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.

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.


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.


Related Topics

Internal Linking Backlinks Anchor Text Disavow Deep App Links