There is no doubt that internal and inbound links are important aspects of SEO. However, there is much debate around which one is more important to focus on.
This is the case partly because of the various changes to Google’s algorithm over the years, as well as the more recent issues causes by Google Panda and Google Penguin.
Spotting the Difference
If you’re new to SEO, you’re probably scratching your head and asking what this is all about. An internal link is one that points to another page on your website. For example, if you write a blog post or you have a commercial page detailing what it is you do, you might have a link to a page with an enquiry form or where a browser can find your contact details.
An inbound link, or an external link, is a link from another website that points to your own. It is these links, and the practice of link building, in particular, that have caused a great deal of controversy in recent times.
An inbound link might be one you have built yourself via a business directory or a guest post, or could be a link that you’ve earned as another website links to a piece of high quality content on your pages.
Thanks to Google getting cleverer with regards their algorithms and becoming stricter with manual penalties, manipulating search results with inbound links is more difficult than ever before.
To help webmasters deal with any inbound link issues, Google has made their Webmaster Tools platform easier to use and launched the disavow tool in order to help remove any links that you don’t want or built at a time when there wasn’t such a focus on them and they wouldn’t harm your site.
The value of an inbound link, if it is from a quality website, is huge. However, you should be looking at inbound links in terms of the traffic they can drive to your site, not based on the boost it’ll potentially give you in the search results.
You’ve probably heard the term ‘content is king’ a lot in recent times. We endorse this 100%, and quality content on your site is the best way to earn quality inbound links rather than build them yourself.
Internal links are crucial for your site architecture, as it helps Google to aggregate the quality of your site and see what you’re all about. However, even more importantly, it improves the user experience of navigating around your website.
That said, internal links are only worth it if you’re taking people to commercial pages or giving them a call to action. Simply sending people through link after link to a different page isn’t going to achieve anything, as they won’t know what they’re supposed to do or what your objective is.
ALSO READ: Five Steps To Write An SEO Article
Which is More Important?
The truth is that internal and inbound links are both of equal importance, and are something you should have a long-term plan for in terms of your SEO. Bough SEO, an SEO marketing company, has a number of tools you can use for checking your internal and external linking, and that can help you to understand what you need to be doing differently.
This article is written by Susan. She is an SEO enthusiast who completed an internship with a leading SEO agency over the summer months. Having now returned to University, she is looking forward to keeping up to speed with the industry over the next year before trying to find a job upon completing her studies.
Filed in: Internet