Link Types in SEO: How They Affect Performance Of Site? 

Links facilitate the flow of information, linking users to a world of knowledge, services, and goods. The top-ranked page on Google generally has 3.8 times more backlinks than sites ranked 2–10 in search results.

However, there are several types of links. Not all connections are created equally. Each kind has a specific function and its own set of traits.

In this post, we will discuss many different types of links, which are classified based on their characteristics. 

But first, we must define a link essentially.      

What is a Link?


A link is a reference point or connection between two pieces of digital material. It functions as a navigational aid, letting users smoothly go from one digital resource to another with a single click.

Links are vital to the structure of the World Wide Web, allowing interconnection and access to a huge array of information. 

They are also critical for search engine optimization and improving user experience in website design and online content.

What are the Different Types of Links?

Different sorts of links resemble the many routes in a large digital forest. Each provides a distinct role, directing visitors to diverse destinations, improving navigation, and enriching the overall online experience. Let us investigate several categories based on their nature.

a. Internal Links

internal link example

Internal links are hyperlinks. They direct users from one page to another on your website. Their primary function is to assist users in navigating your website, but they may also aid in improving SEO.

Here’s a simplified representation of what an internal link looks like:

Here’s how an internal link appears in HTML code:

<a href=””>Internal Linking</a>

Why Are Internal Links Important for SEO?

Internal links are an essential component of SEO for three reasons:

  • They assist search engines in comprehending the structure of your website.
  • They pass authority.
  • They assist people navigate your website.

Let’s get into the specifics!

1. They assist search engines in comprehending your website’s structure

When you strategically use internal links, you indicate that page A is connected to page B. This allows Google to comprehend the context of your pages and how they connect.

A strong internal linking structure also assists search engines in crawling (discovering) and indexing (storing in a database) the pages on your website. 

Google recognizes some pages because it has previously crawled them. When Google follows a link from one recognized page to another, it discovers new pages.”

Furthermore, internal links can assist show the contextual relationship between two sites.

2. They pass authority

Internal linking helps to distribute authority (or PageRank) to other pages on your website. Google’s PageRank algorithm determines the value of a webpage in terms of ranking.

  • Let’s assume page A has a lot of external links pointing to it.
  • This suggests that page A is likely to have higher authority due to PageRank.
  • We can transfer this authority to page C and other associated pages via internal links.

Identifying these pages can help you maximize the authority that comes to your site and improve your results.

3. They enable users to navigate between relevant pages

Internal linking also improves your website’s user experience (UX) by assisting users in finding relevant material.

Let’s imagine a visitor comes across an article on your website on “how to build a PC.”

You can include internal links to relevant product sites with PC components or to related material, such as an article on “how to fix a PC fan.”

Your objective should be to keep people on your site until they complete the required activity, such as completing a purchase, filling out a form, purchasing a product, and so on.

Showing users relevant, valuable material on the appropriate pages is the ideal approach to do this.

b. External Links

external link example

An external link, also known as an outbound link, is a hyperlink on a website that points to a different domain. 

They help search engines and users understand the topic and niche of a site and provide additional value and resources.

External links can also boost the ranking and reputation of a site if they come from authoritative and relevant sources.

Are External Links Effective for SEO?

Using external links (or outbound links) on your site can benefit your SEO in two major ways:

  • First, they bring value to users, which enhances the user experience.
  • A better user experience can also help to improve rankings in a variety of ways.
  • Second, they boost the receiving domain’s SEO since Google and other major search engines interpret them as votes of confidence in the connected webpage.
  • And each vote indicates that the material on that page is reliable, important, and beneficial.

This means that pages having a large number of external links connecting to them (also known as backlinks) from authoritative sites tend to rank better in search results. 

Nofollow vs. ‘Follow’ External Links:

“Nofollow” external links are hyperlinks that instruct Google not to provide ranking signals to the connected website. In other words, you do not “endorse” the page you are linking to.

To add a nofollow attribute to any external hyperlink, add rel=”nofollow” to the HTML code.

Like this:

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Example</a>

“Follow” external links, on the other hand, are hyperlinks that direct Google to send ranking signals to the connected website. To convert an external link into a “follow” link, no attribute is required. It is the default choice.

Like this:

<a href=””>Example</a>

But why would you use nofollow rather than follow external links?

  • In some cases, however, it can significantly improve your SEO.
  • If you do not wish to endorse or associate your site with the linked page, use the nofollow attribute.
  • For example, you may wish to link to a competitor’s page for context without passing authority.
  • Or perhaps you wish to mark a link as sponsored or connected.
  • Just be aware that Google sees the nofollow feature as a hint rather than a mandate. 

Best Practices for External Links!


1. Don’t be scared to connect out

Many individuals assume that linking to other websites would deplete important “link juice” from their own. That’s why they either make external links “nofollow” or avoid external linking entirely. However, no evidence supports this idea.

What we do know is that connecting to relevant websites and pages improves your content’s usefulness and creates a positive user experience for your visitors. So, don’t be scared to connect to sites that merit it.

On the other hand, transferring link equity to your rivals’ material through external links is probably a bad idea.

2. Stay away from link scams

Link schemes are purposeful attempts to affect search engine results via links. Some popular connection schemes include:

  • Buying or selling links to boost SERP ranks.
  • Excessive link exchange.
  • Creating links on your website utilizing automated programs.
  • Links to low-quality directories or bookmark websites.

