There are different ways to create links in InfoBarrel articles. Some are easier and better than others. This article will explain what a good link is and show you how to create links in your articles. This method works consistently and helps you insure that your links work the way you expect.

What is a Link?

A link, or hyperlink, is part of the fabric of the Internet. The way the "web" is created is that web pages link to other pages on the same, or other, websites. Creating a link to another website or web page helps the readers of your article find related content. There are rules at InfoBarrel about how many and what type of links you can have in your articles.

Typically on a web page, but not always, links are blue underlined. There is no standard that says they have to be done this way, but it is very common. At InfoBarrel your links are blue, but are not underlined until the reader hovers over them with their mouse. These visual clues help readers know that the section of text they are looking at is a link to another article or website.

Some Definitions

Backlink: A backlink is any type of link that you create on the Internet which points back to some content that you have created. One article linking to another is a backlink. You can also backlink using social bookmarking websites or creating other articles or blog posts which link to your content somewhere else. All of these should help give authority to your article.

Anchor Text: The anchor text is simply the text in your article that is used as the text for a link. On InfoBarrel you can think of it as the text that turns blue when you create a link. For example look at the text "rules at InfoBarrel" above. That is the anchor text that I use to link to the writing guidelines which InfoBarrel has created for its writers.

Contextual Link: A contextual link is a link that uses anchor text to link to another page. It helps to think of what a non-contextual link is. This is when you use just the URL of a webpage instead of using anchor text. For example, a non-contextual link would be:

Here is an example of how to create a good link. If I want the readers of this article to also know about the article I wrote on formatting articles at InfoBarrel then I would use the anchor text "formatting articles" (which I did) and create a contextual link to my other article. The reason the link is a good one is it is contextual and it uses good anchor text. It is considered good anchor text because it uses keywords that I want that article to be known for. On top of all of that, it is now a natural backlink to my other article.

Create contextual links, and/or backlinks, in your article using anchor text that uses keywords for the page or website you are linking to.

Creating a Link

In the InfoBarrel editor you can create a link in two different ways. One is using the regular editor and the other is via the HTML editor. Most of the time it is not necessary to use the HTML editor to create your links, therefore we will focus on only the normal editor, or the WYSIWYG editor.

Highlight the text you want to use as your anchor text then click on the chain icon. It is on the second row of icons in the InfoBarrel editor. A dialog box will pop up allowing you to define all the properties for your link.

The first line says "Link URL." The safest way to create a working link is to open a new tab in your browser and navigate to the page that you want to link to. Then highlight the URL in the address bar of your browser* and copy the link address to your computer's clipboard. You can do this by pressing CNTL+C on a PC, or CMD+C on a Mac. Come back to the InfoBarrel editor and paste the address into the "Link URL" line of the dialog box. You can do this by pressing CNTL+V or CMD+V as necessary. This insures that you do not make a mistake in typing the link URL.

The next line you want to consider adjusting in the "Target" line. Leaving it as it is will open the link in the current window. This means that the article reader will go to the page that you have linked to using the current browser window or tab in which they are reading your article. If you want the link to open in a new window or tab, then you can choose the "Open in new window (_blank)" drop-down option. If you don't mind your readers navigating away from your article to the linked page (and possibly never coming back) then you don't need to adjust the settings on that line. However, if you would rather the reader finish your article before closing the browser window or tab, then you can choose the "_blank" option. Which is better? That is up to you to decide on a link-to-link basis. It might make a great forum topic to  discus.

Finally, you should give your link a title. Type a name for your link in the "Title" line. This text will show up when someone hovers over the link. This is used to give the reader more information about where the link is taking them. For example, if you hover over the "rules at InfoBarrel" link above you will see a small box that pops up saying "InfoBarrel Editorial Guidelines." That is the title that I manually typed into the "Title" box. I chose that title because it is the title of the page, but I could have put anything in there.

There are many other options you can set in the link creation dialog box, but those mentioned above are the ones you should fill in or choose on every link you create. Many of the other options are much more advanced than what you need for creating a good solid link from your article to another article or web page.

*A note about Amazon Associates links: If you are creating a link to a product page at Amazon, you do not want to use the URL in the browser address bar. You should use the Amazon Site Stripe to get the specific link with your Amazon Associates code in it that you will paste into the "Link URL" line of the InfoBarrel editor link creation dialog box.

Any questions can be asked in the comments below or the InfoBarrel forum. There are plenty of people willing to help the InfoBarrel writers become better authors and users of the InfoBarrel website.