External Linking

Image of external link

When considering external links one has to take into account Search Engine Optimisation. Reading this post, it may seem like common sense, but it is good to keep this sort of thing in mind when you are creating these links. When search engines crawl your site, as you know, they read the text on your page to see what the content is about so they can reference you correctly in the SERPs. This can be beneficial if done correctly and damaging if not. Spending some time thinking about what sites you want to link to will help ensure your site will get the best chance in moving up through the rankings.

Non-Related Websites

If a search engine comes across a link which has a keyword, phrase or link to a non-related site (for example a site about pens should avoid links to sites about bonsai trees – unless necessary), the search engines could rank you down for this or even worse consider your site to be spam – and do this too many times and you’ll soon see your site disappear from the search engines altogether.

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It is also wise to keep away from spam sites. You know these. They are the ones that are created just for gaining an income and you can tell these sites as they are full of advertising and not much content.

Related Websites

Search engines like links to related sites. If you are given instructions for how to use a smartphone it will be considered good if you link to a site which talks about the underlying technology or applications that you can get.

Tips

Don’t repeat yourself

Don’t use the word pens all the way through the website and then link using the anchor text pens. See the next tip.

Try to be original

Keeping with the pens example, you could use ‘felt tips’ or ‘fountain pens’ as your anchor text. This is increasing your keywords and broadening your site keywords coverage.

Do not use invisible keywords

Here I don’t mean create a link with the same colour as your background (hopefully that’s a given!), but what I mean is using ‘click here’ or ‘link’ among others. The search engines will consider these to be keywords. As you are using them for links to external sites there will be more weighting on these words.

Use Phrases

Sometimes it can be helpful to use phrases rather than just one or two words. With pens you could use a ‘range of ballpoint pens’ as a link. Search engines and people will read this and know what the linked site is about.

Use Your Link Titles

If you are linking to an article externally (or even internally), you can use the title of the article. This is good if you are linking to a popular site as they have probably spent time coming up with the title to include relevant keywords and it would be helpful to both them and yourself to use this.