To link or not to link?
We’ve all heard it. Great content makes great websites. But there is more to great content than fact-filled paragraphs, readability, keyword usage and throwing in a little wittiness. Website links are a key factor to creating first-rate content for your website.
Website links influence your Google rankings. Putting a little more effort into link building can truly pay off in the end. That effort can be a whole lot easier if you understand the different types of links and how they should, and even shouldn’t, be utilized throughout your site.
EXTERNAL DOFOLLOW LINKS
External Dofollow Links are hyperlinks that point from one website to another. This type of link allows Google and other search engines to follow them. This is the link type that will help you with your SEO ranking. When people talk about “getting backlinks,” this is the type of link they are talking about. If you receive a follow link from a site that has a high domain authority, Google will see that as very credible and reward you in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Website links are by default nofollow unless they are in blog comments or forums.
INTERNAL DOFOLLOW LINKS
Internal links are links that stay on the same website. Their purpose is to help website users get to the content they are looking for. For example, a menu is an internal link, as well as links within text.
Internal Link Tip
Don’t link generic text like “click here.” Instead, say something like “Learn More About Golden Doodles.” Text details about where the link goes helps Google understand your page better. Google understanding your page better can help boost your rankings.
EXTERNAL NOFOLLOW LINKS
The search engines do not give SEO value to nofollow links. Nofollow links can be followed by humans, but not by Google or any other search engine. Google will no longer be able to recognize the backlink if it is nofollow. Many larger sites, such as the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and Entrepreneur are all now only providing nofollow links. In the past if you received a backlink from one of these websites, Google would assume since you have cool friends, you must be cool too and it would reward you. Now that most of the big websites are only allowing no follow links, this is really hurting some websites that gained SEO value when they received backlinks from those bigger, more reputable websites.
Here are the default places you will find a nofollow link:
Social media. Any links in social media will be classified as nofollow, including YouTube. Even profiles in social media accounts are nofollow.
Blog comments or forums. These links now default to nofollow because so many people would comment just to provide a link back to their website. The comment would not always add value.
INTERNAL NOFOLLOW LINKS
The main reason some people use internal nofollow links on their website is to link to technical pages like login pages or links to pages that aren’t indexed. It still remains unclear if this is helpful in Google rankings or not.
DOES IT HURT YOUR GOOGLE RANKINGS TO LINK TO ANOTHER WEBSITE FROM YOUR WEBSITE?
Not necessarily! If your site contains a page about pink socks and you link it to a page about shoes, Google will probably think that makes sense. That could help Google understand your page better and could boost your rankings. If you link to a page about mailboxes from your pink socks page, that might confuse Google in its effort to understand your page, which may hurt you. You may link out to another website and they may return the favor and link back, with a dofollow link! It’s hard to know if you should include external links, but to make it simple, link out if it makes sense and helps your user have the best experience.
Developing website links in your content isn’t a black and white science, much like most of website development. However, following a few guidelines when using links can prove to be beneficial.
We know we make it sound really fun and interesting, but if you have any questions or want to further discuss the stimulating world of linking in your website content, the team at Woodchuck is eager to help!