What Is an External Link?

Aaron Haynes
Nov 23, 2021

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Many of us are aware that internal links are a secret weapon for many SEOs, and that they may help increase visibility and organic rankings. However, recommendations to strengthen outbound links are infrequent.

Outbound link optimization is one of the link-building methods on which the industry is divided; some feel it is an important factor, while others do not. The fact is that we should pay attention to how we link out from our content and that there may be more to consider than we usually do.

Are external links beneficial for SEO? What is the difference between an internal and an external link in SEO?

And in this article, we will teach you all you need to know about external links, particularly what an external link is, why external links are important, and how to use them.

We’ll delve deep into how SEOs should think about external links.

What Is an External Link?

External links are hyperlinks that direct visitors to domains other than the one where the link is located (source page). External links, as opposed to internal links, which take users to other pages on your website, send visitors to completely separate sites. An external link to your site occurs when another website links to you. Similarly, connecting to another website is considered an external link.

External links are sometimes referred to as ‘authority links,’ a term derived from the fact that authors frequently utilize outbound links to back up content in their articles and link out to authoritative sources.

If you are in charge of generating content as part of your digital marketing efforts, chances are you are also in charge of any outbound links that reside inside these pieces.

Example of Code

<a href=”http://www.external-domain.com/”>Link Anchor Text</a>

Optimal Layout

In anchor text, use descriptive keywords that are related to the same topic or keywords as the destination page. It is not required to use the same keyword phrase each time; in fact, doing so may set off spam detectors. Instead, aim for a diversity of anchor text that improves context and usability to help users—as well as search engines.

According to leading SEOs, external links are the most important source of ranking power.
Because search engines regard external links to be third-party votes, they pass link equity (ranking power) differently than internal links.

The “title” link property is not used for ranking purposes, according to top SEOs.

Why Are External Links Important?

The quality and quantity of the external links you employ are important. Adding high-quality, trustworthy and useful website links to your pages can assist increase your website’s reputation, but adding low-quality, spam links will harm your site.

External linking to websites will not harm your page rank as long as the necessary information is from authoritative sites. This is why 65% of marketers measure their link quality by looking at their domain authority.

In the meantime, marketers utilize domain ratings (48%) and page authority (36% ) to assess link quality.

According to survey data on search engine ranking factors, obtaining external links is the single most essential goal for achieving high ranks. This is due to the fact that external links are one of the most difficult metrics to manipulate and, as a result, one of the greatest ways for search engines to identify the popularity of a specific web page, For example, Pages that rank #1 frequently have 35,000 or more backlinks.

External links, also known as outbound links, are links from other external websites that point to your site and help to increase the credibility of your site by demonstrating the value of your content. External links are an excellent method to reach out, create relationships in the world of content and digital marketing, and spread your content.

This sort of external link is an excellent source of free traffic for your website and, as previously said, is an important component of Google’s search engine algorithm. You need external links on your site, but you also want to generate inbound links as one of your link-building strategies to help boost the overall authority of your site. This can improve the user experience and encourage them to return to your website in the future for more high-quality content.

External Links FAQ

Are external links good for SEO?

The short answer is that external links matter and ARE beneficial to SEO, and it is widely acknowledged that external links are one of the most key metrics for high-position ranking.

Google’s Andrey Lipattsev stated on record in 2016 that links, along with content, are one of the top three ranking criteria. In the video below, skip until minute 30:15.

Ammon Johns: We’ve heard that this [links] is now the third most significant signal influencing results. Would it be helpful to know what the first two are? Could webmasters create better sites if they knew the first two?

Andrey: Yes, I can tell you exactly what they are. It’s content and links to your website.

What is an external link with example?

Any link that leads to a different domain is considered an external link. For example, www.semrush.com and www.moz.com are considered external links to loganix.com.

External links are classified into two types: nofollow and dofollow. Nofollow links do not pass ranking power from your website to the target page, but dofollow links do. Nofollow links, in other words, instruct search engines not to follow links.

By default, all links are set to dofollow. To make a nofollow link, include the rel=“nofollow” tag in your code.

Links look like this by default:

<a href=”http://www.loganix.com”>Email marketing</a>

Nofollow links have the rel=“nofollow” feature and appear as follows:

<a href=”http://www.loganix.com rel=“nofollow”>Email marketing</a>

What is an internal and external link in SEO?

Internal links are hyperlinks on one page of your site that send the reader to a target page on your site, whereas external links are hyperlinks that direct the visitor to a trustworthy page on a separate website.

In other words, internal links lead to sites on your own domain, and external links point to relevant pages on other domains.

What is the use of external links?

Earning backlinks to your website from other authoritative sources is an essential ranking feature that may help you appear higher in search results for keywords and phrases related to your business.

Indeed, SEO experts feel that external links are the most important source of ranking power since search engines regard them as third-party votes for your website.

How do I make an external link for SEO?

Let’s look at some external linking techniques to assist your website to get the most from your SEO strategy.

Relevancy – Consider the relevance of the site from which the link is coming when creating external links. Examine whether it is a natural fit (on a semantic and entity basis) for that page to be linking to your page or homepage. A cat website would not naturally link to a healthcare website. A website regarding cat health may, however, include a link to a veterinarian or a page about cat health supplements.

The volume of root domains – The most essential criteria for external links is relevance, authority, and link quality, although volume is also significant. If you have two sites with relevant quality links, the one with the greater volume is more likely to rank well. When creating a backlink profile, prioritize quality and relevancy above volume.

Authority of the linking page – Because outgoing links are viewed as ‘votes’ to another site based on the notion of academic citations, the more authority a site has, the greater the value of a link from that site. However, PageRank is passed at the page level rather than the site level, thus a page on a site may have very low authority in comparison to the main page.

Anchor text – Following the release of JC Penney’s Penguin in 2012, a shift in link building and the usage of anchor tests occurred. Although Google recommends that anchor text be descriptive and give a notion of what the website is about, you should avoid utilizing the same keyword anchor text across all backlinks. External link anchor text should include a variety of natural keyword variants and natural language referring to your target page.

Unnatural (or toxic) links – Many sites created before 2012 have historically damaging backlinks as a result of link farms, PBN, and volume spammy link creation. This led to a slew of manual penalties from Google following Penguin. A site should evaluate and audit its link profile, as well as file a disavow report for any unnatural links that may be detrimental.

To find external links to your website, you’ll need to make use of an outbound link checker, or SEO link-building tools such as Google Search Console or Moz’s Link Explorer. These indexes can display known backlinks to your site, as well as other information such as the anchor text utilized.

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


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

Are you interested in implementing external links to improve your SEO?

Whether you need a modest SEO campaign for a local business or a full-scale, highly competitive nationwide campaign, our team of professionals has the knowledge and track record to push our customers to the top of search results.

We handle the time-consuming and labor-intensive on-site optimization, link building, copywriting, and technical SEO work so you can focus on expanding your business.

Contact Loganix now to speak with a strategist and learn more about our monthly SEO packages, plans, and pricing. We are really happy to collaborate with you!

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

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Written by Aaron Haynes on November 23, 2021

CEO and partner at Loganix, I believe in taking what you do best and sharing it with the world in the most transparent and powerful way possible. If I am not running the business, I am neck deep in client SEO.