May 10, 2022

Why Are Links So Important For SEO? And What Are They?

Why Are Links So Important For SEO? And What Are They?

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking with our search and content team, you may well have heard the word ‘links’ being mentioned.

Links are (should be) an essential part of any SEO strategy; they tell search engines how popular a webpage is and can impact their organic ranking in result pages.

We’ll get onto that in more detail later on.

First things first, let’s take a look at the different types of links.

Not All Links Are Equal For SEO

Wait, what? There are different kinds of links?

There are indeed.

In fact, there are three kinds of links that you should be aware of in the world of SEO.

1. Internal Links

Internal links are hyperlinks on a webpage that take you to other, relevant pages on your own site.

So for example, if we wanted to point you towards our SEO services page, we could.

These links tell search engines how ‘popular’ certain pages are on your site, and they will be ranked accordingly.

2. External Links

External links work in much the same way as Internal Links, with once major difference: they link out to different websites.

Now, you may be asking yourself Why would I want to take people away from my website?!?

That’s an excellent question.

You need to think wisely when introducing external links. For example, it wouldn’t be a great idea to lead your visitors to a direct competitor (unless you were very confident that they’d return once they’d seen what was on offer elsewhere).

But the authority and relevance of the external site you link to is equally important.

"Linking to other websites is a great way to provide value to your users. Often, links help users to find out more, to check out your sources and to better understand how your content is relevant to the questions that they have."
— John Mueller, Google

John Mueller is a big cheese at Google. He knows his SEO.

As does a company called Semrush. So if we were going to include an external link in this blog, we would probably choose this article on the benefits of external links for SEO.

3. Backlinks

OK, now we’re talking.

Backlinks (sometimes known as Inbound links) are the ones which provide the greatest SEO benefit.

They’re also the hardest to get. Sometimes life is just really that unfair.

Backlinks are essentially the opposite of External Links; they are links to YOUR website from another site.

Did you ever have friendship bracelets at school? The kids whose wrists were weighed down with the colourful bands were the most popular, right?

Well, that’s how search engines view backlinks.

The more you have, the more ‘popular’ your site will appear and this will impact its organic position in result pages.

Getting Backlinks

So, how do you get backlinks?

Well, that’s probably a subject for another time.

In short, there are plenty of ways to get backlinks. It is vital however that they’re ‘organic’ i.e. there’s a real and fairly obvious reason for that site to link to yours.

And the more popular (read: ‘trustworthy’ and ‘authoritative’) that other site is, the better it will be for you.

Search engines can become suspicious and will ultimately penalise you if they believe your backlinks are not genuine (some unscrupulous companies will sell you backlinks from nefarious sources, a practice known as ‘Black Hat SEO’).

In Conclusion

Links are a vital part of any SEO strategy.

They help tell search engines which pages are the most popular.

Done right, they can help your site soar through the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) which will ultimately drive more traffic and sales.

If you would like help with your organic SEO content, contact Orca Online today.

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