Hey, guys, this is Varun with Seotrainingahmedabad, All right, today in this article, we're talking about internal & external links. So if you are a SEO guy your should probably know that internal links are a chance to vote for yourself. So what exactly are internal links?

Also Read: How to choose a domain name 

What is internal linking?



They're simply links on your page that link to anythingon your own site, so that's pages on your own domain and I say "domain," so not subdomain, but the same domain.

Anytime you link to yourself, that's simply just called an internal link. It's just the official term for something you probably already know and are probably already doing. An important thing to note that internal links are not just links inside of your post content. So if you're writing a blog post, and you have a few links there, you have way more links on your actual page, right everything in your navigation, your header, your footer, your sidebar.

When we're saying "internal links," every one of those links count. I'm going to refer back to this a few times. So it's important to remember, when you're thinking internal links, not just when you're writing a post,
think about internal links across your entire site.


How to do it?

All right, so what should you internally link to on your site? So this is a super complex topic that we're going to actually be covering in an upcoming article about link structure and information architecture &
many different terms that describe basically your site's structure. That's incredibly important, and that's dictated by your internal links. So we're going to give a little
more of a brief overview here.


Use anchor text

So when it comes to what you should be linking to, I want you to use anchor text as your guideline. We will talk about anchor text in my another article. For example in here i am going to link to my SEO classes in Ahmedabad & there's a reason why. Anchor text is incredibly important. You remember, when you link to something, the link text should be basically what the key phrase of the page you are linking to. All right, so why am I saying use anchor text as your guide? So whenever you're going to write a post, now when you're  linking to something, I'm only letting you use the anchor text when you link to it.

You can't use cheats like "click here" or linking on paragraphs or images or anything else. You can only link on anchor text. And if you're using that as your guide, you're only going to link to things that are contextually relevant to that post.That's super important. In Google's Webmaster Guidelines, they basically tell you, only link to things that are a good user experience or useful for the user to use for navigation.

So that is going to be your guideline here. You're not just linking to things, because you want to rank on them. You're linking to things, because you think they're going to be useful for your user. They fit into the context of what you are writing.I mean that's also a super important thing to know.Google is a contextual search engine where they use natural language processing & things like that. It's improving all the time.

It's going to learn just as much about a link from the text around your link as the anchor text itself. So it's really important, as you are writing, that you are organically linking the things. You're not faking it for the sole purpose of getting that anchor text or that link into another post. If you're using that as your guideline, you'll pretty much be able to figure out what you should be linking to, and it will be organic within that
post, and you'll be OK.


How many internal links?

So how many links or internal links should you aim for in a given post? So again, remember, internal links count everything on your page, so it's actually a good thing to link as many times internally as you can,because you want to outweigh kind of all that navigation bloat you're going to end up having. In your navigation, you'll probably have tons of links, so out the gate, you probably have 20, 30 links counting
against that page rank you're distributing out.

Get as many into your internal post as you can. There's like an age old number that people use to toss around. You could have a maximum of 100 links per page. That's because Google said that  I don't know like 10 years ago when their algorithm and their computers were, you know, not as complex as they are today. Since then, if you read the webmaster guidelines, Google says you can have thousands of links on a page.

I promise you, even in a 5,000-word blog post, you will never hit Google's upper limits. So you cannot link enough, especially if you're following our guidelines that i said before. Make sure you're only linking on anchor text and within text. I'm going to throw another guideline in for you.

Space out your links

If you've ever used Yoast SEO plugin, you know that it is always recommend using short web-friendly paragraph, so one the two sentences per paragraph. I'll touch on this a little bit more in my another article because it's super important for us SEO to, not just for usability, but make sure you're breaking up your paragraphs again, one to two sentences. If you're following that, one to two links per each of those
paragraphs, and you'll be OK.

You're going to get a lot of texts around there to give Google that contextual stuff they love, and you'll make sure it's a good user experience, because you didn't over stuff with links. And therefore, you will never hit the upper limits of Google. In the back of your mind, remember every link is something that you are voting for. So don't link to things that you don't want to rank. There are exceptions to that, obviously. For legal reasons, you might need to link to a terms of service or a privacy policy.

For business reasons, you might need to link to your About Us page. There are going to be exceptions that are pages that you won't rank for that you will need to link to. Whenever possible, only link to things that you want to rank on and are good for the user experience. So along those lines, when you go to your site navigation, your whole theme, and your footer and everywhere around it, clean up your links. Get rid of any links that you don't need for that user experience. If you're linking to something for the sole purpose of, I wanted to fill up my sidebar, kill those links. Because that's not a good user experience.

