Links: Quick Start

Links (or hyperlinks) are connections between hypertext documents (or websites). You can open one document from another by clicking on the linked text (anchor text).

This article will provide you with an overview of the topic of links. Click through to the detailed articles if you want to find out more about the topic.

What types of links are there?

There are different types of links. An important distinction is made between internal and external links. Internal links are hyperlinks within a domain that link to a subpage of your own website, for example.

The diagram shows the difference between external and internal links.

External links are all links that link from a subpage of a domain to a subpage on another domain. Another name for this type of hyperlink is a backlink.

Why are links important for SEO?

Links are a central element in search engine optimisation. Internal links allow you to distribute link juice that your site receives from external links to subpages.

Backlinks are important for measuring the quality of a website and are still one of the most important ranking factors for Google today. In the famous PageRank calculation, which formed the basis for Google’s search algorithm, links between different pages on the Internet were analysed and used to determine the trustworthiness of a domain.

Backlinks are still very helpful to ensure that Google delivers the best, most relevant and up-to-date search results. Please note that buying backlinks is prohibited by Google in the Search Essentials.

If you want to improve the ranking of your page and the user experience, you should pay attention to both internal and external links.

How do I create a hyperlink?

You can create a hyperlink with HTML code. In the source code, a link is structured as follows:

<a href="">SISTRIX</a>
  • The anchor element begins with the <a ...>.
  • The href="" is the hypertext reference, i.e. the URL at which the linked document can be found by the browser.
  • The text between the opening and closing a-tags, SISTRIX, is the anchor text.
  • Finally, the anchor element is closed with </a>.

If you want to know more about the <a> tag, take a look at our HTML anchor article.

What are rel attributes, and how do I use them?

You can use rel attributes to categorise links correctly. This allows Google to better understand your website. rel attributes are added to the anchor tag, as in the example below:

<a href="" rel="nofollow">SISTRIX</a>

Nofollow rel attributes tell the search engine crawlers that the website owner does not recommend the website or the page to which the link refers.

rel=”ugc” is the rel attribute for user-generated content. As you can imagine, it identifies content created by website users, such as blog comments and forum posts.

There are also sponsored (rel=”sponsored”) rel attributes that are helpful for hyperlinks that are included as paid adverts or for partners that compensate you in some way for including a hyperlink to their website, product or page.

If you want to learn more about rel attributes, take a look at our article on rel attributes.