Here is a Proof That Outbound Link Makes Google Nervous

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One of the benefits of owning a network of digital properties is that you can carefully monitor and perform SEO tests using various methods and parameters. Coming from a programming background, I can set up my own metrics and test them for numerous cause and effect relationships. With over 1,200 hundred sites in my network and growing, I can gain insights no other SEO can provide.

For years, I’ve been leveraging expired domains as a part of my overall SEO strategy. In most cases, expired domains carry some SEO value if you have the right vetting process. Here is one major problem. Even with the best third party metric data in your hand, it’s not a guarantee that Google will like the domain. With so many expired domains coming into the scene, Google has a reason to get nervous as there are literally millions of expired domains which can affect the overall SEO landscape in an unwanted way.

Since links play a crucial role in SEO, I’ve decided to do a test based on a hypothesis stating that Google is cautious with outbound links that are added to an expired domain. To test this, I programmed revived expired domains to wait for the number of indexed pages reach at least 10 before outbound links are added. When it drops below ten, I made the links disappear. I’d figured it would be safer to send links from a domain with a certain number of index count.

I was able to minimize external SEO factors by making sure the domain has no social shares or other links coming to the domain. If all other variables remain the same, then Google should allow more pages to get indexed when outbound links are not present as pages without links should pose no threat to Google. On the contrary, Google should start reducing the number of index count once Google detects outbound links.

Here is the result of Google reacting to outbound links.

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As you can see, the index count has changed over time based on the site’s outbound link status. The result has significant implications and below are some conclusions based on an observation of the pattern.

1) Generally speaking, Google is cautious with seeing outbound links coming from a new site or a revived expired domain.

2) Many people are adding links without considering Google’s reaction.

3) Link exchange is not necessarily a good idea.

4) You can’t simply rely on the third party metric data. The domain used in the example above had DA of 21 and hasn’t changed during the entire test.

Steven Kang

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