Successful Squidoo lensmasters often talk about links, backlinks, and contextual links. These terms do not mean exactly the same thing, so I thought that I would define them for you. Understanding about linking content is an important part of becoming successful at writing online.
A link is another way of saying hyperlink. If you link from one website to another, a reader can click the link with their mouse, and go directly to that other site.
A backlink is an incoming link from another site to yours (essentially a matter of direction). An outgoing link is a link from your site to another site.
A contextual link is a link that is inserted within the text of a sentence, paragraph, or article. It is surrounded by text relevant to the information that the link is directing the reader to. When you create a contextual link, you are anchoring your link with text.
Okay, those are some fancy words. So what does “anchoring your link with text” actually mean. It is probably easier for me to show you an example than explain it to you.
Squidoo has at this moment two kinds of ads they show on all lenses: glam ads and adsense ads. These make lensmasters money only indirectly: we get payed out based on lensrank. In other words: whether you have a hundred visitors a day, or a thousand: you get the same top tier payout (which is about 10 dollars a month these days).
If you look carefully at the quote, you will see the contextual link that is embedded in the sentence. The word lensrank is linked to another lens about lensrank. This lens is called Lensrank explained (really). The link is contextual because it is found within text, linking to a related topic to the text it is linked to. This is anchoring the link with text.
This is the best way to link related content together because search engines will understand the relationship, and will follow the link accordingly. This helps the search engines categorize the linked article properly, and it will give a boost to the linked article because the two articles are relevant to each other.
If you routinely link your related content together in this fashion, you will be building up contextual backlinks to your related text, that will in turn help your readers find related articles, and search engines follow the links to related articles. Good for readers, and good for SEO. A double bonus, and a good practice to get into.