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External Link

An external link, also known as an outbound link, is a hyperlink that directs a user from one website to another.

External links are an essential aspect of search engine optimization (SEO), as they can improve a website’s authority, reputation, and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

In this article, we will explore the concept of external links, their role in SEO, and best practices for using them.

The Importance of External Links in SEO

  1. Improved Authority: Search engines consider external links as a vote of confidence or endorsement of a website’s credibility, expertise, and authority. When reputable websites link to a site, it signals to search engines that the site is trustworthy and valuable, which can improve its ranking in SERPs.
  2. Increased Visibility: External links can drive referral traffic from other websites to a site, increasing its visibility and potential audience. This increased traffic can further enhance the site’s authority and search engine ranking.
  3. Diversification: Linking to other websites with relevant and high-quality content can provide a diversified user experience, improving engagement and reducing bounce rates. This diversification can also increase the chances of backlinks from other websites, further improving SEO performance.

Examples of External Link Use

  1. Citations: When writing an article or blog post, citing external sources that support or add value to the content can improve its credibility and authority. For instance, in this article, we link to high-authority resources like Google and Ahrefs to provide additional context and information.
  2. Guest Posts: Guest posting on other relevant and reputable websites can provide opportunities to link back to your own site, increasing referral traffic and building backlinks, which is an essential aspect of SEO.
  3. Resource Pages: Resource pages that list useful links to other relevant and high-quality websites can provide a valuable resource for users while also signaling to search engines that the site is a valuable source of information.

Best Practices for External Linking

  1. Link to Relevant, High-Quality Sources: Linking to reputable, relevant sources that provide valuable information to readers can improve a site’s authority and credibility. Avoid linking to spammy, low-quality sites that may negatively impact a site’s SEO.
  2. Use Descriptive Anchor Text: Use descriptive anchor text that clearly indicates the content of the linked page to users and search engines. Avoid using generic or vague anchor text like “click here.”
  3. Link Naturally: Link to other websites in a natural and organic way, without forcing it or overusing links. Overuse of external links can be seen as spammy and negatively impact a site’s SEO.
  4. Check for Broken Links: Regularly check for broken or outdated external links and update or remove them to avoid negative SEO impacts.
  5. Use Nofollow Links for Untrusted Sources: Use the rel=”nofollow” attribute for external links to untrusted sources to avoid associating a site with spammy or low-quality websites.

Final Thoughts

External links are an essential aspect of SEO, providing numerous benefits to a website’s authority, visibility, and user experience.

By linking to relevant, high-quality sources in a natural and organic way, webmasters can improve their site’s credibility, build backlinks, and increase referral traffic.

However, it’s important to use external links strategically and avoid spammy or low-quality sources that may harm a site’s SEO performance.


  1. Google’s guidelines on linking:
  2. Moz’s guide to external linking:
  3. Ahrefs’ article on external links for SEO:
  4. Backlinko’s tips for external linking:
  5. Search Engine Journal’s article on the importance of external links:

These resources offer additional insights, tips, and best practices for using external links effectively in SEO and content marketing.