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Types of Links in SEO: How Do They Impact Site’s Performance?

Types of Links

Connectivity is what we need to keep the flow.

Links create pathways for information to travel, connecting users to a world of knowledge, services, and products. 

The top-ranked page on Google typically boasts an average of 3.8 times more backlinks compared to pages that appear in positions 2-10 in search results.

But a link is not of a single type. Not all links are created equal. Each type serves a distinct purpose and carries its own set of characteristics. 

In this article we will talk about various types of links, which are segregated according to their nature. 

Let’s start with understanding links.

What is a Link?

A link is a reference point or connector between two pieces of digital content. It serves as a navigational tool, allowing users to seamlessly transition from one digital resource to another, typically with a simple click.

Links are fundamental to the structure of the World Wide Web, enabling interconnectedness and access to a vast array of information, and are crucial for search engine optimization and user experience enhancement in website design and online content.

What are the Different Types of Links?

Different types of links are like the diverse pathways in a vast digital forest. Each serves a unique purpose, guiding users to various destinations, enhancing navigation, and enriching the overall web experience.  Let’s explore various types on the basis of their nature.

What are the Different Types of Links

1. Direction of Linkage:

Exploring the world of website links, we often encounter different types that play pivotal roles in digital navigation and communication. Among these, two primary categories stand out based on their directional flow.

a) Inbound Links

Inbound links, also known as backlinks, are links that originate from another website and lead to your site. These are crucial in determining your site’s popularity and relevance in search engine algorithms.

For example, if a popular blog about gardening links to your plant store website, that’s an inbound link for you. 

When a reputable site links to your content, it is a signal to search engines that your site is a valuable resource, thus potentially improving your site’s search engine rankings.

Inbound links can come from various sources such as news articles, blogs, forums, and social media. The quality, relevance, and authority of the linking sites are key factors in how much value the inbound link adds to your site.

b) Outbound Links

Outbound links are links that go from your website to another website. These are important in SEO as they reflect your site’s willingness to link out to other quality content, which can enhance the trustworthiness and value of your own site.

For instance, if your blog post about healthy recipes includes a link to a nutritionist’s website for more detailed advice, that’s an outbound link from your site. 

Including outbound links to authoritative and relevant websites can improve the user experience by providing additional information or resources.

These links can be used in blog posts, articles, or resource pages. It’s crucial to link to credible sites to maintain the quality and trustworthiness of your own site.

2. Source of Control:

This category differentiates links based on their origin and target within or outside a given website.

a) Internal Links

Internal links are hyperlinks that connect one page of a website to another page within the same website. They’re like internal pathways guiding visitors around your site. 

For example, a link from your homepage to your contact page is an internal link. 

These links are essential for website navigation, improving user experience, and optimizing for search engines by establishing site architecture.

b) External Links

External links, on the other hand, are links that lead from your website to a different domain. They’re like bridges connecting your site to the wider internet. 

For instance, if your blog about technology includes a link to a tech news website, that’s an external link. 

These links are crucial for referencing external sources, providing additional information, and can contribute to the credibility and trustworthiness of your site.

3. SEO Influence:

This category is all about how links affect a website’s search engine ranking and visibility.

a) Do Follow Links

Do Follow links are the default type of hyperlink. They are crucial in SEO because they pass on link equity, which is essentially a vote of confidence in the eyes of search engines.

When a reputable website links to another site using a Do Follow link, it signals to search engines that the linked content is valuable, trustworthy, or authoritative. 

<a href=”https://www.example.com”>Visit Example Site</a>

  • These links are commonly used in editorial content, blog posts, and other places where the site owner wants to acknowledge and support the linked content. 
  • It’s part of a natural linking ecosystem and essential for healthy SEO practices.

The primary benefit of Do Follow links is their ability to improve the search engine ranking of the linked site. They contribute to a site’s domain authority, a metric used by search engines to determine the trustworthiness and quality of a website.

b) No Follow Links

The No Follow attribute (rel=”nofollow”) instructs search engines to ignore a link in terms of passing on link equity. This was introduced to combat spam and manage the quality of links being accounted for in SEO. 

<a href=”https://www.example.com” rel=”nofollow”>Visit Example Site</a>

  • Commonly used in blog comments, forum posts, paid links, or other areas where user-generated content might lead to unverified or low-quality sources. 
  • This helps website owners maintain control over the quality of links associated with their site and ensures that they are not inadvertently endorsing low-quality or irrelevant content.