If Google detects that you are posting links on your website for profit or engaging in other link scams, you may face a penalty.

Links inside a sponsored or affiliate article should carry the “sponsored” or “nofollow” attribute.

3. Use descriptive link text

Use descriptive anchor texts on all outgoing links to help your readers understand where the link will lead them. Google provides a useful but little-known link text guide, which we strongly suggest.

4. Conduct frequent audits of your external links

Spend some time every month or two reviewing the external links in your material. Some time ago, you linked a page that may have been erased, resulting in a broken external link on your site.

Broken links on a website are not vital, but they might degrade the user experience on your site. Redirecting external URLs may be riskier.

For example, at some time, you included a link to very extensive and useful bicycle maintenance instructions on your website.

A Black Hat SEO purchased and redirected the linked domain to a gambling website after a year of its expiration.

As a result, your site links to an irrelevant website, and you don’t even know about it. The Linked Domains report in Site Explorer provides the quickest way to see what websites you link to.

c. Backlinks 


Backlinks are external links that point to a page on your website. Your website receives traffic from other websites through the means of these, also known as inbound links.

The quality and amount of your backlinks might help you rank better on search engines like Google and Bing. People see these as a sign of a website’s popularity.

Implementing, maintaining, and analyzing backlink effectiveness is an essential component of search engine optimization and SEO tactics.

Engage in both on-page and off-page SEO to enhance organic traffic and get discovered by search engines.

On-page optimization is the process of developing content that allows search engines (and people) to comprehend what your website is about. Off-site optimization demonstrates to search engines that your material is valuable to third parties. The most significant value assertion is the backlink.

What is Backlink Authority and How is it Determined?

One of the key reasons why Google is the most popular search engine is that it was the first to recognize the importance of backlinks in SEO.

When Google first began in 1998, it employed a novel algorithm to rank websites based on link popularity, which means that a website ranks better if it has more links.

This algorithm, termed “PageRank” after Larry Page (Google’s co-founder alongside Sergey Brin), calculates not just the number of connections a webpage receives, but also the authority of those links.

This implies that not all backlinks are equivalent. Assume one of your website’s pages contains a backlink from two websites on distinct external domains:

  • Page A contains 200 backlinks.
  • Page B contains 20 backlinks.

If these two pages were on the same topic, Page A would probably rank higher than Page B. Page A is considered more authoritative in this case. After all, it contains ten times as many links.

In terms of these two backlinks to your website, the link from Page A is more useful than the link from Page B due to its greater authority.

Essentially, the PageRank algorithm provides an authority value to each web page depending on the number and quality of inbound connections.

d. Editorial Links

Editorial links have a substantial impact on a website’s SEO, including its reputation and online exposure.

Here’s a detailed look at two major types:

1. Natural links

The site owner does not actively gain links; they are formed organically. They exemplify a website’s content worth and significance in the digital environment.

When other renowned websites or writers link to a site because of its high-quality material, smart information, or unique resources, both users and search engines take it as a powerful endorsement.

These connections are commonly found in high-quality editorial material, such as news pieces, comprehensive manuals, and insightful blog entries.

The fundamental benefit of natural links is that they increase a site’s perceived authority and trustworthiness. 

Search engines such as Google see these organic links as indicators of content quality and relevancy, which improves the site’s search engine rating.

2. Self-developed Links

Self-made links are those established by the site’s owner or representative, typically through marketing or outreach activities. 

While they are not as organic as natural links, they are important components of a holistic SEO plan.

Guest blogging, forum postings, blog comments, and the distribution of press releases with embedded links back to the site are all common means for building these linkages.

To ensure successful self-created links, put them in relevant, high-quality settings and avoid making them appear manipulative or spammy to search engines. 

While they may not have the same weight as natural links in the eyes of search engines, well-executed self-created links can help to enhance exposure and traffic, complementing an entire SEO strategy.

To ensure successful self-created links, put them in relevant, high-quality settings and avoid making them appear manipulative or spammy to search engines.

When done correctly, they complement natural connections, resulting in a well-rounded and productive SEO strategy.


Understanding the various types of links is essential in the digital world. Each category has a distinct purpose, ranging from trust-building ‘Do Follow’ connections that increase SEO ranks to ‘No Follow’ links that retain link quality while not affecting SEO.

Then there are the ‘No Referral’ and ‘No Opener’ links, which protect user privacy and ensure browser security. 

Remember that connections are more than simply digital passageways; they are effective instruments for developing relationships, reputation, and an online presence.

Whether you want to improve your website’s SEO, protect user data, or ensure secure web navigation, the appropriate link type may make a big impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which types of links will boost SEO rankings?

Inbound or backlinks are essential for SEO rankings. Other websites link to yours, indicating confidence in your material, which Google views as confirmation of its quality.

2. What are the benefits of link building in SEO?

Link building is the practice of obtaining other websites to connect to your website’s pages. Its objective is to increase the “authority” of your pages in the eyes of Google, allowing them to rank higher and generate more search traffic.

3. Is having too many links harmful to SEO?

Adding more than a hundred links has no immediate negative influence on your site if your page authority is pretty strong. However, if you are just establishing a small firm, doing so may cause more harm than benefit. To be sure, just follow the instructions suggested by most SEO tactics. No more than 150 links per page.

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