In this article, we’ll share some information about site’s back-links and internal links, about what they are and the best way to make them.
Table of Contents
- Introducing anchor text link
- Types of links
What is anchor text link?
An anchor text link or, simply, “link” is clickable text in a page that takes the user somewhere else. The Link could be a part of text like this:
Or it could be an image:
So, when you click on the link, it takes you somewhere else. But where? You never know… unless you see the source code, or sometimes when you hover the mouse on it, you may have a preview of the address you will be taken to:
But if you are using Google Chrome for example, with a little knowledge of HTML, you will be able to find out the destination of the link via the source code:
The highlighted HTML tag in the above picture is <a>. This <a> tag creates links. You can use <a>.
Types of Links
Based on the source and destination of the links, they can be divided into internal, outgoing and incoming / external links.
Internal links are the types of links that the source and destination are on the same domain. For example, if we have a page with this URL: http://mysite.com/internal-page.html
And if there’s a link in that page that redirects the user to: http://mysite.com/another-internal-page.html thus, the link will be counted as an internal link.
A very good example of internal linking is Wikipedia. In every article of Wikipedia, keywords are linked to other articles in Wikipedia because they explain that word better in that destination article:
In the above picture, you’ll see so many internal links in the intro section of the article. Other sections and paragraphs have internal links as well, but less than the introduction.
So, internal links are in-site links that take the user from one page to another, within the domain, to share more information regarding the linked keyword.
Google uses this strategy to weigh keywords in a site. It means, if you have a good linking scheme in your site, the linked keywords will have more significance to Google and thus it will rank your website higher compared to other websites, for those keywords.
Outgoing links are the links that the destination is another domain than the source domain. So, for example if website1.com has a page and inside that page there’s a link to website2.com, this link will be counted as an outgoing link for the source website (website1.com). Sending too many links outside is bad for SEO.
Outgoing links are like “giving a leg up” to the destination site!
Do you want that for your site? Maybe, sometimes it’s good to help other sites, and it’s not much of a trouble. But if you do that frequently, your rankings will drop and your destination websites will also not benefit from it much. Because the boost that you send to them will diminish over time, because divided by the number of outgoing links.
In other words, the more outgoing links, the worse for your site. The less outgoing links is better for your destination websites. And less harm for your rankings.
But having a few outgoing links (like 1 reference link in an article) every once in a while is not bad. It will give some credibility to your content.
Incoming links or Back-links
The opposite of outgoing links are incoming links. It means your website will receive a visitor from another website through a link.
So, if the user visits website2.com and clicks on a link that redirects him to website1.com, this destination site, which we call “target page”, will have a small boost in rankings in Google results.
Backlinks are good for the destination website, unless they are low quality, like a link in a page will hundreds of links! Those are called “link farms” and are not good for SEO.
Google used to enforce a penalty on the sites that get backlinks from link farms, pornography websites, gambling websites, websites with a virus or malware and other harmful websites.
But then some website owners complained that they never got a backlink from those sites and those links were added by competitors (negative SEO). So, Google added a service called Disavow Tool. It was a tool that Google accepted a list of backlinks that the verified website owner wanted to ignore by the search engine. So, the negative impact would go away.
But then Google made another decision and as of its update in 2016 (known as Penguin 4.0), it devalued bad / low quality links instead of penalizing the destination website.
So, today, there are no worries about getting low quality backlinks, but there still should be some caution.
Types of Backlinks
Now that we know getting a backlink for the target site is a good and positive thing, it raises a question like: how to get backlinks?
It’s our most difficult task in SEO. Because the websites are inconsistent, unstable and sometimes hate to give outgoing links! So, there is a wide spectrum of websites… so many types. And they are managed differently. A very unpredictable environment. What should we do?
After years of working on websites, we can use the experience and divide the back-linking sites to these types:
- Profile pages
- Listing Directories
- Site analyzers and stats
- Weblogs / Site builders
- Social platforms
- Article Directories
- Press-release Directories
- Link Farms
- Coupon Websites
- Review Websites
- Video / Media Upload Websites
Each of these categories have their own methodology to get a backlink from. Each website is unique with a special configuration and administration. Some admins allow outgoing links (mainly because they are too busy to control or simply don’t know anything about SEO). Some admins are strictly against outgoing links.
We can tell Google to ignore a link and don’t follow it and don’t pass value to the destination site with it, using a “rel” attribute in <a> tag, like this:
<a href=”http://website1.com” rel=”nofollow”>Keyword1</a>
With rel equals nofollow, Google will be flagged to ignore the link. Though, the search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, etc.) is free to follow the link if they want (probably for an up-to-date index database), but the website owner is telling the search engine to just don’t pass any value to the destination website because it’s not an important link.
So, some admins give “nofollow links” instead of do-follow links. What does that mean?
It means, Google will not count this link as a backlink. But it may follow it to do some data maintenance for its own database. So, we should always get backlinks that don’t have this nofollow in their <a> tag.
But speaking of experience, it’s been proven that Google considers “some” value in nofollow backlinks too. Because, it constantly compares websites with each other. And if there is a site with a clear backlink profile for a specific keyword and then there’s another website with some no-follow backlinks for that particular keyword, Google will pick the latter website to rank higher in its SERPS (search result pages), because Google considers nofollow links some positive signals that tell about the site’s roots and popularity among other sites.
