Definition of External Linking

External linking refers to the practice of providing hyperlinks on a website that lead to external websites or resources outside of the original domain. These links are beneficial for both users and search engines, as they help to provide useful information, broaden the scope of content, and enhance the user experience. Additionally, search engines view these external links as an indication of credibility and authority, which may lead to improved search engine rankings.


The phonetic pronunciation of “External Linking” is:ɛkˈstərnəl ˈlɪŋkɪŋ

Key Takeaways

  1. External linking helps improve a website’s credibility by connecting its content to relevant and authoritative external sources.
  2. Using external links strategically can improve a website’s search engine ranking, as search engines see the connections to reputable sources as a signal of quality content.
  3. It’s essential to ensure that the external links being used are up-to-date, accurate, and functional, as broken or inaccurate links can negatively affect a website’s user experience and search engine ranking.

Importance of External Linking

External linking is a crucial aspect of digital marketing as it plays a significant role in enhancing a website’s overall search engine visibility and credibility.

By incorporating relevant and high-quality external links within their content, marketers can effectively provide users with valuable additional information and related resources.

This not only improves user experience but also establishes a strong online presence by fostering positive connections with other reputable websites.

Furthermore, search engines like Google consider external linking activities when determining a website’s ranking, as these links serve as “votes of confidence” from other credible sources.

Thus, incorporating a well-planned external linking strategy can significantly contribute to a website’s online authority, audience engagement, and organic traffic.


External linking, a widely practiced strategy in the realm of digital marketing, serves the dual purpose of driving traffic to a specific website while also enhancing the website’s search engine optimization (SEO). The core objective of external linking is to provide users with additional value, filling knowledge gaps and offering corroborating information from authoritative sources. By incorporating inbound links from external websites, digital marketers effectively establish their page as a hub of useful information, creating positive user experiences and amplifying the likelihood of repeat visits.

More significantly, search engines like Google view external links as implicit endorsements, using them as a measure of credibility, authority, and relevance. Consequently, the higher the quantity and quality of external links a website garners, the more favorably search engines rank it within search results.

This ranking directly impacts the visibility and accessibility of a website within organic search results, ultimately increasing web traffic and driving the success of digital marketing campaigns. It is vital for digital marketers to form partnerships and exchange links with reputable, high-authority websites to maximize the effectiveness of their external linking strategies.

Examples of External Linking

External linking, a digital marketing tactic, refers to linking a website to other sources outside its domain. This strategy helps to build relationships, promote content, and create authority within a specific niche, leading to improved search engine rankings. Here are three real-world examples of external linking:

Blog Posts: A marketing agency publishes an article on their blog about the effectiveness of influencer marketing. The agency decides to include external links to case studies from different businesses that have successfully applied influencer marketing to promote their brand. These external links provide additional evidence to support the points made in the article and offer readers more in-depth knowledge about the topic.

Resource Pages: A non-profit organization dedicated to environmental conservation creates a resource page on their website. They include external links to various sources such as governmental sites, research papers, news articles, and other reputable organizations that provide valuable information on environmental issues. This external linking strategy adds credibility to the non-profit’s webpage and makes it a valuable resource for users interested in learning about eco-conservation practices.

Guest Posts: A small business owner who specializes in handmade crafts submits a guest post to a popular lifestyle blog. Their article discusses the latest trends in handmade home decor and includes external links to other reputable websites that provide information on DIY projects, craft materials, or other relevant topics. This external linking tactic increases the value of their guest post, expands the reach of the small business’s online presence, and helps establish the business owner as a reliable expert in their niche.

FAQ on External Linking

What is external linking?

External linking refers to the practice of creating hyperlinks on your website that point to other websites. This helps users navigate to other relevant resources on the internet and can improve user experience while providing value and authority to the linked site.

Why are external links important for SEO?

External links are important for SEO because they can help establish your website’s credibility and trustworthiness. When you link to authoritative, quality resources, it signals to search engines that your content is valuable and reliable. Additionally, external linking can bring referral traffic to your site, ultimately improving your website’s visibility and search engine rankings.

How do I create an external link in HTML?

To create an external link in HTML, use the <a> element with the “href” attribute pointing to the destination URL. The text between the opening and closing <a> tags will become the clickable hyperlink. For example:

<a href="">Visit</a>

Should I use “nofollow” attribute for external links?

Using the “nofollow” attribute for external links is not always necessary. It’s generally used when linking to untrusted sources or in specific cases like linking to affiliate websites or paid links. By default, search engines assume that the link is worthy of trust and will follow it for indexing purposes. If you want to add the “nofollow” attribute to an external link, the syntax would look like this:

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

What is link building and how does it relate to external linking?

Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites pointing to your site. It’s an important aspect of SEO as search engines use these links to discover new web pages and determine their ranking in search results. External linking plays a crucial role in link building since it involves linking to other websites. Link building can include tactics like guest blogging, creating valuable content that people naturally want to link to, and reaching out to other website owners to share your content with their audience.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Backlinks
  • Anchor Text
  • Domain Authority
  • Link Building
  • Referral Traffic

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