27 Terms Around Backlinks That Every SEO Professional Must Know

April 8, 2023 | Link Building

Are you a newbie in the SEO industry and feel confused when you are around the experts? If yes, then this post is for you. 

Being an SEO professional, it becomes important for an individual to be familiar and well-versed with the industry terms.  

With the help of this glossary of terms related to backlinks, you will be able to build a strong base in SEO.

Without adieu, let’s get started. 

1. Backlink

Backlink is a term that indicates a link pointing to a website from other sources than the site itself.


Backlinks act as votes of confidence for search crawlers and signal to them the worth of a website. Thus, they play a major role in juggling the site’s rankings in the SERPs.

2. Backlink Profile

The Backlink Profile of a site is the collection of links that drives and directs the users to it. 

It includes anchor texts, referring domains, referring backlinks, referring pages, spam score, link status, link quality, etc.

Having an excellent backlink profile helps you achieve higher rankings and achieve desired results. 

3. Link Building

Link Building is the process of generating backlinks to a site from other websites, preferably of a higher authority.


It helps a site increase the count of backlinks, which in turn improves its discoverability and rankings in the SERPs. 

Besides this, link-building helps a site drive relevant traffic from different sources. Thus, it is extremely important for SEO.

Popular link-building strategies include guest posting, social bookmarking, business listing, etc.

4. Link Equity/Link Juice

Also known as Link Juice, Link Equity is a search ranking factor based on the idea that links pass reputation or authority from one page to another. 

Suppose a page links to three other pages. In that case, the link equity is divided in the following manner:


Link Equity is impacted by the linking page authority, topic relevance, HTTP status, and the number of outgoing links.

5. Referring Domains

The Referring Domains for a website or webpage are the other websites from which it has one or more backlinks.


Higher the number of referring domains on your website, the higher the quality of your site. 

6. Link Acquisition

Link Acquisition is the process of earning backlinks to a site or its pages from other websites. 

Having a good link acquisition strategy in place is important to rank high on SERPs. 

It includes competitor analysis for backlinks, creating quality content and reaching out to potential sites to link back.

7. Crawlability 

Every search engine has its crawlers, which scan the web to find new websites and pages and index them in its database. Then, the search engine ranks them for appropriate search queries (keywords).

Crawlability is the ability of a search engine crawler to access and read the content on a site and its pages.


Ensuring good crawlability increases the chances of getting discovered by search engine crawlers. Thus, it helps a site and its pages to rank well in the SERPs.

8. Footer Links

The links present in the footer of a website (at the bottom), pointing to the site’s most important pages, are known as Footer Links. 

RankWatch’s site also has Footer Links:

They allow navigation across different pages and make it easy for online visitors to click and explore your website without scrolling up. 

9. Hidden Links 

Hidden Links are links designed to be visible to the search bots only. Users cannot see these links, hence the name.

Some ways to add hidden links are:

  • Using white text on white background
  • Covering text with an image
  • Positioning text off-screen using CSS
  • Setting the font size to 0
  • Linking to only one small character like a comma or hyphen

However, using hidden links to manipulate search rankings is a black hat SEO technique. 

It is considered deceptive and spammy, and most search engines penalize websites using hidden links. 

10. Broken Links

Broken links are the links on your website or its pages that are no longer active. When you click on a broken link it leads to a 404 File Not Found error page.


There can be two reasons for a broken link’s existence:

  • The domain got changed, renamed, or removed
  • The page you linked to has been deleted permanently 

But be it for any reason, broken links are not good for SEO and should be fixed as soon as possible.

11. Link Exchange

Link Exchange is a link-building method where you exchange backlinks with another website. 

For example, you can provide them with a link from one of your pages and in return, get a link from one of their pages.

In this way, you can build quality links to your website and improve your organic rankings.

12. Inbound Links

Inbound Links are the links on third party web pages that redirect to a page on your website. 

In simple words, these are links coming from other websites to your site.

The inbound links indicate to the search engines that your site contains high-quality content and thus, boost your site’s SEO performance. 

Here’s what matters most for inbound links:

  • Link attribute – Follow or No-follow
  • Anchor text on the referring page
  • Relevance of the linking domain
  • Authority of the linking domain
  • Number of outbound links on the referring page
  • Location on the referring page

13. Outbound Links 

Outbound Links are the links on your website pointing to another website or web page. They are used to cite statistics, provide links to additional resources, etc.

Unlike inbound links, outbound links help search engines in determining your website’s niche and building its authority.

