7 External Linking Best Practices for SEO

Content material. Hyperlinks. RankBrain.

These are the top-ranking factors Google considers in the case of displaying outcomes on the search engine consequence web page (SERP). On condition that a lot of SEO facilities round getting plenty of good hyperlinks to and out of your web site, it’s important to learn to make these hyperlinks be just right for you.

On this article, we focus on what exterior linking is and why it’s best to do it. We additionally reveal seven exterior linking finest practices. On the finish of this text, you’ll know use exterior linking to assist your content material seem greater on the search engine outcomes web page.

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When must you hyperlink to different websites in search engine optimisation?

Exterior hyperlinks are hyperlinks that direct readers to a web site apart from your personal. On the floor, utilizing exterior hyperlinks appears counter-intuitive—these hyperlinks take individuals away out of your web site, in spite of everything. Nonetheless, as we will see later on this article, it’s probably the most important sources of rating energy you may ever use.

4 Advantages of Exterior Linking

Linking to exterior web sites, when achieved proper, provides a number of advantages:

1. Exterior linking improves your credibility.

While you add reliable and related web site hyperlinks to your content material, it improves the credibility of your web site. As well as, worthwhile exterior hyperlinks present your readers with references, which can improve your web site’s authority.

Exterior linking is much like the best way you cite sources in a bibliography for a tutorial paper—it exhibits that you just’ve created your content material based mostly on sound analysis.

2. Exterior linking improves your search engine optimisation.

The exterior hyperlinks you add can help engines like google in figuring out the usefulness and high quality of your pages. Excessive-quality pages often hyperlink to different high-quality pages; thus, engines like google will take a look at your content material favorably, serving to you rank higher.

For those who hyperlink to an fascinating article on a important matter of curiosity to your small business, Google makes use of this as one technique to know what your web site is about.

3. Exterior linking is a straightforward technique to create connections.

Different web sites can inform if you’re linking to them. And the possibilities are that they may return the favor and hyperlink again to your web site if the chance arises, which is nice because the more quality backlinks you get, the better.

It’s a straightforward and optimistic technique to attain out, make connections in your trade, and get your content material in entrance of the suitable viewers.

4. Exterior linking provides readers extra worth.

Including exterior hyperlinks offers a greater consumer expertise for readers. These hyperlinks result in associated info that provides to the worth in your content material with out duplicating content material. When readers see that you just constantly hyperlink out to assets that’d assist them perceive a subject higher, they’ll start to affiliate extra worth along with your web site.

Exterior Linking Finest Practices

In line with Google, linking is among the most vital factors for achieving high rankings, it’s essential to perceive use exterior linking to your benefit. Listed below are key exterior linking finest practices to undertake.

1. Make the hyperlinks related.

When including exterior hyperlinks, don’t simply add hyperlinks for the sake of it. As a substitute, add hyperlinks that direct readers to related content material.

Good exterior hyperlinks are likely to level to associated content material. Examples of what you would possibly hyperlink to incorporate statistics, infographics, movies, and so on.

Google and different engines like google worth customers and wish to present essentially the most related outcomes to their question. Due to this fact, when exterior hyperlinks come from web sites in the identical area of interest, Google higher understands the relevance of your content material and its recognition, resulting in the next SERP rating.


External Linking Best Practices Example: Make links relevant

2. Hyperlink to respected sources.

The exterior hyperlink within the picture above has 60% as its anchor textual content. It results in a web site that incorporates that statistic and different related info.

When linking externally, solely hyperlink to websites which can be authoritative and reliable. For those who hyperlink to web sites that promote clickbait content material or aren’t skilled, you’ll diminish your reader’s belief. And it may negatively have an effect on how engines like google rank your content material.

You probably have no alternative however to hyperlink to web sites the place you don’t belief the content material, use a no-follow tag. This tag signifies to look engine crawlers that the linked web page shouldn’t be related along with your web page.


The latest content marketing report compiled by HubSpot is filled with exterior hyperlinks to respected sources within the content material advertising and marketing trade.

External Linking Best Practices Example: Link to reputable sources

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3. Use anchor textual content appropriately.

