The Three Types of Links and How They Affect Your Site’s Success
If you consider your website or online business to be your “daily bread”, then links are the yeast that make it all possible. Without links, it becomes exponentially harder to find your site and much less likely that search engines will rank your pages anywhere near where they need to be to be discoverable by users searching for content related to your site. Not all links are created equally, and each type of link plays a role in ensuring that your site is discoverable, navigable and popular. We will explore these different types of links, find out what makes each type so important and how to determine in one easy step which sites you are linking to from each and every page.
Internal links refer to all links on your site that link to other pages within your web space. This is by far the most common form of link that should be on your site, as these links are what tie together each page to one another. Based on linking styles and patterns, search engine bots and spiders will determine which of your pages are the most important and will index them based on these patterns. Having an abundant amount of cross or internal linking within your site will also help boost your overall search ranking or PageRank, giving you a greater chance of being discovered by users.
Outgoing links are links that point to other websites, which can help your overall standing with search engines. By linking to sites with similar content, you create a “reputation web” that not only helps your site, but the sites you link to as well. When there is reciprocal linking between multiple sites, traffic often flows in between these sites, giving an added boost of traffic to all participating sites and therefore increasing the likelihood that all sites that are linked to one another receive a boost in search rankings. It is vital to focus on the quality of your outgoing links, networking only with sites that deal in similar and relevant content.
On the other end of reciprocal linking is incoming links, or links from other sites that direct users to your web page. Incoming links are by far the most important type of link to have for your website as they directly indicate to search engines how many other sites recognize you as a valid source of information. Just one strategically placed link on another, more popular website can make the difference between your site appearing on the first page of Google in a given search and being completely undiscovered. The more incoming links you have to your site from other reputable sites, the quicker your site will accumulate traffic – both from these other sites and from search engine results.
How to Monitor Links
Pingler offers a great tool, the Link Analyzer, to help you determine how many outgoing links and internal links you have on any given page. While it does not show incoming links (there is no known tool that does this), you can get a feel for where and how many links you have between your own pages and can determine to whom you are linking.