Here’s what matters most for outbound links:

  • Authority of the linked site
  • Relevance of the linked page
  • Anchor text pointing to the linked page
  • Count of outbound links on the page                                        

14. Internal Links 

Internal links are the links pointing from one page to another page on the same website. They help your users and search engines to navigate through your site and discover new pages.

Besides this, internal links are important to:

  • Understand relationships between pages
  • Transfer link juice/link value to other pages
  • Divert traffic from one page to another

So, having an internal linking strategy enhances your rankings over time. 

Here’s what matters most for internal links:

  • Relatedness of the linked pages
  • Anchor text pointing to linked pages
  • No-follow or do-follow tags

15. External Link 

External links are hyperlinks that redirect to a page on some other external source or domain.

Unlike internal links, external links are more influential for SEO. They are considered third party votes and pass link equity in a different way.

Here’s what matters for external links:

  • Trustworthiness of the linking domain
  • Popularity of the linking page
  • Relevance between the pages
  • Anchor text used to link 

16. Anchor Text 

Anchor text or link text is the visible words and characters that appear in the hyperlink when you link to an internal or external source. 

It indicates to the user and search engines the context of the content present on the linked page.

17. Trust Score 

Trust score indicates the trustworthiness of a domain/page based on the quality of backlinks it has. 

Higher the trust score, the higher the chances of the website ranking in top positions in SERPs. 

18. Citation Score

Citation Score measures the authority of a website or domain based on the quantity of backlinks it has.

19. Click-Through Rate 

CTR is the ratio of the number of clicks that a link receives to the number of times the link was seen by users.

Organic CTR is the ratio of clicks received by a page to the number of times it appeared in the SERPs.

In paid search, CTR is the ratio of the number of ad clicks to the number of ad views.


20. Do-Follow Links 

Do-follow links indicate the search engines to follow or go through the link. It passes the authority from the referring page to the linked page. 

21. No-Follow Links 

No-follow links tell the search engines not to count or go through the link. It doesn’t pass any authority from the referring page to the linked page. But, helps in traffic gain.


22. Deep Link Ratio

Deep link ratio is the ratio of total inbound links to each page of your website and the total inbound links to the homepage of your website.

In other words, it is the percentage of inbound links to your homepage versus all other pages on your site. 

In general, sites having a higher deep link ratio perform better in the SERPs. It also helps in user retention and getting more conversions.

23. Deindexed

Deindexed means that your particular domain or website is removed from the directory of search engines. 

In other words, if you observe that you had decent traffic one day and the other day it all vanished, your website might have been deindexed.

24. Reciprocal Linking 

Reciprocal Linking is an agreement between two web admins to promote each other on their sites with the help of links.

Sites that cover similar topics or offer complementary goods or services indulge in reciprocal link building.


It helps them increase their respective site authority and rank higher in the SERPs.                                          

25. Sitewide Links

Sitewide Links are the inbound links that appear multiple times on the entire website or its pages. 

Usually, these links appear in the footer, sidebar or navigation menu.


For example, the home icon (that takes you to the homepage) appears on every page of the site.

26. Link Schemes

Link Schemes are an attempt to manipulate a website’s rankings in the SERPs using unnatural links. 

For example, registering a site on low-quality directories that are just out there to get links for SEO value is a link scheme.

But, it violates Google’s guidelines. Therefore, using such procedures to rank high is not advisable.

27. Unnatural Links 

Unnatural links are artificial links intended to manipulate the search algorithms and attain higher rankings in the SERPs. 

But, they are not beneficial and might lead to getting the website penalized by search engines.

Track Your Link-Building Progress With RankWatch

If you’ve just started building links to your site, using a backlink checker tool to monitor your progress is essential. 

It will give you a quick yet comprehensive overview of the link profile of the target page. 

You can see the active and deleted backlinks, link acquisition trend, anchor texts for the links, etc. for your target page.

In this way, you’d be able to gauge which link-building strategies worked for you and which didn’t, helping you level up your SEO game.

Final Words

Link building in the right way boosts your SEO performance and helps you achieve better rankings in the SERPs.

But, you might mess it up if you don’t know the right terminologies. Or get confused with their meanings (because they bear so much resemblance!).

Whatever be the case, you can always refer to this post and skyrocket your link-building journey.

Are there any other terms you’d like us to include in this glossary? Let us know if we missed something in the comment section below.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this term, as I am still new to the SEO industry, I now know the terms related to backlink in SEO.

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