Links and website SEO go together like peanut butter and jelly. Links are one of the most important factors when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Links play a significant role in determining the ranking of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs). I often talk about links with my clients and I don’t always do a good job of explaining which links are important and why. Frankly, the thing about links and website SEO is that some links are better than others, but they all play a role in making your website both search engine- and reader-friendly.
The World of Links on Your Website
Let’s just walk through the list of different types of links for websites and I’ll clarify their role in SEO.
Internal links are the links that connect one page of a website to another page within the same website. These links help search engines to understand the structure of the website and how pages are related to each other. Internal linking can also help to improve the user experience by making it easier for visitors to navigate a website. Additionally, internal links can help to distribute page authority and link equity throughout the website, which can positively impact search engine rankings.
When reading a website page you will often see a word or phrase in the text highlighted with that typical blue font color or link indicating it is a link to something else. We have been accustomed to that cue that if we click it we will find more to read on another page.
Anchor text is the text that is used to create a hyperlink. It is important for SEO because it can provide context and relevance to the linked page. Search engines use anchor text to understand what a linked page is about, and the more relevant and descriptive the anchor text is, the more likely it is to positively impact search engine rankings. The hyperlinked text or anchor text can link to another page on your website or to an external page. So anchor text would also be either an internal link or an external link.
An external link and a backlink are both types of links, but there is a difference between the two.
An external link is a link that points from one website to another website. For example, if website A links to website B, that is an external link for website B. External links are important for search engine optimization (SEO) because they indicate to search engines that other websites consider the linked website to be a valuable resource. This can help to increase the authority and trust of the linked website in the eyes of search engines, which can improve its rankings.
A backlink, on the other hand, is a specific type of external link that points to a website from another website. In other words, a backlink is an external link that is directed toward a specific website. For example, if website A links to website B, that is a backlink for website B. Backlinks are considered to be one of the most important factors for SEO, as they are a strong indicator of the authority and relevance of a website. Search engines view backlinks as votes of confidence from other websites, and the more high-quality backlinks a website has, the more likely it is to rank well in search results.
Let’s say you have your website listed in your LinkedIn profile. That serves as a backlink to your website from a high authority website, LinkedIn. Sweet!
Nofollow links are a type of link attribute that instructs search engines not to pass any link equity from the linking website to the linked website. This means that nofollow links do not directly impact search engine rankings. However, nofollow links can still be valuable for SEO, as they can help to drive traffic to a website and increase its visibility.
Dofollow links are a type of link attribute that instructs search engines to pass link equity from the linking website to the linked website. These links can help to improve search engine rankings by increasing the authority and trust of the linked website.
Juice or No Juice?
You may run across the phrase of juice or no-juice links. This is just another way to refer to the no follow and do follow concept. Juice is the link equity of the referring website being passed along to the referred website. No juice means no follow, no link equity, and no impact on search visibility or SEO.
Links and Website SEO. What Now?
Bottom line, there are many different types of links that can impact search engine rankings. Internal links help search engines understand the structure of a website, while external links and backlinks can improve the authority and trust of a website. Nofollow and dofollow links can both be valuable for driving traffic and improving visibility, while anchor text provides context and relevance to linked pages. By understanding the role of different types of links in SEO, you can better optimize your websites for search engines and improve rankings.
Then again, if you are working with an SEO professional or team like Vision PRM, a deeper understanding of the role of the various types of links will help you better evaluate the work being done. You will also find our status reports with all the detail much more comfortable to read!!
If you would like to learn more, I’d be happy to have a conversation or provide you with a SNAPSHOT of what the search engines see when they crawl your website. Once you have an objective view of what is getting attention and what is not (what’s working and what’s not) we can better develop a plan to increase your business website’s visibility in search.
I always say we just want to “be seen, be heard, be understood.” Your website feels the same way.