Are Internal and External Links Important for SEO in 2021?

internal vs external links

Are internal and external linking important? Is SEO still relevant in 2021?

These and a lot of other questions are what publishers and content creators are searching for.

And the short answer to the questions above is YES.

Due to Google’s regular updates, it’s essential to remember that SEO doesn’t only depend on publishers’ created content. But it’s still one of the most important components while building your digital marketing strategy because it drives long-term results for your website.

To make your SEO strategy successful, you have to understand the importance of internal and external links. 

In this article, you will learn the differences between internal and external links, benefits, and how this can help you rank higher in Google.

Table of Contents:

Simply speaking, these are links that are used to a page on the same website. 

Let’s give you an example from one of Setupad’s latest blog articles where we are using interlinking.

According to the picture below, we are checking the article, which includes domain name In this case, interlinking refers to using the same domain name ( but linking to another page. 

In the example below, we are linking this part to one of our previous blog articles.

Internal linking example

These are links that are used on your website’s page from another site. Also, if some other website links to your website, it’s known as backlinking.

Let’s use a programmatic advertising statistics article from the previous example.

According to the picture below, we are checking the article, which includes domain name… In this case, external linking refers to linking your article with another domain’s name (in this case,…), leading users away from your website.

external linking example

What is internal and external linking in SEO?

Internal and external linking should definitely be a part of your SEO strategy because it can boost your website ranking in search engines. 

To make it clear, Google follows the content which is linked. In this way, it says to Google: “Hey, this content is valuable and high quality; thus, it should be in the first position when people search for specific information!”  

It’s worth to master link building process because it can help your website grow traffic.

Remember that if you grow your traffic, you can also increase your ad revenue. Here is also a beneficial link building practice by Ahref experts.

  • You can have a lot of interlinks within one page, but make sure they are reasonable. Well structured internal links allow Google to crawl and index your website faster, which gives the green light for better SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) rankings.

  • Internal links can build a great user experience. You can lead users to read more than one article on your blog.

  • If a user clicks on the interlink, it can increase rankings for other pages within your blog, which means that interlinking helps to build authority for other articles.

  • They can help to drive organic traffic to your site. It’s easier for search engines to evaluate an article if it contains relevant interlinks. If users visit more than one page, it increases engagement and lowers the bounce rate, thus showing your article better in search results. 
  • External links can increase your domain authority, which measures your website’s backlink profile. Meaning that if other site links to your website, it increases your rankings.

  • Improves your website’s credibility.

  • Helps search engines like Google or Bing to understand what your article is about.

Internal vs External Links

Directing user from your website
to another page on your site.
Directing user away from your
website to another website.

Possibility to rank your other pages
in Google higher.

Getting links to your site from other
websites can increase your rankings.
Helps readers to navigate through
your website easily.

It can help Google to understand
what your content is about
if you link to a trustworthy source.

Does linking to other sites help SEO?

The answer is YES. 

By linking your articles to related content, you can help search engines understand what your blog is about, thus making your website reliable on the web. It shows your site’s quality and plays a vital role in your blog’s SEO also in 2021.

It’s only fair that you give credit to sites that deserve it, but most importantly, you also help to educate your readers. And it should always be the key point– create content that is engaging and valuable for users.

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