So, as a result, getting nofollow backlinks are better than getting nothing. Especially these days, that almost 70% or more of backlinking websites allow only nofollow outgoing links.
Moreover, you should pay attention to noindex meta tag. Some pages have noindex tag in the <head> section of their html. And Google will not index those pages in its database.
<a href=”http://website2.com/?r=http://website1.com”>Click Here</a>
Your effort has been useless. Because it’s a redirect link.
Tips about Getting Backlinks
Please pay attention to these tips while getting backlinks. They are gathered by experience, mainly via try and error.
- No need to get more than 2 backlinks from a domain. More links are a waste of time in terms of SEO. But they can be good for driving traffic to the target domain, if they are powerful websites. But the total number of backlink domains is a key factor in SERPS.
- Nofollow back-links are not as good as do-follow links, but their existence is better than nothing.
- Link Juice is a term for the traffic a link is sending to the destination domain. It’s a highly positive parameter in Google’s algorithm. So, it’s wise to some times, using a new new IP, possibly incognito mode, or better using a different browser than Chrome, that you click on the backlink you have made yourself, just to fool Google that you’re a user and are interested in that target page. So, after you click on that link, it’s good to spend some time (more than 1-2 minutes) on the target website and visit more than 1 page and then close it. Make sure no other tabs are open on that browser before clicking on that browser. But it’s just a small help. The biggest help could be asking friends to open the source page and click on the backlink and then visit your site for 2-3 minutes. Or it would be great if the site naturally sends traffic to your site. That would be a really positive action to your site. Likewise, it’s also important that you avoid clicking on your competitor’s backlinks or search results in Google. Instead, you can right click on the link, copy address, and then paste it into the address bar. That way, Google will not consider it as link juice.
- Profile links are important. But Google will not index most of them, because most of them are useless. SEO guys usually don’t spend much time to fill out the fields in a profile. They put in a Website link and then leave. But Google will simply ignore them and thus, they will not contribute in the site’s ranking. In other words, a backlink is only effective, when Google indexes it and takes it into account for positioning your keywords. So, make those profile pages rich, with a nice profile image, social links, a good and lengthy bio, etc. If the site asks you to upload a video or a document, do so. Because uploading something to those websites will make your profile distinguished from dummy SEO profile pages.
- Avoid creating spammy links. Because they will most likely get removed by the admins. Instead, act natural. Even if you don’t use a keyword. And make your text link natural like: Click Here or something like that. Having a non-optimized backlink is better than a keyword-rich backlink that will be removed in 2 days.
- Article / Press release directories are really great in getting backlinks. They usually allow 1-2 links in the body of the article or in the source box / author box (at the bottom of the article). If you publish a blog post on the target website and after a few days publish a blog post or a press release on these directories, Google will consider this as an event and will boost the keyword for that site. But the effect is temporary, so you should keep pushing for that keyword.
- Some websites don’t allow links at all. So, typing the <a> tag will print the source code to the page or sometimes the site removes the scripts and will only output the text. So, there, it’s recommended to type the URL in a parenthesis like this: Keyword (URL) with http of course. Having a URL typed like a text will have an effect. It’s been proven!
- Don’t get too many backlinks in one night! It will raise a flag in Google. Eventually add your backlink profile. That way, Google will realize that you’re gaining popularity naturally. Natural link building is the key to success! Aggressive link building may have negative results!
- The content you use in your backlinks should be well optimized. Please read our other article regarding Writing Search-Engine-Friendly Articles.
- Avoid getting backlinks from pornographic, gambling, sites with malware, drugs or illegal activities websites, etc. They will have a bad impact on SEO and of course on your popularity.
- Some websites are local businesses. It means they have a physical address. Or, they have a fixed place (like a home office, or a virtual office). Those websites can be registered to a lot of listing directories, such as Yelp. But for registering in those sites, sometimes it’s required to verify phone number, verify physical address, etc. So, having those infos published on your site will help creating an image of your place. That will help locating your business on maps.google.com. It will have a positive effect on your SEO if you take local listing seriously.
- Subdomain backlinks are “usually” not good. So backlinks in pages like: mybusiness.somewebsite.com will not help your site that much. Instead links like: somewebsite.com/mybusiness will have a much more effect on rankings. Again: sub-domain backlinks are not that good. Sub-directory backlinks are great. So, weblogs naturally become less important because most of them offer sub-domains.
- In Google Analytics, the traffic is divided by these types:
- Organic (Search)
- Paid (CPC, Google Ads)
- Display (Ads on other sites)
Social traffic doesn’t contribute to keywords that much. But it will have a very positive effect on the whole site’s popularity and ranking. So, the more monthly traffic coming from social platforms, the better.
- Tier-two backlinks are a little more advanced backlinking strategy, but in general, they are backlinks for backlinks! It means you make a backlink and instead of your target page, you’ll use another backlink to make that page more popular. Sometimes it’s required to force Google index an important page and make it more important. For example, you may upload a video in YouTube and put your site’s link in the descriptions, but to make that video popular, it should either be a really catchy video or you can use tier-two backlinks to make it more popular. As a result, the video page will have a larger effect on your SEO compared to a normal backlink. And of course it will drive more traffic to your site, because videos have link juice, just like social media and ads.