Links make the internet go ‘round. Think of links as roads on the infinite terrain of the internet. One road leads you to this website and this road leads you to another. Sometimes these roads lead to different parts of the same website. If it were not for these links or roads, we would not be able to find any websites and those websites would not be able to connect or link to other websites on the world wide web. How would you even go to a website without its link? Just as the links are the roads, consider search engines the maps. Search engines rank all of these links (sites/pages) basically from best to worst, trying to put what they think is the best result depending on your search. The ranking of a particular page depends on the page’s overall health or condition and that condition can be determined by many things including relative word count, site reputation, and creator transparency or reputation.
Now that you have a basic gist of what links are, how they relate to each other, and how they show up on search engines, it is important to understand the difference between the 3 types of SEO (search engine optimization) links, inbound links, outbound links, and internal links.
Inbound links are the best thing that your link can do and has the best benefit on your website for SEO purposes. An inbound link is when your website link is anywhere else on the internet and it points to your site. Say your buddy runs a food blog and you just so have happened to open up a new restaurant. He or she writes about your new restaurant and puts your website on their blog. That is an inbound link to your website. Another example could be if your website is listed on some sort of online directory. This is another inbound link to your website. The more inbound links from reputable sources the better. Search engines will recognize this and rank your website higher.
There tends to be a lot of controversy on the subject of outbound links. Outbound links are the exact opposite of inbound links. Outbound links are links from your website leading to another website and this blog is full of them! You may be thinking, “why would I link to someone else’s website after I have finally landed them on my own website?” That is a great thought, but remember the reason for linking in the first place. The internet is full of links and search engines constantly crawl these links, ranking them from best to worst. So, if you have more links on your website, regardless of inbound or outbound, search engines will still see this, and your chances of being ranked higher increase. I say, link on brother! Here’s another outbound link right here; check out HubSpot’s blog on the qualities of good links. Pro tip: when placing outbound links, be sure to set the link to open in a new tab or window so the user will still have the original window with your site up.
So inbound links are coming in and outbound links are going out. Can you guess what internal links are? You guessed it. Internal links are links from your website that link to another page from your website. You can be on your homepage and click to look at a brand’s physical locations. Boom, internal link. Hey, check out our blog post on Facebook Ads vs Google Ads. Boom, another internal link. All of your main website pages are a collection of internal links. All of which link to each other and vice versa (or at least they should). Internal links are crucial to your overall site’s health and search engine ranking. Just like inbound links, the more internal links or pages that you have on your website, the higher your chance of being ranked on top of the search engine results pages.