What are Internal and External Links and Why Do I Need Them?

Internal and External Links

You will come across these two phrases more and more when you begin searching for link building tips. First let us explain what they mean:
Internal Link – An internal link is a hyperlink that when selected directs you to a new page or area, of the same website or domain. Here is an example of an internal link – internal link – it is internal because when selected it takes you to the Fasthosts Blog home page and not to an external site such as http://bbc.co.uk/. Please note the text of the link can say whatever you want we’ve used the text “internal link” just for this example.
External Link – An external link is a hyperlink that directs you to a new website. Here is an example of an – external link – it is external because it goes to www.bbc.co.uk and not a page or area of the same website that the link is on.

So now we know what they are it is now time to understand why we need them. Link Building is one of the most important factors in Google’s (and other search engines) algorithm to decide where each website gets ranked when people are searching for a particular keyword or phrase. The higher up you rank for a keyword, the more traffic to your website you receive.

When you search for “web hosting” in Google the results that are on the first few pages are there because lots of other websites are linking to them. Having another website link to your acts like a “vote” for your site to tell Google that your site is interesting and important.

The more links (votes) you get, the more importance and relevance Google will place on your site. So if your site has 100 other sites linking to you and your competitor has 10 links then you will come higher in Google’s ranking. However, this is not always the case as it is also about the quality of the links. If the BBC, which is a well-established website, links to your site the value of that link far outweighs a link from a spammy competition website. One quality link will be better for your rankings than hundreds of poor quality links.

We’ve discussed what internal and external links are and why we need them so it’s now time to look at building up those links and getting some to your website.

Onto the next step 20+ ways to get external links to your website

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This article was written by James Hay, Social Media Coordinator at Fasthosts.

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