7 External Linking Best Practices for SEO

Content. Links. RankBrain.

These are the top-ranking elements Google considers in relation to exhibiting outcomes on the search engine outcome web page (SERP). Given that a lot of search engine marketing facilities round getting numerous good hyperlinks to and out of your web site, it is important to learn to make these hyperlinks work for you.

In this text, we talk about what exterior linking is and why you must do it. We additionally reveal seven exterior linking finest practices. At the tip of this text, you will know find out how to use exterior linking to assist your content material seem larger on the search engine outcomes web page.

When must you hyperlink to different websites in SEO?

External hyperlinks are hyperlinks that direct readers to a web site aside from your individual. On the floor, utilizing exterior hyperlinks appears counter-intuitive-these hyperlinks take folks away out of your web site, in any case. However, as we will see later on this article, it is one of the crucial important sources of rating energy you may ever use.

What is an exterior linking technique?

An exterior linking technique is a strategy of following exterior linking finest practices to learn your web site. When carried out appropriately, an exterior linking technique can result in a excessive rating place for your content material.

Four Benefits of External Linking

Linking to outdoors web sites, when performed proper, affords a number of advantages:

1. External linking improves your credibility.

When you add reliable and related web site hyperlinks to your content material, it improves the credibility of your web site. In addition, precious exterior hyperlinks present your readers with references, which can improve your web site’s authority.

External linking is just like the way in which you cite sources in a bibliography for an educational paper-it reveals that you’ve got created your content material based mostly on sound analysis.

2. External linking improves your SEO.

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

If you hyperlink to an attention-grabbing article on a crucial matter of curiosity to your online business, Google makes use of this as one approach to know what your web site is about.

3. External linking is a straightforward approach to create connections.

Other web sites can inform if you’re linking to them. And the probabilities are that they may return the favor and hyperlink again to your web site if the chance arises, which is nice as a result of the extra high quality backlinks you get, the higher.

It’s a straightforward and constructive approach to attain out, make connections in your business, and get your content material in entrance of the best viewers.

4. External linking affords readers extra worth.

Adding exterior hyperlinks supplies a greater person 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 simply persistently hyperlink out to sources that’d assist them perceive a subject higher, they’re going to start to affiliate extra worth together with your web site.

External Linking Best Practices

(*7*) to Google, linking is among the most necessary elements for reaching excessive rankings, you have to perceive find out how to use exterior linking to your benefit. Here are key exterior linking finest practices to undertake.

1. Make the hyperlinks related.

When including exterior hyperlinks, do not simply add hyperlinks for the sake of it. Instead, add hyperlinks that direct readers to related content material.

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

Google and different search engines like google worth customers and wish to present essentially the most related outcomes to their question. Therefore, 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.


2. Link to respected sources.

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

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

If you haven’t any alternative however to hyperlink to web sites the place you do not belief the content material, use a no-follow tag. This tag signifies to look engine crawlers that the linked web page should not be related together with your web page.


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

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3. Use anchor textual content appropriately.

Let’s look at a sensible instance of what makes a great and dangerous anchor textual content.

We’ve obtained an article on HubSpot that talks about find out how to write a weblog put up. You can click on right here to learn that article.

See what I did there? The phrase “right here” is what is called the anchor textual content for the hyperlink. And this anchor textual content is crucial for search engines like google to learn your web site. Unfortunately, through the use of “right here” as an anchor textual content, I’m giving Google little or no assist or hints concerning the content material of the web page I’m linking to.

Instead, here’s a a lot better (and proper) method to do that:

The proper method: We’ve obtained a earlier article on HubSpot that talks about find out how to write a weblog put up.

The second method is a lot better than the primary for a number of causes.

First, the hyperlink is simpler for readers to click on on (and know that it is a hyperlink). But, extra necessary is the truth that we now have the anchor textual content as “find out how to 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. However, do not shoehorn anchor textual content into sentences as a result of it could appear to be spam, and readers may 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.

Here’s an instance the place Google provides extra details about find out how to write good hyperlink textual content.


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4. Add useful hyperlinks.

How many exterior hyperlinks must you use in your content material? There’s no conclusive reply.

However, you should not overwhelm your reader with too many exterior or inner hyperlinks. Your purpose when linking ought to be to offer the perfect reader expertise potential. You may find yourself dropping readers in the event that they really feel they’re merely getting used as a part of your SEO technique.


This web page from Backlinko has no less than 150 exterior hyperlinks and ranks #1 on the Google SERP for a number of queries. Therefore, you may have as many exterior hyperlinks as you want so long as it is sensible so as to add them.

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5. Open exterior hyperlinks in a special tab.

Your exterior hyperlinks ought to open in a special tab, and there are numerous the explanation why that is necessary. However, essentially the most important purpose to have hyperlinks open in a brand new tab is that this provides the customer as a lot management as potential with their expertise in your website.


This article about statistics that show why link-building is necessary comprises 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 the identical key phrases. For instance, in the event you’re concentrating on the key phrase “Best toys for canines,” you should not hyperlink to a website that’s already rating #1 for this key phrase.

Instead, hyperlink to web sites that supply worth to your content material, like pages that comprise common info. Using the “Best toys for canines” instance, you may hyperlink to a video a few particular canine toy you are selling that is not on a competitor’s web site.


In the picture above, HubSpot’s article about the perfect digital advertising and marketing instruments would not hyperlink to a competing article however hyperlinks to particular instruments like Ahrefs that assist 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 necessary?

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

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

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Build a Successful External Linking Strategy

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

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

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

Originally printed Nov 5, 2021 7:00:00 AM, up to date November 05 2021

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HubSpot Inc. printed this content material on 05 November 2021 and is solely accountable for the knowledge contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 05 November 2021 11:27:01 UTC.


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