Links are the secret sauce that allow you to navigate the
Internet be it across a site or across the world. Links are your magic
carpet that will take you anywhere you want to go.
If You Want to Get Anywhere You Need a Link
Every file on the Internet has a unique address, just like every page in a book has its number. The link tells the browser which page in which book in which library has the information that you seek. Since you can't physically turn the pages of a site or the Internet you need a system of navigation to get around.
Links can be placed anywhere on the site. The navigation bar contains links to other pages or sections of a site, but links can be placed within the text or can be images. The icons that you see on a site are often links. Whenever your mouse pointer passes over a link it changes to the hand with the pointer finger extended to click the link.
Links within text sections are usually differentiated in some way. The classic link is underlined blue text, but the website designer can change the look of the link. There may be a hover effect used to call attention to the link, such as a background color or a change in the font color or size.
Internal links are links to other pages on a site. While a site can be a single page, most sites are made up of multiple pages. The internal links will instruct the browser to call for and load another page from the site. The site navigation system, be it a horizontal bar or a column on one side of a page, or even a combination of the options, is made up of internal links.
External links are links to other sites or to specific pages on other sites. External links will most frequently be within the text on a page, but can be in a section of the navigation system. Sometimes a special page is set up on a site for external links. Links within banners and other ads on a site are usually external links taking you to a landing page for the product or service.
A link from an external source to a site is known as a backlink. Backlinks are important to a site because they bring visitors to a site. Backlinks also have some power with the search engines. A site that has a number of quality backlinks will be rated as more important by the search engines so they will return those sites and pages higher in the search results.
The Internet is huge. It is estimated that there are over one billion pages of information on the web. Every one of those pages has a unique address. If you have the link you can get to any of those pages with just a click. So hop on your magic carpet and click a link and you will be whisked to your destination in an instant.