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Internal and external links

Link, hyperlink, reference - What do these terms mean?

What exactly is the difference between links, hyperlinks, referrals, internal and external links? How many internal links should I include per site from an SEO point of view? When will there be too many internal links? And what is Linkjuice anyway? Answers to questions that frequently reach us as an SEO agency.

An important factor for Google are recommendations from other websites. These recommendations are called hyperlinks or also references to other Internet contents ("links") and are often recognizable as underlined words within a text or in the footnote of a website. A classic example of a link is this one: https://onpageseo.tools/

Many users, including professionals, are unclear about this topic.

  1. What are internal links?
  2. What are internal and external links?
  3. How many internal links per page?
  4. How important are internal links?
  5. What is Linkjuice?

What are internal links?

Internal links link content on your website. Example: One blog article refers to another. Also the menu of your site consists (mostly) of internal links. They are important for search engine ranking, but by far not as important as external links.

What are internal and external links?

Internal links are links within your web content. The navigation of a website, for example, usually consists of 100% internal links. External links are links that go from your website to others or vice versa; they are also understood as recommendations.

How many internal links per page?

As a rule of thumb, do not use more than 200 internal links per site. With the limit Google wants to prevent manipulations. However, the number is not carved in stone, it also depends on how strong the external links are.

How important are internal links?

Internal links can have a positive influence on the ranking of a page. The more, the better the page will rank with the keywords used - but only if the external links are also strong. On their own, internal links have hardly any effect.

What is Linkjuice?

Linkjuice describes the positive effect that an internal or external link can have on the ranking of the target page. For example, the target page receives a linkjuice to the keywords in the link itself through a text link.

An example for Linkjuice: Internal links - this target page now gets Linkjuice from this blog post to the keyword "internal links".

It is a great disadvantage if a page does not receive any internal links at all. These pages are called Orphan Pages. They are caused by mistakes or as a temporary solution. As a rule, search engines rate these pages as bad, which can cause the whole ranking of a complete website to suffer.

Types of links - diversity with different effects

There are not only text links, but many different types of links. Most common are text & image links. The different types of links have different peculiarities and potentials that influence the weighting in search engine optimization:

Text links

Text links can be divided into many sections and categories. For example: where the link has been placed on a web page, how often it appears on the page and whether it refers directly to your page or redirects to your page.

Those who surf the Internet a little know these links, which open a new page in your Internet browser as soon as the link has been clicked. Often, such pages display the company logo and a message that tells you that you will be redirected to your desired page in a few moments.

When it comes to categorizing links, there are no limits for Internet site operators (also known as "webmasters").

The most common text links within search engine optimization are content or footer links.

Image links

References that are often not recognized are images that are directly linked to certain content on the Internet. In nine out of ten cases, experience shows that image links are used for internal linking in order to enlarge images on other pages or to simplify a certain action for the user with the image.

An example would be to set a link to a product that is photographed on the image.

Image links are rarely used for external links. External image links are hardly important for search engine optimization, except in some niches.

The Weighting of Text Links and Image Links in Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is not a workflow that is fixed forever and is so diverse that one can only work with a "laboratory environment" for quality assurance in very few cases.

Our conclusion on the weighting of links:

For a good optimization, you usually need all types and types of internal links to show the search engine that you want to have users on your website. The best way to do this is to create a healthy mix of links. Some of them should be image links and others should be in-content links. The mixture of the individual links makes the SEO success.

The order of the links is sorted by weighting (from insignificant to significant):

  1. Image link
  2. footer link
  3. content link

Pay attention to the keywords - to the anchor text!

Especially when designing internal links, but also external links, you should pay attention to the keywords contained in the link itself. These "clickable" text passages are called anchor text.

A classic is "Read on here" or similar formulations. The disadvantage of this approach: The linked content is linked to Linkjuice with the words "Read on here". However, the contents should rank among their own keywords. Formulations that deal with the content are better.

Rule of thumb: When formulating anchor text, stick to the heading of the target content.