Difference Between Backlinks and External links (With Table)

Links are important for any page because they decide where your page stands (good or bad) in search engine results. They make the most vital part of “off-page SEO.” There are three kinds of links; internal, external, and backlinks. Each has its tasks to perform. It helps users get the right information by directing them to websites, either the same or a different one.

If one wants to build a strong SEO strategy for their websites, then understanding the differences and importance of each link is important. Using these links in the right way can make your content go higher in the rankings and also increase traffic on your page.

Backlinks vs External Links

The difference between backlinks and external links is that a backlink is created when an external website links to your current website. It is also called ‘inbound’ links. Whereas external links are hyperlinks that direct you to a page on a different website from the original domain, they tend to connect relevant content.

Backlinks are links that are created when an external website links to your current website. They are also called incoming, inbound, one-way links. They are important because the more the number of links, the higher the rank of your search engine. They are known as votes from other websites. Google says that backlinks are one of their three most vital search engine ranking factors. It can link a service page, blog post, etc., link earning or link building is the process of obtaining these links.

An external link is a hyperlink that directs you to another page (other than the domain that the link exists on). When the link is clicked, it targets you to another page of a different website. You cannot just use any link; one should always use a good quality link in a good quantity to help your website get a high rank and credibility. The links should be relevant and should be from authoritative sites.

Comparison Table Between Backlinks and External Links

 Parameters of Comparison Backlinks External Links
 Definition Backlinks are created when an external website links to your site. An external link is a hyperlink that targets you to a page of another website.
 Also called Inbound link, In-link, etc. Outbound Link
 Code Sample <a href=”http://yourwebsite.com/”>yourkeyword(s)</a> <a href =”http://www.external_domain.com”
 Value Determination Domain rating, organic traffic, spam scores, anchor text are few ways to determine the value. Relation between the two sites, the popularity of the linking page, and the trustworthiness of the linking page are a few ways to assess the value.
 Example ‘XYZ’ is a link on a page that points to the homepage of your website xyz.com then that is a backlink. If you are on your web page and if a link ‘someplace.com’ or ‘xyz.com’ takes you to another website, that is considered an external link.

What are Backlinks?

A backlink is a link from some other website that gets connected to your present website. It is created when an external website is linked to your website. It can be linked to anything like websites, web directories, blog posts, service pages, etc. They are also known as inbound links, in-link, etc. They are also compared to citations.

These links are very important for your page as it decides the rank and credibility of your page in SEO and hence it is important to choose good quality, quantity and relevant links for your webpage. This is also a factor that search engines like Google use to evaluate to check how important a page is. ‘Pagerank’ helps you to calculate the score for each webpage. It is an algorithm that measures the importance of a website. The search engine ranking plays a significant role in online businesses. Methods like comments on your posts or blogs, amount of visitors on your website (clicks on the link), engagements on social media, distribution of press releases can be used to increase backlinks.

Websites use SEO techniques to improve and increase the number of backlinks. These techniques can be both paid and free. Using these techniques right is essential. The free techniques can be used by everyone, but they do need proper planning and marketing. Example – link baiting. Then there are also paid techniques, for example – private blog networks. Anchor texts are another factor that determines the value. They are the descriptive labels of the hyperlink. Anchor texts as examine by search engine bots. Backlinks can be generated by different forms of submission (directly, forum, blog, etc.).

The links that are present for reasons other than merit are defined as Link spam. Types of backlinks based on the most beneficial to SEO – editorial, guest blogging, webinars backlinks, free-tool, etc. there are no-follow and do-follow backlinks too.

What are External Links?

External links are a hyperlink that targets you to a domain other than the website the link exists on. It is known as an external link to your site when another website links to yours. They help us to connect with relevant content. They are considered as the third party votes by the search engines, and hence it is considered important; when another website links to yours, it is considered more beneficial than the one that links to your page.

There are a few steps that are used by search engines to determine the value –

  • Trustworthiness of the linking domain
  • Relation between the two sites
  • How popular the linking page is
  • How relevant the content is
  • The quantity of the links to the same page from the main domain, etc.

The quality, relevance, and quantity of the links tend to matter. The links should be informative, trustworthy, and of good quality. Only then will it help your page to get a high rank and credibility, while if you add poor or average quality links, then it will not benefit your websites in any way. The way to create an external link is – click on create option from the pages folder on the dashboard, then while clicking on the external link option, add the title, choose the URL path and then click ‘on’ for the behavior check box and tap on done. The link path cannot be more than 256 characters. No-follow and do-follow links are two types of external links.

Main Differences Between Backlinks and External Links

  1. Backlinks are created when an external website links to your site, whereas an external link is a hyperlink that targets you to a page of another website.
  2. Backlinks are also known as inbound or incoming links, whereas external links are also called outbound Link.
  3. The HTML syntax code sample backlink is <a href=”http://yourwebsite.com/”>yourkeyword(s)</a> whereas a code sample of external link is <a href =”http://www.external_domain.com”
  4. For instance, ‘xyz’ as a word is a link that points to the homepage of your website xyz.com then that is a backlink, whereas an example of the external link is that if you are on your webpage and if a link someplace.com or xyz.com takes you to another website then that is considered to be an external link.
  5. Domain rating, organic traffic, spam scores, anchor text are few ways to determine the value of the backlink. Relation between the two sites, the popularity of the linking page, and the trustworthiness of the linking page are a few ways to assess the value of the external link.

Conclusion

These links are important as our entire system of the internet is built on links. These links help us find relevant pages of information. It makes it easy for us to navigate and find the right and useful information. The links help the websites to increase popularity to provide the users with good information.

Understanding Backlinks and external links can get a little confusing as they are always considered the same. But once you understand the difference, uses, and importance, it is easy for the users as well as the owner of the website.

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Meenu_Dave/publication/303856621_The_Role_of_Backlinks_in_Search_Engine_Ranking/links/5758527a08aec913749f026f.pdf
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1806565.1806583
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