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 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.

Data in the New Search Console Links Report Will Differ From the Old One

August 21, 2018 Source

The new GSC links report is calculated slightly differently so it’s normal to see some differences in data from the old report. The new report is more accurate.

Google Will Ignore Links You Submit to Directories

July 24, 2018 Source

Google wants links to be natural recommendations from people to other sites, so links to your site that you submit to directories will be ignored.

Image Tags Without A Href Elements Aren’t Treated as Links

July 24, 2018 Source

For an image to be considered as a link by Google, it needs to have an ‘a’ tag and href element. Using an img tag to point to an image on another site, for example, is not seen as a link.

Google Can Ignore UTM Tracking Parameters in URLs

July 10, 2018 Source

For URLs with UTM tracking parameters, Google will ignore the parameter and focus on the primary URL instead. Google will try to crawl UTM parameter URLs if they are linked to externally though, so use the parameter handling tool in GSC or the canonical tag in this instance.

Google Differentiates Domains Even With Similar Names & Linking Profiles

July 10, 2018 Source

If there are two domains with similar names, Google will be able to differentiate them even if they have similar linking profiles. So the algorithms won’t start to favour a site that is copying your domain and linking strategy, for example.

Related Topics

Internal Linking Backlinks Anchor Text Disavowing Backlinks Deep App Links