What Is a Link?

Jake Sheridan
Dec 12, 2021

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Links continue to be one of Google’s and other search engines’ most significant ranking criteria.

Search engines find new information via links, and this is also how they assess the quality of that content.

Good links, like votes, are testimonials to how important the information is, and Google considers a strong link profile to be a positive sign. Google, on the other hand, has increased its capacity to detect artificial connection patterns over time.

The search engine is considerably better at determining which types of links are – and are not – valuable to users.

This means that previous link-building techniques (such as spamming comments, utilizing PBNs, and posting in forums) are no longer effective (or as well as they once did).

This article will help you look at the definition of a link, why links are important for SEO, how to find bad links, how to create a link for SEO, and why interlinking is important.

What Is a Link?

A link, often known as a hyperlink, is a clickable item on a webpage that connects one page to another. Links can be shown as text, pictures, or buttons.

We may categorize links based on their destination, whether it is another page on the same site or a separate website.

Internal links are HTML hyperlinks that connect pages to your own website. Hypertext is text with hyperlinks. Both links and hyperlinks are essential components of the World Wide Web.

Search engines look at the domain name to identify this; if the links on a website point to other pages inside the same domain, they are considered internal links. If your website was established with more than one domain for any reason, search engines will treat this as an external link.

Link building refers to the process through which marketers and SEO specialists obtain links to their content. The goal is that such links will drive more traffic to the material while also helping to boost search engine results.

Links should be relevant to the topic at hand, with excellent anchor text that helps search engines comprehend the context of the links.

The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) language may be used to specify the behavior and style of links. Almost any web content may be turned into a link that, when clicked or otherwise triggered, directs the web browser to another website (URL).

URL is an abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator which is also a type of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). Each valid URL, in principle, refers to a distinct resource. These resources can include an HTML page, a CSS document, a picture, and so on.

Why Are Links Important?

When one website connects to another, the creator of the content that used the link did so for a reason.

They frequently enjoy the website to which they are connecting because it has information that supplements or expands on the content on the original page. Some writers, on the other hand, link to sites for the opposite reason; they may be connecting to a page they want to critique or disagree with.

However, both of these linkers are beneficial to the website to which they are linked. Whether the content is liked or disliked, it has elicited a strong reaction, indicating that it is of high quality. When the content of a page causes someone to speak up, it demonstrates authority, credibility, and/or trustworthiness.

As a result, links on pages act as votes of confidence, trustworthiness, and authority. In fact, according to a study, Google’s page ranking algorithm considers links as one of the top two factors. 

The more links a page receives, the more votes it receives, which might enhance its rating.
However, the number of links a page receives is not the only factor to consider. Google assesses the quality of the links as well.

Links that appear to represent votes of trust can be readily fabricated utilizing tools such as:

  • Guestbooks
  • Wikis
  • Online forums
  • Comments on a blog
  • Profiles on social media
  • Directories of articles
  • Q&A websites
  • Bookmarking on social media

These are referred to as artificial links.

A site must have great content that is trustworthy, reliable, and authoritative in order to get good, natural links. This enables the pages to obtain high-quality, natural links from other websites, which improves their rating.

Google has introduced a number of significant algorithm modifications during the last decade. Penguin was one of these significant upgrades. Google’s Penguin update is now an integral component of the core algorithm.

The Penguin update enables Google to more efficiently analyze the quality of links. Some SEO specialists were originally under the assumption that links no longer mattered following this upgrade; however, this is not the case. Links are still essential in ranking and continue to reflect the same values as they did previously.

Links, as long as they are natural, serve as a reflection of the quality of a page’s content.
The Penguin update made it easier for Google to detect shady links. Links have always been key ranking considerations; nevertheless, methods of acquiring links have developed, particularly after the Penguin update.

Link FAQ

How do I create a link for SEO?

The process of creating one-way hyperlinks (sometimes known as “backlinks”) to a website in order to improve search engine exposure is known as link building. Here are a few ways you can create a link for SEO:

  1. Create a nice guest post
    There are several websites and blogs that will accept your content for publication. Before you publish an article anywhere, make sure that the website or blog is relevant to your topic. It is critical that you establish links that benefit your website rather than ones that might harm your website’s ranking in search results.
  2. Find ties to customers and partners
    If you have frequent partners or devoted consumers who adore your business, there are ways to gain links from them very easily. You might send out partnership badges (graphic symbols that represent mutual respect) or offer to write product testimonials. Both of these provide items that may be shown on their website, as well as links back to you.
  3. Create a blog
    This link-building technique is so popular and useful that it is one of the handfuls that Google employees actively suggest. Blogs have the unique potential to consistently provide new content, spark web-wide dialogues, and gain listings and connections from other blogs.
  4. Restore top content
    You probably already know which of your site’s content generates the most traffic, converts the most clients, and keeps users on your site for the longest period of time. Repurpose the content for other platforms (Slideshare, YouTube, Instagram, Quora, and so on) to broaden your acquisition funnel beyond Google.
  5. Recover your broken backlinks
    You may come across broken links to your website from time to time. This might happen if your page’s URL changes or if another webmaster misspells your link. These backlinks will both produce a 404 error. Such problems are also frequent when a site has been relaunched or transferred to a different domain. These backlinks should then be redirected to another page.

