What Are Text Links? (& What Do They Have To Do with SEO?)

Adam Steele
Sep 12
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Text links are what make easy navigation from one webpage to another possible. Also known as hyperlinks, these are words or phrases that can be clicked to navigate to a linked webpage.

Since they’re one of the most important components of SEO, we created this guide to help you get familiar with the different types of text links and how to use them.

What are text links?

Most of the vast number of links that provide a connection between different websites, or between different pages on one website, are text links. You’ll be able to spot some in this article, and on just about any page online.

While other objects on a page, such as images, can be used as hyperlinks, these don’t offer the same SEO benefits as text links because they don’t provide as much information to Google as a linked word or phrase can.

The term “text links” is a bit of a catch-all, since there are tons of different kinds of text links, which will more commonly be referred to by their specific name than as text links.

So, what are some examples of different kinds of text links? Some of the most common ones you’ll come across in the context of marketing and SEO include

  1. Backlinks – in the world of SEO marketing, backlinks are one of the most important types of text links. A backlink is a text link on a third-party website that directs visitors to your site. The more high-quality backlinks your website has, the likelier Googe’s bots are to think that the website is relevant and informative, and should appear high in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
  2. Deep links – deep links are a type of backlink. Instead of linking to a homepage, they link to some other page on a website. While both backlinks and deep links are text links, backlinks are more likely to have a brand or domain name as the linked text, while deep links may have a more descriptive phrase relating to the page being linked to.
  3. Navigation links – these are the links on a website that make it easy to navigate to their pages on the same site. For example, a menu might contain a bunch of navigation links. They’re essential to a good user experience.
  4. Anchor links – these text links, also sometimes called jump links, are used to “anchor” one part of a web page to another part of the same page. For example, a table of contents at the top of a blog entry may consist of clickable text links that allow the user to jump to the relevant part of a page they’re most interested in.
  5. Footer links – just as the name suggests, these are text links that appear in the footer of a website. They’re an important type of navigation link since users typically know that footers contain links to all of a website’s pages. If they’re looking for something specific, they can check the footer.
  6. Earned links – there are lots of ways to secure more of those valuable backlinks, but earned links are those that your website secures without any kind of transaction. They’re “earned” because your content was of a high enough quality that other websites link to them out of their initiative.
  7. PR links – one way to earn backlinks is through PR outreach. For example, sending a press release to a bunch of media outlets can result in PR links.
  8. Natural links – natural links are generally a type of earned link since they aren’t paid for or used in sponsored content. If they are, there aren’t clues that make it obvious, such as UTM parameters on the link.
  9. Dofollow links – all text links have different tags that tell Google what kind of link it is and whether their bots should “count” a link as a relevant backlink. Dofollow links are those with a tag that tells Google’s crawlers it should count in their SEO calculations.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it gives you an idea of the most widely used types of text links you might want to use on your website or secure from other websites to boost your SEO results.

Benefits of text links

The internet would be a lot less fun and interesting without text links. Aside from enabling accidental hours-long Wikipedia binge sessions, text links provide website visitors with a better user experience than they would otherwise have. They’re also an essential component of SEO, with the power to drive your website to the top of Google’s SERPs in your niche.

Text links and user experience

While a lot of digital ink has been spilled about the importance of backlinks and how to get more of them, it’s worth taking a moment to acknowledge the importance of text links on your own website.

Used correctly, they can make your site a breeze to navigate, so visitors can find exactly what they’re looking for without trouble. Providing a great user experience can reduce your bounce rates, and the more time visitors spend on your site, the likelier they are to convert.

It’s a good idea to make sure your navigation links are clear and well organized, that anchor links are used to reduce the need to scroll, and that you link to your content wherever appropriate

Text links and SEO

Text links in the form of backlinks are an important SEO ranking factor that Google takes into account, so securing a large number of high-quality backlinks from a reputable website is an essential SEO activity. These text links can use a variety of different words or phrases, depending on the content.

The SEO benefit comes from link equity, a term used to describe the reputation that gets passed from one page to another through linking. Google takes into account the relevance and authority of the source of the link when determining how much link equity gets passed to the linked page.

Apart from the different kinds of backlinks, you can secure for your website, it’s worth noting that the links on your site navigating to other pages on your domain can also be beneficial from an SEO perspective.

That’s because Google’s crawlers follow those internal links to “learn” more about the structure and contents of your website. The better the algorithm understands your site, the more likely it is to return it in search results when appropriate.

Text Links Best Practices

In part because text links are so important in SEO, there is no shortage of people out there who use shortcuts and bad practices to build backlinks and other kinds of text links. Failing to follow best practices can hurt your SEO rankings so be sure to work only with reputable companies when enlisting link-building services. Here are some important tips to keep in mind

  1. Use the nofollow tag when appropriate. This tag should be used for monetized links such as affiliate links and in other situations where link equity shouldn’t be passed to the linked page. It tells Google’s bots not to follow the link and prevents people from gaming the system through, for example, linking to their own page in a bunch of forum comments.
  2. Conduct a link audit. This helps you determine if you have bad quality backlinks that could be hurting your SEO efforts, so you can tell Google not to consider those links.
  3. Secure links for reputable sites, preferably with high domain authority (DA). Loganix can help you with this through guest posts and other link-building services.
  4. Avoid black hat link building. This refers to a range of unethical link-building practices that you might for provided for a cheap price. It’s not worth the risk of damaging your SEO ranking.
  5. Link internally. Don’t be afraid to be liberal with internal text links. They’ll help Google’s crawlers map your site and understand your content, and can keep visitors on your website longer.
  6. Mix up your link text. When securing backlinks, incorporate some variety in the text used for the links. For example, you may want to use link text that includes keywords you’re targeting. This can help search engines understand that your content is relevant for that keyword.
  7. Create link-worthy content. To secure text links, simply creating content that other websites will want to provide backlinks to is a tried and tested method.
  8. Use descriptive link text. When writing internal text links or if you can provide input for backlinks, ensure you use descriptive text rather than phrases like “click here” or “this page”.

Summary

Text links, in all their variations, link different web pages and websites together. They are one of the key ranking factors taken into account by Google when determining who gets the coveted top spot on the SERPs and can help make your website easier to navigate for visitors.

Want to boost your SEO and not sure where to start? Loganix’s SEO audits can help you determine the ideal SEO strategy for your business, from link building to on-page SEO.

Written by Adam Steele on September 12, 2022

COO and Product Director at Loganix. Recovering SEO, now focused on the understanding how Loganix can make the work-lives of SEO and agency folks more enjoyable, and profitable. Writing from beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.

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