Only link to things that you want to rank on or that you think the user needs in that experience, because remember, all of those links are weighing you down when it comes to your ability to pass your page rank around. Clean it up.
Time for a little spring cleaning on those links.

Don't link more then once

All right, this is kind of more of an Eric thing, but don't link to the same page twice. You can't vote for something twice. If you link to it four or five, six times, Google isn't giving you six votes for that. You only get one vote, and it's not a great user experience in general. Linking to something multiple times, unless you absolutely need to for that user experience, cut the links out. Link the first time generally the best.

Second, time, third time, whatever you think is the best for the user experience. If you use the anchor text 30 times on a post, and you're like, oh, man, there's 30 chances to link to that thing, no. Link once. By doing that Page Rank is just getting wasted. Again, not a great user experience.

Always link on plain text

All right, so last thing is kind of more of a technical thing, and that's how you can link to yourself internally. So Google recommends always linking on plain text whenever possible in the webmaster guidelines. So what that means is just using a plain old A tag or a HREF in the attribute. Don't do things like JavaScript, or you do like an onclick. Don't do buttons. Don't do even images when you can. Obviously, for your logo, it's probably going to be an image that links. That's OK.

Just make sure in those cases, you use good alt text. Whenever you can, link on plain text. It's a better user experience. Again, remember when users are browsing quickly, they want to be able to easily see what they're linking to. You have accessibility issues if you're using a lot of images for your links. And again, Google is flat out telling you, link on text. So please link on text whenever you can. There are some obvious reasons you might need to use JavaScript to generate your links, if you have, like, what's called a single page app. There are exceptions to this, but if you're writing a blog post, and you're on WordPress, none of those exceptions apply to you. So use plain text links when you can. And that is pretty much our on internal links nowlets talk about external links !

What is external linking?


So what am I referring to when I'm talking about external links? So external links are anytime you are linking to another website. So I'm not referring to when websites link to you. Those are called generally back links or inbound links. We're specifically talking about external links or outbound links and how they can help you with SEO. So you may be confused. Most people, when they think of external links, think about people linking to them to help with their SEO.

Lets talk about how you should be linking to other websites and how it can actually help with your SEO.All right. You might have heard about "No man is an island". You can't link to other people unless external links
come into your site. So keep that in the back of your mind of why external are so important. They are literally the foundation of the Google algorithm. So you can imagine that Google probably wants to encourage you to link out to other people, be a good citizen.

Obviously, the links into you are the most important but in terms of your page rank. But in terms of your ranking, you're actually going to need both.All right. So where are we getting this information from? As usual, this comes from Google. So if you listen to a great video by John Mueller basically, a publisher directly asked, does linking to other websites help or hurt your SEO? And John Mueller described or answered the best way that Google could. They're always a little bit cryptic in their answers. But they said, yes, it's actually a good user experience to link to other things. It helps your user establish trust in what you're saying.

They get a little more context about what you're saying. And that's ultimately what Google is trying to do. They're trying to return the most trustworthy, best content for the user. So if they're flat out saying, this is the best user experience to link to other trustworthy subjects, you should probably be doing it. They also refer to external and outbound links in the SEO starter guide. So again, everything I'm telling you here is backed up by Google. So let's proceed and go on with why you should be linking to other people.

Who should you link to?

All right. So first off, the question is generally who you should be linking to because that's the most important thing. Whenever you're going to be linking to another person on something, you want to make sure that you are going to trust them yourself because you're about to tell your users you can trust this source. So only link to people you trust.This is incredibly important. So make sure you're linking to experts in the field.

If you're linking to your friends, which often happens in the blogging community, make sure these are bloggers that you actually trust the recipes of. You're not just doing it because you're friends with them.
These are people that produce good recipes or great lifestyle content. Men who are business experts. Incredibly important, again, that you are linking to other experts. So example, in this particular blog post,
I'm going to link to Wikipedia because who source providing highest information? Wikipedia ! Or if I'm going to link to other experts, it's going to be established SEO experts in the field. And those are people that I can ultimately tell you to trust.

If I linked to them, you're going to say, Varun trusts this SEO guy. He must know what he's talking about. So it is very important. You see that transfer of trust. That's the entir idea behind page rank. OK. So we have established really who you should link to, but why?


