External Link

An external link in SEO refers to a hyperlink that points from one domain to an separate domain.  They are important because they can be seen as a ‘vote’ of confidence from one site to another, indicating that there is valuable content to be found. This can help search engines decide how trustworthy and authoritative a site is, which can affect how high it ranks in search results. External links can lead to increased traffic and improved credibility in the vast ecosystem of the web.

The Importance of External Links for Google

  • Google uses external links as part of its algorithm to understand how websites are connected.
  • These links can contribute to the perceived relevance and quality of your content.
  • High-quality external links can boost the authority of your site by association.
  • Google values the user experience, and helpful external links can provide additional context or information, enhancing that experience.
  • However, linking to low-quality or irrelevant sites can harm your site’s ranking.
  • The search engine assesses the nature of external links to prevent manipulative practices.
  • The diversity of external links also contributes to a natural link profile, which Google favors.
  • The strategic use of external links can therefore support SEO by aligning with Google’s mission to organize the world’s information meaningfully.

Best Practices for SEO When Using External Links

  1. Relevance Is Key: Link to content that is directly relevant to the subject of your page.
  2. Choose Quality Sources: Link to reputable and authoritative sites, which can boost the trustworthiness of your own site.
  3. Use Descriptive Anchor Text: The clickable text should clearly indicate what the linked page is about.
  4. NoFollow When Necessary: Use ‘nofollow’ attributes for links that are promotional or not vouched for.
  5. Keep It Balanced: Maintain a healthy ratio of external to internal links.
  6. Monitor Your Links: Regularly check that your external links are not broken and that the linked content remains relevant and appropriate.
  7. Be User-Focused: Always consider the added value to your users when incorporating external links.
  8. Avoid Overlinking: Too many external links can distract from your content and lead to a poor user experience.
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