SEO Knowledge: External Link

Last Update: January 03, 2019

What is an External Link

An External Link is when you link a page or post from your site to another page or post on a different site. You also use specific words to link with.

For example, these words will link to a page in Wikipedia:

Learn More About External Links

The Benefit of an External Link

When you create an external link on your page/post, it shows Google that you are adding additional references to your topic and also creates a balance of internal & external links.

When you externally link with certain words, this helps Google understand the relevancy of the URL you are linking to and thus helps with YOUR rankings.

Affiliate Links are NOT External Links

Contrary to what you may think, affiliate links are not considered external links as there is a monetization strategy to it.

How to Create an External Link

Highlight the text you wish to link and press the link icon within your editing toolbar. From there, type the full URL of the external link.

When creating an External Link, ensure you are doing the following:

  • Have at least one external link in your page/posts
  • Use relevant anchor text
  • Have the link open in a new window (although I prefer to have it load in the same window)
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dragonfly10 Premium
Thank you, Jay Links, are much clearer now. I truly appreciate your time.
FKelso Premium
Just what I needed to learn! Thanks, Jay.

Does the link have to be to Wikipedia, or can you link to another source (website) that you used in your post?
magistudios Premium
Hi Fran,

It can be any authority based source.
FKelso Premium
Great. To be a bit more specific: I just finished researching a topic that I will rewrite in my own words, but at the end was going to put an external link with the source URL, which is a specific website. So that's okay?
Terand Premium
Thank you for sharing and teaching, Jay! Bookmarked for revision too :o)
emarketingguy Premium
Does Google recommend that bloggers put external links in their posts? Does this help get the posts indexed better? I’ve been noticing that the “2nd site” created by WA outranks my main site, is it because I’m not linking to any external sites?
magistudios Premium
Hi Marshall,

Google won't come right out and say that it is a ranking metric, but there have been enough studies to prove that it is.

For example:

As a fellow SEO, I recommend you read that in its entirety.
emarketingguy Premium
Thanks for the source link. I think you’re right, sometimes they want to see that you’re not just trying to monetize but rather they want us to show that we are experts in a niche and they do rank sites higher who link out to relevant sources. Arg, gotta go back and link out now, but happy to do so. Thanks Jay!
phil1944 Premium
Yes, where there's a relevant topic on Wikipedia, I will often link to it. I believe it increases your authority.

However, I'll always open the external link in a new page as I don't want visitors accidentally leaving my site and relying on them using the browser's back arrow to return to it.

I'll open in the same window for internal links only.