Link structure

David Kusserow



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The term link structure comes from search engine optimization and describes the relationship of external and internal links of a website to third and a subpage in relation to the entire domain.


Link structure is an important concept in OffPage Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but it also influences the OnPage area. The link structure reflects the link building of external links(backlinks) and internal links. In order to calculate the Domain Authority of a website, the crawler of a search engine examines the link structure of a page and the algorithm calculates the ranking of the page on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) depending on the search query.

The external link structure

The incoming links to a website are called backlinks and serve search engines like Google, Bing & Co. as an indicator of how trustworthy a website is for a particular topic. A backlink is in a way a recommendation of a website by a second one – if a website is recommended by many trustworthy websites, search engines interpret this as very trustworthy.

According to Google’s webmaster guidelines, backlinks should be generated “naturally” by building good content. There are other methods for effective link building, but you should always keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to backlinks.

Link structure
Image: © TarikVision

A backlink from a bad neighbourhood – i.e. from sites with a low domain authority – may do you more harm than a backlink from a trustworthy site will do you good.Also, it is important that your link building is ongoing. A sudden increase in the number of backlinks is evaluated by Google as a sign of dubious means and interpreted accordingly negative.

The internal link structure

While search engines evaluate external link structure as an indication of a page’s competence, internal link structure helps crawlers interpret a page in the context of the entire domain.

In addition to this indication of the user-friendliness of a page, it also serves to help actual visitors find their way around the domain quickly and easily. Working on the internal link structure is thus a part of OnPage optimization.

A good internal link structure is characterised by the fact that it creates a flat page hierarchy on which the user can orientate himself more easily. Also, you should limit the number of internal links on a page – the Google bot can follow about 100 links on a page.

  • Every link on a page should have a meaningful anchor text. Search engines evaluate link descriptions like “click here” in individual cases even negatively. The reader is disturbed by a URL in the text – therefore the anchor text should integrate seamlessly into the text.
  • The links from the home page of a domain have great weight for search engine optimization of a site and provide a good user experience. They also increase the relevance of the respective subpage for the algorithm.
  • The position of the link determines its relevance. The further a link is placed at the beginning of the text, the more important search engines take it.
  • The more links there are on a page, the less link juice a single link can receive.


Link structure is an important part of your OnPage and OffPage SEO. It is crucial for the domain authority of your site and important for its user-friendliness. Google favors a naturally growing link structure of backlinks, through the voluntary recommendation of a site by other webmasters, but there are other strategies for effective link building. You must always keep in mind not to allow backlinks from bad neighborhoods.


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