All About Links: A Glossary

Hyperlinks play a massive role when it comes to digital marketing. We use links to acquire visitors and share information with them and in turn those links to boost our SEO.

But did you know there are several different link variations and link terminology?

In this blog post, we’ll talk all about links and strengthen your link-related vocabulary.


Backlinks, also called inbound links, are the most common links created when one website links to another. Whenever backlinks occur, it’s like receiving a vote of confidence for the linked webpage. Backlinks boost your site’s ranking and search visibility.


A call-to-action, or a CTA, is a link or button that encourages a website visitor to visit a landing page and become a lead. CTAs are essential to digital marketing, like hooks for a fish. They encourage users to move on to the next step.


When it comes to link, cleanup refers to the process of cleaning up broken or spammy links.


Crawlers are bots that follow links on the web with one goal in mind: to find and index new web content. Crawlability is the search engine’s ability to access and crawl content on a page. Broken links could result in crawlability issues.

Internal Links

These are links that link from one page to another page on the same domain. Internal links are easy to create and control since they’re all on your own domain. They pass SEO authority between pages which increases the page authority of specific pages.


Providing valuable content on your websites so that other websites will want to link to it is called linkbait. This process creates backlinks which then improves the site’s rankings on search engines.

Link Building

This is the process of building backlinks to your website with the goal of improving search engine visibility. It is the practice of promoting your website to other website owners with the goal of securing a link on their site to your page.

Link Checker

Link checkers are tools that check for broken and malicious links. According to Dr. Link Check, they “find and fix 404 errors, mistyped URLs, invalid SSL certificates, or links to questionable websites.” These are powerful tools for improving your site one link at a time.

Link Rot

Link rot is when working links become broken links. Link rot is extremely common, as you’ve probably experienced multiple 404 pages in your lifetime. According to Textmetrics:

Link Schemes

According to Google, link schemes are when “any links intend to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results.” Essentially, it’s when you make a link or are linked for monetary benefits instead of being a useful resource.

Nofollow and Dofollow

Nofollow links are links with a rel=”nofollow” HTML tag applied to them. This tag tells search engines to ignore that link. Nofollow links are detrimental to link building and your overall SEO strategy. Links that do not include rel=”nofollow” are automatically dofollow. Dofollow links help your search engine rankings. Nofollow links don’t.

Outbound/External Links

Outbound links are exactly what they sound like: links from your website to an external website. Outbound links are a good opportunity to reference your sources of information and build an overall good and general SEO strategy.

Short Links

Short links are the process of shortening your URLs to make them friendlier for potential visitors. Nobody likes a crazy long link with a wild variation of letters and numbers and special characters. Thankfully, there are several URL shorteners out there, including:

Websites like Twitter, Buffer, and Hootsuite include their own, built-in URL shortener for posts.


If you’ve been on the internet for more than a millisecond, you’ve experienced a URL. Did you know that URL stands for “uniform resource locator”? It is a key concept of the Web and the mechanism that browsers use to retrieve any published resource on the web.

Vanity URL

A vanity URL is a unique web address that is branded for marketing purposes. Wordstream defines them as “a type of custom URL that exists to help users remember and find a specific page of your website. Therefore, your vanity URLs should be easy to remember, use, and share.”

Now, we all know the World Wide Web really is as vast as it sounds, but did you know all of these link terms? Who knew you could do so much with a single line of letters, numbers, and characters? If you’re in the process of link building, this glossary of terms is a good place to start.


  • Did you know all of this link terminology?
  • Have you built backlinks on your own website?
  • What do you think is the most important term/process on this list?


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