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.

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.


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.


Related Topics

Internal Linking Backlinks Anchor Text Disavowing Backlinks Deep App Links