Links (references, cross-references, hyperlinks or anchors) are some of the basic navigational elements that help to navigate between electronic documents, mainly web pages. Links can take a variety of forms, from text links to simple graphics to complex image maps. In the first case, the link is usually accompanied by anchor text, which is information about what awaits the user after clicking on the link.
As history has reported, it was the possibility of hyperlinks leading to a wide variety of resources that, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, became the driving force behind the creation of the web we are still dealing with today. Today, links are not just a way of getting from one place on the web to another. Indeed, they are an integral part of marketing and optimisation efforts.
Types of links
1. Internal links
Internal links are links that lead to other pages on the same website. They support user navigation on the site and help organise content.
2. External links
External links lead to pages on other websites. They are used to direct users to additional sources of information or to collaborate with other sites.
The role of links in SEO
1. Improving search engine visibility
Links play a key role in search engine optimisation (SEO), as search engines such as Google use links to index websites and assess their value. The more high-quality links leading to a page, the more likely it is to be ranked higher in search results.
2. Increased page authority
High-quality links from external, authoritative sites help build a site’s authority, which can affect positioning in search results. Search engines interpret these links as ‘votes of confidence’ for the target site.
3. Improving site structure and navigation
Internal linking is important for improving a site’s structure, which can affect its positioning in search results. Good internal linking helps search engines more easily understand a site’s content and relevance.
1. Building valuable content
Creating high quality, valuable content is the basis for gaining natural links from other sites. Valuable content is more likely to be shared and get links from other sites.
2. Networking with other sites
Establishing relationships with other sites in the industry and participating in community activities can contribute to gaining valuable external links. This can be achieved by participating in industry groups, commenting on blogs, sharing content on social media or collaborating with influencers.
3. Optimising internal linking
Thoughtful internal linking strategies can improve the structure of your site, make it easier for users to navigate and help search engines better understand how your site is organised. It is important to link to relevant, related content that may be useful to readers.
4. Avoiding Black Hat SEO techniques
It is worth avoiding manipulative and unethical linking techniques known as Black Hat SEO, such as link buying, linking in the wrong context or creating a link network (PBN). Search engines, such as Google, actively penalise sites using these methods, which can lead to a significant drop in positioning in search results.
Links play a key role in SEO, affecting the visibility, authority and structure of a site. To succeed in search engine optimisation, it is worth focusing on creating valuable content, collaborating with other sites, optimising internal linking and avoiding unethical linking techniques. Proper link management can help increase traffic to your site, improve your position in search results and build trust among users.