Backlinks vs. External Links

In the vast realm of search engine optimization (SEO), links play a pivotal role in determining a website’s success. Two essential types of links, backlinks, and external links, often find themselves at the center of SEO strategies. In this article, we will embark on a comprehensive journey to understand these link types (Backlinks vs. External Links), their significance, and how to utilize them effectively.

Backlinks, also known as inbound links or incoming links, are hyperlinks that point from external websites to your own. They serve as endorsements from other web sources, signaling to search engines that your content is authoritative and valuable.

There are two primary types of backlinks:

  • Dofollow Backlinks: These carry SEO value, influencing search engine rankings. They pass “link juice” to your site.
  • Nofollow Backlinks: While they don’t directly impact SEO, nofollow backlinks are valuable for traffic and user engagement.

Backlinks offer several advantages:

  • Enhanced Authority: High-quality backlinks boost your website’s authority in your niche.
  • Improved Rankings: Search engines reward websites with authoritative backlinks by ranking them higher.
  • Increased Traffic: Backlinks from reputable sources drive targeted traffic to your site.

External links, or outbound links, are hyperlinks on your website that point to other websites. They serve various purposes, such as citing sources, providing additional information, or enhancing user experience. source

There are various types of external links:

  • Citation Links: These link to sources that support the information presented on your page.
  • Resource Links: Point to valuable external resources, aiding your audience’s understanding.
  • Affiliate Links: These can generate revenue for your website when users make purchases through them.

External links offer multiple benefits:

  • Credibility: External links enhance your content’s credibility by referencing authoritative sources.
  • User Experience: They enrich the user experience by providing supplementary information.
  • Building Relationships: Outbound links can help you build relationships with other websites and influencers.
Backlinks vs. External Links

Backlinks and external links differ in several ways:

  • Direction: Backlinks come from external sites to yours, while external links go from your site to external sources.
  • SEO Impact: Backlinks directly influence SEO rankings, while external links primarily affect user experience and credibility.
  • Purpose: Backlinks validate your site’s authority, while external links support your content.

Utilize backlinks when you want to:

  • Improve your website’s SEO ranking.
  • Establish authority in your niche.
  • Attract organic traffic from other reputable websites.

Incorporate external links when you:

  • Need to support your content with references.
  • Want to enhance user experience with additional resources?
  • Seek to build relationships with other webmasters or influencers.

SEO Best Practices

To make the most of backlinks and external links:

  • Use descriptive anchor text for both.
  • Ensure link diversity for backlinks.
  • Keep an eye on link quality and relevance.

User Experience Matters

For a seamless user experience:

  • Ensure all external links open in new tabs.
  • Use clear and concise anchor text.
  • Regularly check and update broken links.


In the realm of SEO, backlinks and external links are two vital components of an effective strategy. Understanding their differences, purposes, and best practices is crucial for optimizing your website’s performance. 

By implementing these insights, you can harness the power of both link types to propel your website towards greater online success. source

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