External Linking

External linking is the practice of including links to other websites within your content. These links help search engines understand the context of the page, as well as providing a good user experience. There are several methods of external linking, of which Google handles differently, these are explored within our Hangout Notes, along with further recommendations.

Google algorithms can still lose trust in sites displaying a strong pattern of manipulative links

October 30, 2021 Source

Google tries to isolate and ignore spammy or toxic backlinks. However, there still are some cases where a site with a very strong pattern of unnatural links can lose trust and be penalized with a drop in visibility.

No Need to Disavow Links From Sites that Have Decreased in Traffic or Popularity Over Time

January 7, 2020 Source

It can be natural for some sites to receive less traffic over time, so there’s no need to disavow links from sites that have decreased in popularity, unless the link itself is spam.

Rel=”sponsored” & Rel=”ugc” Attributes Aren’t Essential

January 7, 2020 Source

It isn’t essential to include rel=sponsored and rel=ugc link attributes, as some sites may find that rel=nofollow is working well for them. These newer link attributes can give Google more context around links, but it isn’t necessary to update all the links on your site if everything is working correctly.

Links Don’t Depreciate in Value Over Time, But Pages They’re Found on Can

October 4, 2019 Source

The signals that a link has won’t depreciate in value over time. However, the pages that the links are found on and link to externally may become less important over time as they are hidden deeper within a site’s architecture, especially if it is a site that is changed and updated often.

External Links Shown in GSC Can Contain Disavowed or Nofollowed Links

October 4, 2019 Source

The external links shown in Google Search Console are a sample of all the links found by Google, so not all of them will be displayed in the tool. The sample data may include links that have been disavowed or nofollowed.

Affiliate Links Don’t Impact Site Quality But Should Have Rel=sponsored Attribute

October 4, 2019 Source

Having affiliate links can be a genuine way to monetise a website, and this doesn’t impact the perceived quality of a site for Google. It’s recommended that you add rel=sponsored to these types of links, which means that they will be nofollowed.

Main Change With New Nofollow Attributes is For Outbound Links

September 20, 2019 Source

The plan for the update to rel=nofollow links becoming a hint is to make it so that minimal changes are required when using nofollow links internally on a site. John believes they will continue to see internal nofollow pages as not as important to be crawled or indexed. We asked a number of top SEO experts for their opinion on these changes and the impact they anticipate, you can find out more in our post here.

Use Alt Tags as Anchor Text when Linking with Images

August 9, 2019 Source

When using links within images, make sure the alt attribute is being used in order to provide the anchor text that you want associated with the link.

There is No Ranking Advantage to Marking Outgoing Links as Nofollow

July 26, 2019 Source

Using rel=follow on outgoing links will not affect a site’s rankings compared to one using rel=nofollow. John explained that using rel=follow outbound linking on a webpage helps Google to see the site is part of the normal web ecosystem.

Related Topics

Internal Linking Backlinks Anchor Text Disavow Deep App Links