External links play an important role in increasing traffic to your site and overall search results.
Also known as back links, external links are simply links from an external website to your own.
An example would be when you publish a blog post and have it featured on another website. Perhaps in the author section of the article is a link back to your own website.
External links can be almost anything though. A link in the footer of your site. Most common example, website designed by UpEarlyDesigns.com (we like those).
Though with footer links, there are limits to what one should do. And something we’ll save for another post.
Another important type of link is the internal link. Where you essentially link one part of your site, internally, hence the name, to another. For more on this please read Learn From Wikipedia (which happens to be an internal link by the way).
Both are important, but for today let’s focus on the external link.
They are great sources of traffic. And the greater your traffic, the greater your placement in search, assuming you meet a few other metrics.
I previously authored a paid blog around macro-economics. Once I was able to get content published on some major websites my traffic took off. And as a result so did my search results.
Root Domain Versus Links
One thing to understand about external links is the difference between total links and linking root domains. It’s like the difference between user sessions and unique users.
Someone who visits your site five times is considered by Google as five user sessions but only one unique user. The same format is true with external links.
Imagine you have 10,000 links from Twitter. Your site metrics on Moz (an external link I just gave to Moz) or similar tools will show 10,000 external links. But only one root domain. Assuming Twitter is your only source.
Quality Versus Spam
Focus on quality links. Not just overall quantity. Bad links or links you pay for from a third party may be the worse than no links at all. Because anything spam related will red flag you at Google.
Focus on true quality links. From sites that are relevant. Sites providing the traffic you want. Traffic that will see value in your site. And will not only refer others but frequent themselves.
Is the only time the first alarm clock could ring. Not a good example of an internal link. But this is.
Visit our Archives Page and learn more about links, SEO and nothing about alarm clocks.