Why Should you have an external link?

Why is it important have an external link? Again, look back to what John Mueller said. You're ultimately conferring that trust to that site, but then you're also now helping establish trust with your user. Why do you trust me when I tell you about SEO? Because everything I say, I can back up with something from another expert or Google. That helps you now trust my video or my blog post. That's the entire idea behind this. You are actually able to back up your blog post now by linking to an expert.

So look at your links as almost like a citation when you had to do them back in school. You couldn't produce a report without having citations. It's the same concept with your website. Make sure that users, and therefore, Google, can trust your content by linking to another expert. It also helps with context as John Mueller said. So it's going to help Google understand what your content is about because chances are they've already indexed who you're linking to, already established them as an expert, and now they know, OK, this is what you are blogging about because you link to them.

Whom should you link out to?

Who you link to ultimately tells Google so much about your content. I don't know if you guys remember Google bombing in the past? This is a thing kind of happened in the '90s or 2000s, really. I mean, there's the famous one with miserable failure where they link to George W Bush. And he had no content on his website about him being a miserable failure. You can imagine, right? But enough people linked to him on that term using that same anchor text and they were able to bubble up that ranking. Well, Google combated all this because that wasn't the only prank that people did. That was one example of Google bombing.

So in order to combat this, this is why they look at not just inbound links, where you can manipulate things, but outbound. You choose who you link to an outbound link. On an inbound link, you don't choose. So in a lot of ways, outbound links are important because you control them. Google understands this. Google recognizes this. So I've talked a lot about how it can help your direct ranking, but it can also help your indirect ranking.

External linking is like being a good citizen

The reason why is because if you're going to be a good citizen and link out to other people,they're going to notice that. In systems such as WordPress, they're things like track backs and ping backs. They'll actually get notified when you link them, link to them. So they know, OK, this person is linking to me. I should keep them in the back of my mind as a source that I can link to. You're basically showing people you're a good community member by linking around.

Be careful when linking out

So some advice that Google gives is always be careful who you are linking to. A lot of what I touched on before, make sure you're only linking to authorities. This is super important with the no follow or rel equals no follow tag. I don't want anyone to abuse that. Don't no follow all of your links because everything I said, this entire video, is negated if you use a no follow link. It should never be used unless it is needed. Rel equals no follow basically says, hey, Google, I don't trust this source I'm about to link to, or I'm not passing on my trust. So Google is no longer going to index that the same way they would if you didn't put a no follow. And the default behavior is just don't put anything, and it just works perfectly.

When you should use No-Follow?

If you're familiar with no follow, the reason you're supposed to be using that is because someone paid you for the link. Google doesn't want you to transfer on your trust if you are paid because that's a violation of the trust. So that also applies to affiliate links. And if it's a site that you're basically are speaking negatively about, maybe you don't want to transfer your trust to maybe an example they give in the SEO starter guide is you're talking about maybe a spammer. You don't want to pass on your trust to that spammer. So those are pretty much the only instances you should be using no follow.

But the most important thing that you have to think about, external links actually help you. I know a lot of people always think but if I give out external links, that's going to be giving away my page rank or helping my competitors rank above me. Sure. This is the way you can look at it. What I like to say is instead think of yourself as those experts. The only way you're going to become that expert is if you are also linking to experts and you just rise with them. Don't worry about them beating you. That may happen in the short term. Absolutely.

I am not so worried that Google is going to be beating me on SEO content because I'm ultimately going to produce more and better SEO content than Google currently does. I have no problems linking to Google. You shouldn't have problems linking your competitors knowing you are going to produce as good or better content. Have that in the back your mind. But most importantly, if you think back to our page rank
example that we gave, your page rank is kind of divided out amongst all your links on the page.

Balance internal external links

So if you do have an external link, just balance it out with a lot of internal links. Rule of thumb I like to use if you're going to have an external link, make sure you have four to five internal links. So now you're only giving away 20% or even less and you can have more internal links. So you don't have to be giving away all of your page rank. Keep as much of it as you can. Go back to our internal links and think, how often can I internally link to myself? And therefore, the external links won't dilute your page rank. They're only going to help you with your rankings. Be a good citizen. Be a good internet publisher, link out, linked to authorities, and you'll only help your ranking.

Conclusion

So thank you, guys. If you liked this article don't forget to share and comment below. until next time, Happy marketing !