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 Has No Preference Between Text Links & Image Links

June 28, 2019 Source

Google has adapted to handle all sorts of different organic links, and doesn’t see text links as better than image links.


External Links Are More Critical for Initial Content Discovery & Crawling

June 28, 2019 Source

External links are useful for helping Google find and crawl new websites, but they become less important to Google once it has already discovered the site in question.


Forum Links Don’t Usually Have SEO Benefit But Can Drive Referral Traffic

June 28, 2019 Source

Links within forum comments are usually nofollowed so they won’t have any benefit from an SEO perspective, however, engaging with relevant users in forums is useful for community building and driving referral traffic to your site.


Google Takes The Disavow File into Account Immediately

May 3, 2019 Source

When re-crawling the URLs specified in the disavow file, Google will immediately drop these. However, they will still appear in the Links Report seen in Google Search Console.


Google Ignores Links from User-generated Content

April 7, 2019 Source

Google is able to identify and ignore links pointing to other websites within user-generated or auto-generated content.


Google Ignores Links from User-generated Content

March 19, 2019 Source

Google is able to identify and ignore links pointing to other websites within user-generated or auto-generated content.


External Links to Other Pages May Help Google Understand the Context of a Page and Improve User Experience

November 30, 2018 Source

Including external links to other pages can help Google to understand the context of a page a little bit, and may improve the user experience, but external links don’t impact rankings directly.


Google Doesn’t Select Homepages as the Most Important Page by Default

September 18, 2018 Source

Google doesn’t automatically decide that the homepage is the most important page on a site. This is an effect often seen because Google’s signals indicate the homepage is important e.g. through internal linking and backlinks.


Links Can be Ignored Algorithmically and Manually by Google

August 24, 2018 Source

Links can be ignored algorithmically and manually by the Web Spam Team when they are taking manual action on a site to block the site from passing PageRank.


Related Topics

Internal Linking Backlinks Anchor Text Disavow Deep App Links