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External Link – Best Practices for Websites

Defining External Links

External links are hyperlinks that point users to different websites outside the current domain. These links play a crucial role in the structure of the web by connecting various sites and providing users with access to diverse sources of information.

Unlike internal links, which navigate within a single website, external links broaden user experience by facilitating access to related content on other platforms. This integration enhances the web’s coherence and informativeness.

Backlinks, or inbound links, are also considered external links when originating from other sites, underscoring their role in establishing trust and authority across the internet.

Significance of External Links

External links serve a vital role in the interconnected nature of the web, offering pathways for users to discover additional information across different sites. Google’s John Mueller emphasizes their value, noting that linking to other websites enriches user experience by providing supplementary sources, context, and relevance to presented content.

These links function as endorsements, with one site acknowledging the value of another’s content, guiding users toward credible and pertinent information. This practice not only enhances user understanding but also builds a network of trust and reliability among websites.

From an SEO perspective, external links are pivotal. When one site links to another, it transfers link equity, effectively endorsing the linked site and potentially enhancing its search engine rankings. Backlinks are among the primary factors influencing Google’s ranking algorithms, making external links integral to SEO strategies. Moreover, they contribute to a diverse content ecosystem, promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing throughout the web.

Best Practices for Using External Links

Embrace External Linking

Numerous website owners are reluctant to incorporate external links because they worry about losing ‘link equity’ or their ranking authority. However, these fears are largely unfounded. Well-placed external links enhance content credibility and utility, providing readers with valuable resources and a better overall experience.

Linking to authoritative sources can bolster a site’s credibility with users and search engines, demonstrating thorough research and connection to reputable information. It’s crucial to avoid linking directly to competitors to prevent inadvertently boosting their search rankings.

Avoid Link Schemes

Link schemes involve manipulative practices aimed at artificially boosting search engine rankings. These may include buying or selling links, excessive reciprocal linking, automated link creation, or linking to low-quality directory sites.

Engaging in such practices can lead to severe penalties from Google, damaging a site’s search visibility and credibility. Use “sponsored” or “nofollow” attributes for sponsored or affiliate links to adhere to best practices and avoid penalties. Maintaining a natural link profile by earning links through high-quality content and genuine relationships is essential.

Craft Descriptive Anchor Texts

Use clear and descriptive anchor texts for all external links to enhance user understanding and accessibility. Well-crafted anchor texts also provide context for search engines, helping them comprehend the relevance and content of the linked page. Avoid generic phrases like “click here” in favor of specific keywords that accurately describe the linked content.

Google’s guidelines emphasize clarity and relevance in anchor texts, which improves user experience, boosts SEO effectiveness, and ensures meaningful and informative links.

Regularly Audit Your External Links

Regular audits of external links are crucial for maintaining a healthy website. Broken links resulting from deleted or moved target pages can harm user experience and diminish a site’s credibility. Additionally, links may redirect to undesirable content if a linked domain changes ownership, potentially leading to severe repercussions.

Tools such as the Linked Domains report in Site Explorer aid in monitoring and managing external links effectively. Conducting routine audits ensures that all external links remain relevant, functional, and beneficial, safeguarding a site’s reputation and delivering a seamless user experience.


What is an External Link?

An external link, also known as an outbound link, is a hyperlink that directs users to a different website rather than within the same domain. These links are essential for navigating the web, providing pathways to additional information and resources located on other websites. External links help create a connected and informative online environment, enriching the user’s experience.

Do External Links Help SEO or Are External Links Good for SEO?

Yes, external links significantly help SEO. When a website links to another, it acts as a vote of confidence, passing on link equity. This helps improve the ranking of the linked site on search engines.

Google and other major search engines consider these links as indicators of credibility and relevance, which can boost the linked site’s authority and search engine rankings. Additionally, linking to authoritative sources within your content can enhance your site’s credibility in the eyes of both users and search engines.

How to Build External Links for SEO?

Building external links for SEO involves several strategies:

Creating High-Quality Content: Producing valuable, informative, and engaging content encourages other websites to link to your pages.

Guest Blogging: Writing articles for reputable blogs and including links back to your site can build valuable backlinks.

Outreach Campaigns: Contacting bloggers, journalists, and influencers in your industry to share your content can generate backlinks.

Utilizing Platforms like, an innovative SEO automation platform, helps e-commerce businesses automate link-building tasks. The platform uses AI to identify and pursue link-building opportunities, ensuring a natural and effective SEO strategy.

How to Check External Links in a Website?

To find external links in a website, you can use various tools and methods:

Manual Checking: Review your website’s content to identify and verify all outbound links.

SEO Tools: Use SEO tools like Google Search Console, Ahrefs, or Moz to track external links on your site. These tools provide comprehensive reports on the status and performance of your links.

Automated Solutions: Platforms like AYSA offer automated link auditing features, which regularly check the status of external links, ensuring they remain functional and relevant. This reduces the time and effort required for manual audits.

How to Create an External Link?

Creating an external link involves a few simple steps:

Identify the URL: Determine the webpage you want to link to.

Select Anchor Text: Choose a descriptive and relevant anchor text that indicates what the linked page is about.

Add the Link: In your content management system (CMS) or HTML editor, highlight the anchor text and use the link tool to add the URL. Ensure the link opens in a new tab to keep users on your site.

Save and Test: Save your changes and test the link to ensure it directs to the correct page.