Are links important for SEO?

Links (both from other websites and links inside your own site) are crucial for SEO since there is a direct relationship between the quality/quantity of links to your site and the amount of search traffic your site receives.

Building links requires time and effort. There is no getting around that. It is also difficult to do it right, which means that companies that are able to effectively execute methods to generate better links than their competitors generally enjoy considerable growth in organic traffic and revenue.

That is why you should understand why links are so essential and why they should account for a significant percentage of your SEO campaign’s resources. However, the major reasons why you should make link building a priority as an SEO are:

  • You will increase in Google and other search engine rankings.
  • As a result of your improved reputation and reliability as a company, Google will locate new pages on your website faster.
  • Targeted referral traffic might be beneficial to you.
  • Editorial links also improve your content marketing strategy and, of course, your SEO.

You cannot disregard link building, and you must ensure that you are using techniques that will offer you a competitive advantage.

Why is interlinking important?

Internal linking is essential for any website since it helps with site layout and the distribution of link juice.

Internal linking, in its most basic form, refers to any connection from one page of a domain to another page inside the same domain. It can be a link to a category or the main site navigation, a link within an article to related material or the footer, and so on.

Internal link building has numerous benefits, including increased page authority, usability, linkages between web pages, user experience, crawling, indexing, and perhaps ranking.

What are bad links in SEO?

A bad link is simply one that does not follow Google’s rules. As a result, it may result in Google penalties. When creating linkages, you should be on the lookout for signals, regardless of where the links are originating from.

Link farms, bought links, link wheels, and other unethical link-building tactics can get you in hot water. At all costs, avoid them.

Most SEOs make the error of sprinkling links all over the place. They are unconcerned about how this may influence search performance, but you should be. Even if you don’t have complete control over your links, the ones you do have (for example, when you contribute to other blogs) should be good links. Avoid poor links; the repercussions are frequently too severe to overcome.

How do I find bad links?

Here are a few tools for detecting broken links, many of which are free.

  1. Google Analytics
    Google Analytics is a web analytics service and a wonderful free tool for measuring website performance and simply locating broken links. The 404 error page will be displayed for any nonexistent or broken links. Most websites feature a basic message, but it’s excellent practice to prompt the user to take action. You can include a link to your website’s homepage, your blog’s homepage, or a contact us page.

Google Analytics allows you to set up email notifications to get these broken link reports on a regular basis, as well as export broken link data. Keep in mind that redirecting and repairing faulty links is a continuous effort. Once a month is a suitable cadence for the typical website.

  1. Xenu
    Xenu Link Sleuth is another free tool that we recommend After you’ve installed the Xenu program and launched the application, navigate to File – Check URL and input the domain of your website. To conduct the analysis, uncheck the box labeled “check external links” and click “OK.” It is important to note that if this is your first time using Xenu, the report may take some time to complete. So please be patient.

What makes a good link?

Most likely, you’ve been told to “just” obtain excellent links.

SEO professionals will demonstrate the significance of strong links and why you require them. However, nothing has been written about what makes a link good.

You can’t neglect link building because the quantity of backlinks continues to be a huge factor in organic results. Because there are several elements to consider, it is impossible to provide a single, all-encompassing definition of a good connection. A poor link is more than simply a connection from a low-quality or prohibited web page – there’s more to it.

A good general rule to remember is that the more difficult it is to obtain a backlink, the more valuable it is likely to be. This is due to the difficulty of obtaining high-quality links.

Similarly, the easier it is to obtain a backlink, the less valuable it is likely to be. This is a proven truth. It’s simple to obtain a link from forums since all you have to do is comment to a discussion, and your link will stay up if the rooms aren’t heavily regulated.

Good backlinks originate from web pages that are related to the content of your page: The first criteria you may use to evaluate a good link is the page’s relevancy in relation to the topic of your page.

Don’t forget: check out the other definitions (over 200) in our growing SEO glossary.

Go Ahead and Start Building Better Links!

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of a link.

Now that you have been given detailed insights into the link-building tactics that work and those that do not in 2022, it is time to get started.

If you’ve never built links before, maybe you’re excited to get started and looking forward to landing your first link. If you’ve been link-building for years, maybe you’ve been encouraged to attempt something new.

Nobody ever said link building was simple because it isn’t, and the methods you should employ are always evolving.

However, we believe that by having a variety of techniques at your disposal, you will be able to guarantee that you are establishing a varied link profile and capitalizing on possibilities from all sides.

Improve your link-building skills, and you will be in high demand. It is the strategy that most SEOs find the most challenging, and any proven achievements you can provide make you much more attractive to future clients or companies.

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

Explore Services

Written by Jake Sheridan on December 12, 2021

Founder of Sheets for Marketers, I nerd out on automating parts of my work using Google Sheets. At Loganix I build products, and content marketing. There’s nothing like a well deserved drink after a busy day spreadsheeting.