Why and how to link the site? External linking in a nutshell

External Linking

External linking of a website is to Google like reviews about your business to future customers. Valuable links from well-known and highly rated sites tell the search engine that you are worthy of attention and it is worth raising the position of your site in organic search results.

The problem arises when we think about how to properly link a page and where to get those valuable backlinks. Because today not every link is worthy of attention. And the weak one can even greatly harm your site.

See in our article what it is and how to use external linking!

Table of Contents

What is external linking?

External linking is all links that go outside of your website.

Here we can highlight in detail:

  • Incoming Links, otherwise backlinks, backlinks, that is, links from other websites directing the user to your page;
  • Outgoing links, outbound linking, i.e. links placed on your website, but directing to external services.

External linking is one of the two components of link building, which consists of external linking and internal linking.

Inbound links play a greater role in building high positions in Google, because it is much more important whether other sites talk about your business than whether you talk about others. However, links pointing from your site to external sites also help build authority.

This happens for three reasons:

  • You help your readers expand the knowledge they have already acquired from you (you become more respected when you place valuable outbound links);
  • If you link to an article (valuable to your audience), there is a chance that the author will repay you with an external incoming link;
  • For Google, links are also content, so the search engine is able to better match the subject of your page and display it higher for specific keywords.
Watch on YouTube: What John Mueller Says About Outbound Linking, Senior Webmaster at Google.

Why link to a website if I have valuable content?

Google evaluates pages not only by the content they contain. There are a lot of ranking factors and one of them is inbound links. It is they who build the authority of the site and give it value in the eyes of search engines. The more valuable sites that link to your site, the better.

In 2016, Andrey Lipattsev, one of Google's employees, stated that external links are - along with the creation of valuable content - one of the most important indicators of evaluating the value of a given page

External linking continues to attract the most attention of positioners. But keep in mind that you should use it while taking care of interesting articles with internal linking, keywords in texts, as well as full optimization of the page - its code, transparency or loading speed, also on mobile devices.

How to link your site correctly?

Since 2012, the approach to external linking has changed. The littering of the internet with useless facilities and directory entries has resulted in Google introduced the Panda algorithm, which verified the quality, not the quantity of links obtained Incoming.

External linking still has a significant impact on SEO, but you should carefully verify the places from which we link to the site. You can check the quality of a website using two factors: Domain Rank and Trust Flow. However, there are places that manipulate these indicators.

Before you add an inbound link on a particular site, review it and check it for spam.

Wartościowe linki zewnętrzne podnoszą pozycję strony w wyszukiwarce Google
Valuable external links increase the position of the page in Google search

What else to look for when linking externally?

Make sure that the pages that link to you are thematically related to your site.

Keep in mind that inbound external links are also the content behind them. Thanks to this, Google, by analyzing backlinks, knows better what subject the page revolves in. This, in turn, improves the visibility of the site for specific keywords.

A link on a site with a theme consistent with your site is worth more than a link on a site with general information.

Use the correct anchot texts.

When linking externally, it is important to remember the anchor text. This is the text that must be clicked to be redirected to another page.

Use anchors where you want your page to be visible in the search engine. At the same time, be sure to differentiate them. They should also not be too long.

Industry anchors and whole urls work best - they just look natural.

Remember the appropriate “ref” attributes.

They are the ones that show where the link came from, and also inform Google robots about whether to transfer power from one site to another or not. The default attribute is “dofollow”, an attribute by which the power of the page (so-called link juice) is transferred to the linked page.

In addition, we distinguish the following attributes:

  • “nofollow” - where the power of the reference is not transferred;
  • “ugc” - we denote user-generated content, e.g. comments on a blog;
  • “sponsoren” attribute that is placed with paid ads and sponsored posts.

Since March 1, 2020, Google has changed its approach to the “nofollow” attribute. Previously, any external link in this designation was treated as irrelevant, i.e. no force was transferred from one site to another. Currently, “nofollow” is just a hint and Google can interpret it as it wants - to delegate power to your site or not.

Where to get inbound links?

The ideal situation would be if external linking is created by users who are delighted with your content and share it naturally and completely free of charge. In practice, of course, this is possible, but link building is based on certain repetitive actions.

You can, and should, place inbound links in:

  • guest posts (for example, by giving an interview or writing an expert article on a topic on a thematically related website);
  • Sponsored articles (for a smaller or greater fee, depending on the authority of the site);
  • business catalogues/websites (but carefully, choose the largest ones, such as the panorama of companies);
  • active and valuable online forums (for example, on Quorze);

It will also be great to search for non-working links from others with the help of special tools, and then replace them with your own, equally valuable links to the page.

How to check the quantity and quality of backlinks - useful tools

You can check the quantity and quality of incoming external links using external tools. This will allow you to see who links to your page and what its value is in the eyes of the Google search engine.

You can check the existing backlinks in:

  • Google Search Console - the panel displays the total number of external links, as well as the most popular linked sites and destination URLs;
  • Ahrefs - a free tool in which you will check the last 100 references, then paid (displays the indicator Domain-Rank);
  • Majestic - the free version is truncated, shows the number of backlinks, origin, time of their creation, as well as the authority of our site determined by the factor Trust Flow.

External linking - what not to do?

Do not link to poor quality pagesFor example, for which the values of the indicators Domain Rank and Trust Flow are low. However, do not be guided by dry data. Go to the site and see what content it contains, whether there is no spam there and what is the ratio of outgoing to incoming links.

It's not worth putting inbound links in the same places all the time. Google — as with content — values diversity.

Do not add a page to all company directories or page directories. However, this does not mean that they should be completely abandoned. The biggest and industry ones are worth joining.

Beware of erroneous anchors. Anchor text should inform the user about what the page to which he is about to redirect him is about. Non-thematic anchors such as “Click here” or containing a phrase unrelated to the content will negatively affect the value of the site.

External linking has a big impact on SEO - also when it comes to this negative side. If you start using techniques that are not welcomed by Google, you can quickly disappear from organic search results.

Remember: The game of SEO is a long-term game.

Benefits of good external linking

Link building, which includes both external and internal linking, is the basis of modern positioning activities. Well-tailored linking brings many benefits to company websites, which include in particular:

  • a better understanding of the subject of the site by Google, that is, improving visibility for specific keywords;
  • raising the authority of the site;
  • more accurate matching of key phrases (due to the appropriate use of anchor text);
  • increase traffic from external sites.

Ultimately, good quality external linking raises your site's overall search engine ranking.

It is worth using it wisely, while taking care of the rest of the ranking factors, i.e. unique content on the site, optimization of its code, loading speed, as well as transparent internal linking.


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