Let’s study a sensible instance of what makes an excellent and unhealthy anchor textual content.

We’ve obtained an article on HubSpot that talks about write a weblog put up. You may click on here to learn that article.

See what I did there? The phrase “right here” is what is named the anchor text for the hyperlink. And this anchor textual content is important for engines like google to learn your web site. Sadly, by utilizing “right here” as an anchor textual content, I’m giving Google little or no assist or hints in regards to the content material of the web page I’m linking to.

As a substitute, here’s a significantly better (and proper) approach to do that:

The suitable approach: We’ve obtained a earlier article on HubSpot that talks about how to write a blog post.

The second approach is significantly better than the primary for a number of causes.

First, the hyperlink is simpler for readers to click on on (and know that it’s a hyperlink). However, extra vital is the truth that we now have the anchor textual content as “ write a weblog put up.” So, when the search engine spiders “see” this hyperlink, they issue within the anchor textual content when figuring out what the goal web page is about.

So, use descriptive key phrases in anchor textual content or key phrases the linked web page is making an attempt to focus on. Nonetheless, don’t shoehorn anchor textual content into sentences as a result of it will possibly appear to be spam, and readers would possibly discover it annoying.

After together with anchor textual content, learn it once more. Does it look pressured? Does the hyperlink look useful and pure? You need the latter to be true.

Right here’s an instance the place Google provides extra details about how to write good link text.


External Linking Best Practices Example:  using anchor text correctlyImage Source

4. Add useful hyperlinks.

What number of exterior hyperlinks must you use in your content material? There’s no conclusive reply.

Nonetheless, you shouldn’t overwhelm your reader with too many exterior or inside hyperlinks. Your aim when linking needs to be to supply the most effective reader expertise potential. You would possibly find yourself dropping readers in the event that they really feel they’re merely getting used as a part of your search engine optimisation technique.


This web page from Backlinko has at the least 150 exterior hyperlinks and ranks #1 on the Google SERP for a number of queries. Due to this fact, you may have as many exterior hyperlinks as you want so long as it is smart so as to add them.

External Linking Best Practices Example: add helpful links using easyredir

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5. Open exterior hyperlinks in a unique tab.

Your exterior hyperlinks ought to open in a unique tab, and there are numerous the reason why that is vital. Nonetheless, essentially the most important motive to have hyperlinks open in a brand new tab is that this offers the customer as a lot management as potential with their expertise in your website.


This text about statistics that prove why link-building is important incorporates exterior hyperlinks that open in a brand new tab. This lets the reader proceed studying the article whereas additionally looking on the info you linked to with out dropping one or the opposite.

6. Don’t hyperlink to competing web sites.

It’ll be detrimental to hyperlink to websites competing for a similar key phrases. For instance, in the event you’re focusing on the key phrase “Finest toys for canines,” you shouldn’t hyperlink to a website that’s already rating #1 for this key phrase.

As a substitute, hyperlink to web sites that provide worth to your content material, like pages that include common info. Utilizing the “Finest toys for canines” instance, you may hyperlink to a video a couple of particular canine toy you’re selling that’s not on a competitor’s web site.


External Linking Best Practices Example:  external link to ahrefs

Within the picture above, HubSpot’s article in regards to the best digital marketing tools doesn’t hyperlink to a competing article however hyperlinks to particular instruments like Ahrefs that help the article.

7. Conduct a hyperlink audit.

Spend a while each quarter (or inside common intervals) to audit your content material for any outdated or damaged hyperlinks. Why’s this vital?

When readers encounter damaged or outdated exterior hyperlinks in your content material, it diminishes their expertise, and so they would possibly start to lose religion in your credibility.

You should utilize a instrument like Check My Links to search out damaged hyperlinks in your web site.

External Linking Best Practices Example: conduct a link audit with Check my links

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Construct a Profitable Exterior Linking Technique

High quality exterior hyperlinks in your content material present extra assets to your readers whereas constructing your content material and web site’s authority. When achieved proper, exterior linking may even increase your rating on the SERP.

So now could be the time to implement all you’ve realized from this text and make exterior hyperlinks be just right for you.

Editor’s word: This put up was initially revealed in January 2007 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.


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