What Is a Hyperlink?
A hyperlink is a text or an icon that you can click on to get to another website. The link, which is usually in blue and is underlined, serves as a reference point that connects a particular page to other pages over the web. The linked text is what’s known as the anchor text. For instance, when you click on the phrase “anchor text” in the previous sentence, it directs you to a page containing the definition of an anchor text.
Aside from opening new pages, a hyperlink can bring the reader to a particular section within the same page. This is especially useful for helping readers navigate a page with long content, like comprehensive guides or longer articles. These links are usually found in the table of contents.
Considered as the backbone of the web, the hyperlink is used everywhere. It’s crucial for improving a website’s SEO, along with its backlink profile.
Hyperlinks can be generally divided into two: internal and external hyperlinks.
An internal hyperlink is a link that connects the different subpages of one domain. It’s usually organized in a web that’s known as a link structure. It’s also used to direct a website’s visitors through its content in a particular fashion known as a click path.
A link structure has four classic forms: linear, tree, star, and network, with each one having varying click path controls.
An external hyperlink connects users to a different domain. It can be classified either as an outbound or an incoming hyperlink.
An outbound hyperlink is when you connect your domain to another. This link is mainly used for references or for recommendations.
Inbound hyperlinks or backlinks, on the other hand, are links from other domains that lead to your own website. All of these inbound links contribute to a website’s backlink profile and is a crucial component in SEO. Backlinks from other websites are a signal to search engines that your website has reputable and valuable content. This can influence your ranking on a SERP and can positively affect your website’s visibility.
Aside from the internal and external types, you can also categorize hyperlinks as:
The text hyperlink is one of the most common types of links. It’s a clickable text that’s used to go to another page or resource.
An image link is a hyperlink in image form. One of the most common examples of image links is the banner ads on various websites.
Not to be confused with anchor text, anchor links bring the reader from one place in a document to a different section of the same document, like in a table of contents.
A fat link or an extended link is one link that has multiple destinations.
Why Hyperlinks Are Important
All the above mentioned links, complemented by quality content, are important in improving a website’s SEO, particularly when they’re done organically or naturally.
To rank in search engines like Google, a website should be properly built using relevant SEO techniques. Another factor is that it should come across as trustworthy and as an authoritative source.
This can be achieved through link building or the process of having other websites link back to your website, which gives you a backlink. As previously mentioned, a site’s backlink profile is an essential ranking factor for Google, along with relevant and quality content.
Hyperlinks are advantageous if used correctly. If implemented otherwise, they can potentially hurt a website’s rankings.
When dealing with hyperlinks, it’s important to avoid artificial inbound links from spammy websites, as these can affect a website’s scores. Additionally, external links to your content should point to high-quality and relevant sites to benefit both you and your readers. The number of links also plays a part in rankings. Having too many outbound links can put a website at risk of looking spammy.
Aside from improving SEO, links can increase a website’s traffic and credibility. This helps in building connections within a particular web community, which then paves the way for link building. Links are also useful when used in conjunction with calls to action, as these can increase conversion rates.