What Are Internal Links?
Internal Link: A connection from one object to another.
A link, short for ‘hyperlink‘, is a connection between two items or objects. on the world wide web. The items/objects in question may be pages, images, documents, videos, files, or something else.
When clicked, the link performs an action. It takes the user to a different page or different section of the same page.
A permalink is a permanent static hyperlink to a webpage, blog entry, or another object.
There are two types of links within a website:
- Internal links
- External links
Internal links are links from one page on Site X to another page on Site X.
External links are links from a page on Site X to a page on Site Y.
For example, there is a link to the ‘Optimizing Links’ page on our Expert System at the end of this page. This is an internal link as the user remains within our Expert System.
This page also has links to resources and recommended tools. These are external links as they are to other websites.
Links going from a page are ‘outbound links‘ while links coming to a page are ‘inbound links’.
The text used to link to other pages is known as ‘anchor text‘. Often times, ‘click here’, ‘contact us’, and ‘read more’ are used as anchor text. Upon being clicked, they take the user to another page or place.
Link depth is the number of clicks required to reach a given page on the website starting from the homepage. It is also known as click depth or page depth.
Not all links work. Some may not transport the user to another location or file when clicked on or they may lead to a page with a 404 error. These are broken links, as the connection has been broken.
Usually, the About Us and Contact Us pages have a click depth of 1 as they are linked to from the main menu. Certain products, services, and blog posts may require the user to navigate further and deeper into the website to be reached.
The number of internal links that a page has is an important ranking factor. Google’s PageRank calculation is determined based on the quality and quantity of links to a webpage.
Therefore, internal links are a good way to denote the importance of pages within your site.
If one page on a website has a lot more links or pages linking to it than another page on the same site, then Google assumes that this page is important as it is being linked to a lot.
Consequently, pages with little to no links are deemed inferior.
Linking to a page passes on some SEO equity or SEO juice to that page. Again, pages that receive a lot of links while giving out only a few tend to perform better than those with multiple links, be it internal or external.
When it comes to link juice, there are two types:
- Follow links
- Nofollow links
Follow links, also called ‘dofollow links’, provide SEO equity or juice to the referred site.
On the other hand, nofollow links stop equity from being transferred.
By default, all links are considered as follow links.
One reason why Wikipedia consistently ranks so high is that it has a lot of internal links between pages. Also, internet giants like Google, Reddit, Amazon, and Facebook are linked to often, hence consolidating their positions at the top.
SEO Review Tools Internal Link Analyzer – Analyze internal and external links for a website
Small SEO Tools Broken Link Checker – Check broken links on a site
Screaming Frog SEO Spider – Crawls a website and displays broken links, errors, and redirects
R – Statistics and computing software for internal link analysis
DigitalBull GO – The world’s #1 GMB audit and optimization tool!
For more on Internal Links, read our article on Optimizing Internal Links.