Linking out to other related sources is cool and helpful.

Linking keyword keyword to whatever it is you're selling on another site is not. It sucks.

The 4 Types Of Inline Links

  1. Informational: leads to pages that offer more, and often deeper, information related to the words linked.
  2. Referential: serve as a live bibliography: "here is the source stating what I just said"
  3. Definitional: provide an extended definition on the word(s) linked.
  4. Promotional: links to the start of a sales funnel.

The 2 Destinations Of Inline Links


  1. on-site, or
  2. off-site

Good Promotional Links

Promotional links that make sense are either keyword keyword links that go to an on-site sales funnel (like Apple linking to the app store) or clearly identified as sales copy ("buy them here").

The Sucker Punch Link


Sucker Punch links are offsite promotional links pretending not to be.



When a reader sees keyword keyword linked in an article, we expect the link to be promotional on-site (often not helpful but it makes sense; we're used to it) or one of the other types of inline links, on-site or not.

Instead, the Sucker Punch link is used not to help the reader but to help the linked site rank better for keyword keyword. The relation, cause, rapport, or need to go from the linked words to the offsite document is non-existent: the experience makes no sense.

It sucks. To read "computer repair" in an article, click the link and land at the home page of a company? Sucks.

Want A Link? Add Value

Your home page doesn't define " isn't the essence -- of those keywords you just linked.

Want to promote anyway? Show off how you are those keywords by deep linking to related articles and resources on your site.

That makes *sense*, adds value -- and does your promotional job in a non-douche way.

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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5 Responses to “The 4 Types Of Inline Links (& How Not To Be A Douche With Them)”

  1. Samir says:

    But Sucker Punch Links work for the SEO of the site being linked to.

  2. Brian says:

    Those "sucker punch" links are used almost solely for their keyword relevance and to help the SEO of the linked site, like Samir said

  3. Ruud Hein says:

    Definitely; they're for keyword use. Doesn't take away from the fact that there is a time and place for everything

  4. Samir says:

    If I was a company that repaired computers, and the homepage of my website ranked in, say, position 7, and I wanted to try to get it into position 6, I'd publish a relevant article on some other relevant website with authority and link to the homepage of my site under the anchor text of 'computer repair' from somewhere within that article. This would probably increase my chances of moving into position 6.

    You however suggest that if I 'deep link to articles on my site' instead, then I show [the search engines] that my site 'is' the keyword 'computer repair'. Can you elaborate on this? I don't get it.

    Which method is more likely to improve my ranking for the term 'computer repair'? Mine or yours? If it's mine, and our jobs (as SEO guys) are to improve the site's ranking, I'm less of a douche than you.

    • Ruud Hein says:

      As an SEO it is our job to rank a site better — but not at any cost. E.g., if you were to submit a guest post here adding keyword keyword links doesn't make for a great experience for the reader. Deep-linking to insightful, smart posts on your site would. Between those two techniques, the latter gets you more humans (prospects), more deep links (people pick up on your articles), and a wider base.

      Keyword-keyword -> homepage linking isn't the only way to do linkbuilding. Phrase -> article page which contains keyword-keyword -> homepage; that's a stream too.