywhere you can. Be selective about your external links. You don’t want to send your readers to warez sites or sites where they’ll pick up a malicious virus.

Set your standards for excellence based on common sense. Link to sites that add value to your niche for your readers. Become a real authority, not some fake authority based on spammy links that get you nowhere.

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