No Follow links do not directly influence the search engine ranking of a linked page. However, they can still be valuable for driving traffic and providing context to users. 

They help maintain the integrity of your site’s SEO by differentiating between organic endorsements and other types of links like paid advertisements or user-generated content.

4. Editorial Links:

Editorial Links

Editorial links significantly influence a website’s SEO, impacting its credibility and online visibility. Here’s an in-depth look at two key types:

a) Natural Links:

Natural links are those organically acquired without any direct action from the site owner. They are the epitome of a website’s content value and relevance in the digital realm.

When other reputable websites or authors link to a site because of its high-quality content, insightful information, or unique resources, it’s a strong endorsement in the eyes of both users and search engines.

  • These links are typically found in high-quality editorial content, such as news articles, in-depth guides, or informative blog posts. 
  • They reflect genuine interest and acknowledgment from external sources.

The primary advantage of natural links is their role in enhancing a site’s perceived authority and trustworthiness. Search engines like Google view these organic links as indicators of content quality and relevance, positively affecting the site’s search engine ranking.

b) Self-Created Links:

Self-created links are those generated by the site owner or representative, often through marketing or outreach efforts. While less organic than natural links, they play a role in a comprehensive SEO strategy.

Common methods of creating these links include guest blogging, forum postings, blog comments, or distributing press releases with embedded links back to the site.

  • The key to successful self-created links lies in ensuring they are placed in relevant, high-quality contexts and not perceived as manipulative or spammy by search engines.
  • While they don’t carry the same weight as natural links in the eyes of search engines, well-executed self-created links can contribute to increased visibility and traffic, complementing the overall SEO strategy.

Self-created links require careful management to maintain the integrity and reputation of your site. When done correctly, they complement natural links, contributing to a well-rounded and effective SEO approach.

5. Special Attributes:

This category focuses on the specific attributes that can be applied to hyperlinks, impacting how they interact with both users and web crawlers.

a) No Referral Link

The ‘No Referral’ attribute in a hyperlink (rel=”noreferrer”) instructs browsers to not send HTTP referer headers when the link is clicked. This attribute enhances privacy and security by not revealing the source page to the destination website.

<a href=”https://www.example.com” rel=”noreferrer”>Visit Example Site</a>

  • Typically used in scenarios where the linking site does not want to disclose its URL due to privacy concerns or to prevent the destination site from tracking the origin of the traffic.
  • It’s also useful in preserving user anonymity and reducing the risk of referral spam.

The primary benefit of No Referral links is the protection of user privacy and the reduction of referral spam. While it doesn’t directly influence SEO, it plays a crucial role in maintaining the confidentiality of web traffic and improving overall user experience.

b) No Opener Link

The ‘No Opener’ attribute (rel=”noopener”) is used to enhance security when opening a new browser window or tab via a hyperlink. 

This attribute prevents the newly opened page from having control over the page that spawned it, which can protect against certain types of malicious activities.

<a href=”https://www.example.com” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Visit Example Site</a>

  • Commonly employed when linking to external sites, especially in cases where the content or security of the destination site is uncertain.
  • It’s a security best practice to include this attribute in hyperlinks that use target=”_blank”, as it safeguards against phishing attacks and ensures the integrity of the user’s browsing session.

No Opener links contribute to a safer browsing environment. They do not have a direct impact on SEO, but they are essential for maintaining the security of both the website and its users, thus indirectly supporting user trust and engagement with the site.

Risky vs. non-risky links

Not all links are created equal. Some can guide you to valuable information, while others might lead to risky, less secure destinations. Let’s break down the difference between ‘Risky’ and ‘Non-Risky’ links to help you navigate the web more safely.

Risky Links

Imagine these as the mysterious, shadowy paths in a forest. They look intriguing but can lead to danger.

  • What Makes Them Risky? These links often lead to unsecured, suspicious, or spammy websites. They could expose you to malware, phishing scams, or unwanted advertisements.
  • How to Spot Them? Look out for odd-looking URLs, misspelled website names, or links in unsolicited emails. If a link promises something too good to be true, it’s probably risky!
  • Stay Safe Tip: Always think twice before clicking. If you’re unsure about a link, don’t click it. You can use online tools to check a link’s safety.

