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The short answer is that external links ARE good for SEO and it’s widely accepted that external links are one of the most important metrics for high-position ranking.
Internal links are hyperlinks between pages on the same domain. They help a user navigate the site and find relevant information they might want to read.
“Use this attribute for cases where you want to link to a page but don’t want to imply any type of endorsement, including passing along ranking credit to another page.” — Google.
An external link is any hyperlink or backlink, that points to a target page on another domain from the domain it’s published on. It’s external to the host domain.
Help crawlers find a page to encourage crawling and indexing.
The original BackRub concept of organizing the hierarchy of pages through a citation system was brilliant. But flawed. Since then, it’s been an ongoing process of trying to perfect that system so that some links have value to count and spammy ones don’t.
“Those links won't get any credit when we rank websites in our search results.” — Google.
Otherwise, a website could simply build hundreds of internal links to improve ranking. And, that would go against the original concept that links are ‘votes’ from impartial third-parties to support the quality of your site/page.
A link (also known as a backlink) is a hyperlink that will direct a user from one page to another target page when clicked. Applied to a page by adding code like this:
An outbound link is also an external link as it points outwards from your domain out to another domain.
Andrey: Yes; I can tell you what they are. It’s content, and links pointing to your site .
Help users navigate through the site on a user journey.
Then in 2019, Google updated nofollow to include a new rel=UGC and rel=Sponsored tag to highlight contributions and ‘paid’ for placements.
Regardless of nofollow or follow, backlinks still have value when placed where they can deliver quality relevant traffic. And this should be considered when building external links.
In 2016, Andrey Lipattsev of Google said on record that alongside content, links are one of the top three ranking factors. Go to 30:15 in the video below.
Help link equity to flow around a site so that the value of links isn’t lost on one page.
You can check if a link is nofollow by looking for this tag in the source code:
Hint. It was a directive until the announcement. It's a hint now. — Gary 鯨理／경리 Illyes (@methode) September 11, 2019.
For SEO, Internal links are important as they:
Ammon Johns: We’ve heard that this [links] is the third most important signal contributing to results now. Would it be beneficial to us to know what the first two is? Could webmasters build better sites if they know what the first two is?
In SEO terms, the term ‘external link’ usually refers to links that are built on other sites and point back to your domain. These ‘external links’ or backlinks are measured for volume, quality, and relevancy in consideration of how they support the ranking of your page.
The link ‘value’ or ‘equity’ of an internal link is not measured the same as an external link. Google considers external links to have more value when applied to ranking.
The internet is built on links. Without them, we would have an unorganized mess of disconnected pages that would be difficult to find and navigate.
The nofollow tag is an indication to search engine crawlers that the linked page should not be associated with your page and that it shouldn’t be crawled.
The biggest change was the update of nofollow to be a hint rather than a directive which would support the belief that some nofollow links on important pages do still pass some link equity.
Major developments in the knowledge graph, entities, and semantic search have meant that link relevancy is now possibly more important than volume of links. But most SEOs agree that links will always remain a core and important metric for ranking.
(Which is a big no-no when it comes to your site’s backlinks)
I recommend doing an internal link audit 1-2x per year. You’ll sometimes find that low-priority pages are getting a ton of internal link love.
Well, you wouldn’t want to link to both pages with the same anchor text:
Why Are Internal Links Important for SEO?
Here’s how it works:
Audit Internal Links With the Google Search Console.
First, fire up your link building tool of choice, like Ahrefs or Moz Pro.
And I can tell you that putting internal links towards the top of your page can reduce your bounce rate and improve Dwell Time.
In short: internal linking is key for any site that wants higher rankings in Google.
This isn’t a big deal. In fact, it’s common if you have lots of links in your site’s navigation:
And don’t forget to link from your sitemap to the page you want to get indexed:
First, find an old article on your site that you published at least a year ago.
Yup, this is obvious. But it’s worth mentioning because I’ve seen people nofollow their internal links before.
And if you think 100 sounds like a lot of links, keep in mind that this includes ALL internal and external links.
Google has said that it’s OK to have a different internal link structure for the desktop and mobile versions of your website.
But if you have LOTS of pages (or a limited Crawl Budget), Google might only index a certain percentage of your site’s pages.
Yes, many of your internal links will point from page A to page B. But you also want to link your pages together into categories.
Directly from one page to another:
If you use them strategically, internal links can send page authority (also known as PageRank) to important pages.