The original term for “link” in the early days of the Internet was “hyperlink.” An outgoing external link is also called an outbound link. From a purely technical perspective, this is a direct link from one hypertext document to another. However, such a link can also direct to other types of documents such as images or videos. Links from a PDF document or social network are of the same type.

In its simplest form, a link looks like this:

<a href=”http://www.domain.com”>link text</a>

Link text” here refers to the text that is displayed to a website visitor and which directs to the landing page with a hyperlink.


Hyperlinks can be divided into different categories. First, a distinction is made mainly in search engine optimization between external and internal links. While external hyperlinks from one website direct to another website, internal links are hyperlinks directing to other elements within the same website.

While external links are also called backlinks and originally served to make other content on the web accessible to users by setting a hyperlink as a “recommendation;” internal links are used almost exclusively for optimal navigation through a website.

Now that we have made these distinctions, the hyperlink can be further differentiated as follows:

  • Social signal: These would comprise all hyperlinks from social networks.
  • Trust links: These would include backlinks from highly trusted websites such as news sites or university homepages.
  • Nofollow links: These hyperlinks are marked with the nofollow attribute and tell the search engine that the bots should not follow these links.
  • Media links: This hyperlinks direct to media content such as videos, images or documents.
  • Deep links: With these hyperlinks a website directs directly into hierarchically deeper areas of a site.

There may not always be a clear distinction between these categories. Thus, a deep link can also be marked with the “nofollow” attribute, while a media link is simultaneously also a trust link.


Using hyperlinks, you can control user behavior on the web or on websites by using links structures. They can be divided into these four types:

  • Linear structure: In this case, the user will be taken from one web content to another by clicking a link of the corresponding content. Each new click brings him to a new page.

This happens when a user searches information on a specific topic and has a found a link hub. If he clicks a hyperlink from a list, he will get to another page. The same applies to hyperlinks in text or PDF documents. By clicking the link, the user leaves the home page and is directed to further Internet content.

  • Network structure: This gives users the option to reach all pages accessible via links from any page. This is usually the case for menus in online stores. If a user did not find what he wanted on a product detail page, he can immediately switch to another category. He can also view the terms and conditions by clicking the appropriate links.
  • Tree structure: This hyperlink structure will take users of a site to its subpages. This structure is typical of site navigation by categories.
  • Star structure: User will be taken to other subpages of a website through links within a document. An example is this wiki here.

Hyperlinking in SEO

Links have a major role in search engine optimization (SEO) since they have been used by the Google algorithm as a main ranking criterion from the start. This use, however, has resulted in the actual meaning of the hyperlink (a director for users) being partly superimposed by the additional benefits (transfer of “trust”).


A permalink is a special form of hyperlink to ensure that a resource or its content is permanently accessible on the web via a specific URL. Using a permalink, an HTML resource is made quotable over a longer period. The designation consists of the word “link” for “hyperlink” (director) and the adjective “permanent.”

Typical applications for permalinks are blogs, wikis or RSS feeds. By using permanent links, the system of internal references is safer and has fewer dead links than CMS, which generate dynamic URLs. Even in libraries or other archive systems, permalinks are used to generate a fixed address within a network that is permanently directed to and which can be accessed permanently.

WordPress blogs generate permalinks automatically. On Wiki pages, permalinks can be generated with the toolbar. Modern CMS’s work almost exclusively with permalinks for content subpages which usually consist of speaking URLs. Another method that is also used by blog systems is to designate URLs based on the publication date.

Permalinks examples

  • With time stamp:
  • With article name:
www. samplesite.com /category/item name

If multiple URLs exist for the same content, the canonical tag may be used to direct to the permalink. Additionally, the Permalink can also be marked with the re="bookmark" attribute.

This would look like this:

<a href=”http://www. samplesite.com/mypermalink“	rel=”bookmark”>permanent content</a>

Permalinks are important for link building and SEO since that way it is guaranteed that the incoming link juice can always flow constantly. Permalinks are just as important for link lists and link hubs since they guarantee that targets of outbound links are reachable and will not cause error messages.

Web Links