External Links are hyperlinks to any domain other than where the link exists. In simpler terms, any website that includes a link to your site in one of their pages is considered as an external link to your website. This works both ways; if you link a site other than your own, this is also an external link.
The page where the link exists is called the source while the URL that is linked is called the target.
How should you link to external sites? Your anchor text should be a word or phrase that describes what the target page is about. However, you need to use different anchor text to avoid triggering spam detectors. You need to consider the authority of the sites you are linking to since this can influence your reputation.
Why are external links so important?
SEO experts consider that external links are the most critical factor when it comes to ranking. These types of links pass some of their equity to the sites they are in. This means a link to your website from a high-ranking site will pass some of its authority to yours.
Additionally, they are an easy way for search engines to evaluate a webpage or website’s popularity. You are probably wondering why not simply measure traffic to assess how popular a site is. The answer is that external links are stable and easy to measure. Unlike traffic numbers, which are stored in private servers, external links are publicly available.
They are also a way for search engines to evaluate a site’s relevancy. The anchor text used for these links tends to indicate what kind of content the site has and links usually point to content related to the source page. This provides search engines with relevancy metrics that can help validate the trustworthiness and importance of a webpage.