Non-Risky Links

These are like well-lit, marked paths in a park. Safe and reliable.

  • Why They’re Safe: Non-risky links lead to legitimate, secure websites. They respect your privacy and don’t expose you to harmful content.
  • Identifying Them: These links usually come from trusted sources like well-known companies or official websites. Look for ‘https://’ in the URL, which indicates a secure connection.
  • Safety Practice: While these links are generally safe, it’s still good practice to ensure they lead to the intended website, especially when handling sensitive information.

The internet is a vast landscape filled with both wonders and hazards. By understanding the difference between risky and non-risky links, you can explore this landscape more confidently and securely.

Tips to Obtain High Quality Backlinks

Tips to Obtain High Quality Backlinks

Starting the journey to enhance your website’s SEO? Here are seven effective strategies for acquiring high-quality backlinks, essential for boosting your site’s visibility and credibility.

  1. Guest Posting: Offer to write articles for other websites in your industry. This not only showcases your expertise but also allows you to include backlinks to your site. Choose sites with a strong reputation for the best impact.
  2. Niche Edits: Reach out to websites with existing content relevant to your business and suggest adding a link to your site. This is a subtle way to insert your link into already successful content.
  3. Broken Link Building: Identify broken links on other websites and offer your content as a replacement. This approach helps webmasters fix their site while providing you an opportunity for a backlink.
  4. Linkable Assets: Create high-quality, valuable content on your site that naturally encourages others to link to it. This could be in-depth guides, infographics, or research studies.
  5. Social Media Promotion: Use your social media platforms to share your content. While social media links are typically no-follow, they can generate visibility and indirect links from other sites.
  6. Community Engagement: Participate in online communities and forums related to your niche. By being active and helpful, you can build relationships that may lead to backlink opportunities.
  7. Local Partnerships: Collaborate with local businesses or organizations for joint marketing efforts. This can lead to natural backlinking from their websites to yours, benefiting both parties.

Successful backlinking requires a mix of creativity, engagement, and strategic planning. 


  • Focus on acquiring backlinks from sites with high Domain Authority, as these tend to have a more significant impact on your SEO.
  • Use SEO tools to study where your competitors are linked from. Aim for these sites to potentially share the same benefits.
  • Go for backlinks from sites that have content closely related to your niche. Contextually relevant links are more beneficial for SEO.
  • Regularly audit your backlink profile, removing or disavowing links from low-quality or irrelevant sites to maintain a healthy link ecosystem.
  • Cultivate relationships with key influencers in your industry.

Outreach Monks: Link Building  Experts Since 2017

Since 2017, Outreach Monks has been a go-to team for top-notch link building services. With a flair for crafting quality backlinks, they’ve helped countless websites climb the SEO ladder. 

Their approach combines modern strategies with a personalized touch, ensuring each client’s unique needs are met. 

Think of them as your friendly neighborhood SEO wizards, dedicated to weaving a web of links that boost your site’s visibility and credibility, all while keeping things simple and approachable.


Understanding the different types of links is crucial in the digital world. From the trust-building ‘Do Follow’ links that boost SEO rankings, to the ‘No Follow’ links that maintain link quality without affecting SEO, each type plays a specific role. 

Then there’s the ‘No Referral’ link, safeguarding user privacy, and the ‘No Opener’ link, ensuring browser security. Remember, links are more than just digital pathways; they’re powerful tools for building relationships, credibility, and online presence. 

Whether you’re looking to enhance your website’s SEO, protect user data, or ensure safe web navigation, the right link type can make a significant difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can 'No Follow' links positively impact my website?

Yes, 'No Follow' links can drive traffic and enhance your site's credibility, even if they don't directly contribute to SEO.

Are 'Do Follow' links better than 'No Follow' links?

'Do Follow' links are better for SEO as they pass link equity, but 'No Follow' links are valuable for diversifying your link profile and driving traffic.

How do 'No Referral' links affect user privacy?

'No Referral' links enhance privacy by not sending referral data to the linked site, keeping the source of the traffic anonymous.

Should I use 'No Opener' links in all external links?

It's a best practice to use No Opener for external links, especially with target=_blank', to protect your site from potential security vulnerabilities.

Is there a risk in having too many 'Do Follow' links?

Yes, an unnatural number of 'Do Follow' links might appear manipulative to search engines and can lead to penalties. It's important to maintain a balanced and organic link profile.




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