Recently a number of well known SEO blogs have been talking about Black Hole SEO. In this post I want to take a look at the points raised and explain why I don’t think it’s a viable strategy for most websites.
Quadszilla describes Black Hole SEO as:
A black hole site is created when an tier 1 authority site ceases to link out to other sites. If a reference is needed, the information is rewritten and a reference page is created within the black hole. All (or virtually all) external links on the site are made nofollow.
Sites such as TechCrunch use the technique very intelligently – they link both internally and externally. This means they keep bloggers and startups happy by giving a live link and they get good rankings for sites in the network such as CrunchBase.
If you are an authority site then linking to sites in your network rather than external sites is sometimes a good strategy but the problem arises when less experienced webmasters read about Black Hole SEO and think it is a viable strategy.
Unless your site is already a massive authority site then stopping linking is a bad idea. As a webmaster nothing annoys me more than people who reference me or my clients without linking. It’s just bad manners. I remember people who don’t link and make a point of not linking to them in the future. I’m sure some people go even further and bury their stories on social sites.
Most astronomical black holes form when a star collapses. If the star is more than 3 times the mass of the Sun it forms a black hole, otherwise it becomes a neutron star or white dwarf.
The point is that people don’t like Black Hole sites and they won’t want to link to them. So cutting off your outgoing links before you reach critical mass will inhibit your chances of actually achieving Black Hole status.