Link basics

Before we delve into the details of different link types and different website types it is important that we explain some basic aspects of (manipulative) links and their common characteristics.

A hyperlink is an element, a text, or an image that you can click on, and jump to another document.

When viewed as raw HTML a typical hyperlink looks similar to the the following,

  • <a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Click Here</a>

Hyperlinks are comprised of two primary elements,

  • the anchor text used within the hyperlink – Click Here
  • the HTML attributes of the anchor element it self – href=”” rel=”nofollow”

Anchor text forms a major part of manipulative link identification. In the above example the anchor text is ‘Click Here’. It is key you understand what anchor text is, and how it has been (ab)used by SEO consultants, to effectively identify manipulative links. To learn more about anchor text click here.

In the above example the first attribute, href (hypertext reference), informs us of the URL destination of the hyperlink –  This is the page (or resource) that will be displayed (or downloaded) when the link is clicked by the user. To learn more about how href destinations URLs, and how they can be used to help identify manipilative links, click here.

The second attribute in the above example, rel=”nofollow”, describes the relationship between the source and destination URLs. The most (in)famous link relationship values, and those of primary concern for this guide, are follow and nofollow. To learn more about follow link, nofollow links, and link relationships, click here.