A Guide to Using Ahrefs’ Internal Backlinks Tool

Ahrefs has a plethora of useful tools and resources. Since the publishing of that post, a few new features have been added. One of these features in the “Internal Backlinks” tab:

Internal backlinks located under Backlink profile in the side menu

What Does it Do?

Put simply, it shows which pages link to which pages, all within your website. Internal linking is important for site organization, user experience, and crawling ease. The Internal Backlinks tool helps you to understand your linking structure, which pages could use more links, and which pages are only ranking well because of their internal linking. 


Before going into the functions, let’s go into the options.


Setting Up a Search

Group Similar/All

The first option to toggle is whether to look at all backlinks or just the unique ones. When All is selected, it will show you all of the links of every page, including the ones that are on every page. That means it will show the link to your contact page that appears in the upper-right hand corner of the page throughout the website. This doesn’t help if you’re trying to see if you need to link to your contact page more in your blogs. When Group Similar is selected, it filters the links that appear on every page with the exact same anchor text out of the listings. 


Link Type

There’s a pretty wide range of link types to look at. Some of the more important ones to know about are Dofollow and Nofollow.

  • Dofollow – These are links that search engines are allowed to follow when crawling a site. Dofollow links add authority with both internal and external links.
  • Nofollow – Nofollow links do not let search engines follow them while crawling. These should largely be the links you don’t need crawlers to crawl on every single page. This means the links in the navigation bar and the footer are generally safe to be nofollow. It is also a good link type to check to make sure links that can be dofollow are attributed as such.



What’s available to toggle in this section depends on how your website is set up, but chances are you have the options of “All” and “Blogs.” As you’ve probably guessed, it means you can filter what types of pages you’re seeing.



As with Platform, the languages you can check up on are just the languages that your site has. If you have a multilingual setup then you can see which pages are being linked to in all relevant languages.



In Ahrefs’ own words, traffic “estimates the total monthly search traffic to the referring page from the top 100 organic search results. It is…the sum of traffic from all organic keywords.” This metric is manageable by listing your lower and upper limits for which pages you want to see, with higher numbers being better. You can use this to see which pages are getting low traffic and trying to improve them.


Search Bar

The search bar is useful when looking at specific keywords and/or pages. It allows you to either include or exclude, with include being the default. This means that if you have one page that performs so well it’s an outlier, you can exclude it. 



The final section in the search box is what you’re targeting. You can decide to focus on URLs, titles, anchor text, and/or surrounding text, depending on your needs. 


Examining Functions

Now let’s get into the functionality. As for link structures and seeing where you can build out, there are some pages where it makes sense that it’s easily accessible from just about every page on the website. An example of such a page would be your contact page. 


If I wanted to find how many blog posts linked to the contact page, I might set up my search like this:

This will show me all of the blogs that link to the contact page and the value of those pages. Since there are only 20 blog posts that fit the description, there’s probably room to add a few more, especially to higher-performing posts. 


If you want to know if any of your higher-performing pages owe their rank to internal linking, or if you want to improve the ranking of some of your lower performing pages, you can find those in Internal Backlinks as well. 


Measuring Authority

To do this, sort all the pages in the Internal backlinks section by UR (URL rating, a metric calculated by Ahrefs). When you have found a page with a high UR, search for it in the search bar, narrowing the search to only include URLs of referring pages. This will show all the pages that it already links to. If you think you can add more links with making the page oversaturated, add more. 


On the flip side, if you’re wondering what pages could be improved by being linked to,  sort by lowest to highest UR. Once you find a page that you think could use some more traffic, search for that page or keywords relating to that page. You will find which pages are linking to it, and which pages cover the topics discussed on the page that could serve as anchor text.


Utilizing These Tools

There’s obviously more you can do with Ahrefs and with this tool in particular. Understanding your links and ratings is an important step to understanding your website. To learn about how Ahrefs can help your law firm, contact Mockingbird.

Monitoring Your Internal Linking on Ahrefs

Internal linking is a key aspect of on-page SEO, but can sometimes be hard to keep track of or remember to do. When you’re writing content it’s likely that creating anchor text is the last thing on your mind. If you want to learn more about why internal linking is important, visit one of our old blog posts. TL: DR; internal links help users navigate the site and search engines understand which pages are more important.


Using Ahrefs

Here at Mockingbird, we use a tool called Ahrefs to keep track of our and our clients’ top-performing pages and linking. One of the datasets it provides is the number of referring internal links for each page. 


Finding the Dataset

Image showing screenshot from ahrefs where location for the data set can be seen in the menu and the number of internal dofollow links can be seen for each page
From Ahrefs.com


The information you’re looking for can be found under the Pages → Best by links section, then select the Internal tab on top. 


When you sort by Dofollow links you’ll probably notice that the pages with the highest URL ratings tend to have the most links. This isn’t entirely coincidental, as you’ve probably guessed. 


Why Internal Linking Matters (to Ahrefs and beyond)

When a site has thorough internal linking the user is able to navigate the site easier and is more likely to visit the pages that are being linked to. The more unique visitors a page has, the higher it’s URL rating. This is why homepages often have high URL ratings: the homepage is usually the most visited page.


One of the major benefits of internal linking is that it’s a free way to improve your URL Rating. Unlike link building campaigns, you don’t need to call anyone. It’s a simple way to improve your site.


How to do Internal Linking

Just in case you made it to the end of this blog post without knowing how to do internal linking, this is for you. 


Internal linking simply refers to when one page on your site links to another page on your site. Two pages within a domain, linking to each other. The pages should be relevant, see the links above to previous blog posts on this subject. For law firms, this can be as simple as linking to your car accidents page in your blog post about a local car accident.  


In Conclusion

Now that you know what internal links are, how to create them, why they’re important, and where to check in on them, go out and build your internal linking networks.

Backlink Explosion (How to Monitor the Quality of Your SEO “Experts” Link-building Work)

Wondering what your SEO company is doing to generate all those backlinks (despite the fact it’s not moving the needle AT ALL for inbound traffic, calls or business)? I just got off the phone with a firm questioning their current agency’s reports that were assuring the client they were generating hundreds of backlinks a month. This was delivered along with a thick slice of “SEO is a long term game, you just need to be patient” cake.

So we dug in a bit deeper to see just what was going on. Apparently, they’d gotten 93,000 new links over a roughly 6 months period.


From a total of 11 referring domains.

Double Hmm…

Here’s what the backlink profile looks like according to aHrefs (and btw, yes Google can algorithmically ID these patterns).



This is clearly spam (i.e. unnatural, non-editorial links that at best, won’t help your site perform). So you can do this type of monitoring yourself of the link-building efforts of your own SEO…here are the red flags I’m seeing:

  1. A massive influx of links at a certain time.
  2. 93,000 links coming from just 11 domains… which is not indicative of someone organically linking to interesting content.
  3. This is reflected in the DR (Domain Rank) score put out by the aHrefs tool. Note that these scores are always bad estimations of Google’s perspective of a site’s overall authority, but they are directionally useful. For context, for a client like this (criminal defense in a mid-sized city), Domain Rank scores should be in the 35-45 minimum range.

If you want to go even deeper – the aHrefs tool shows exactly which domains the links are coming from (in our example, 99.9% of the site’s 93,000 backlinks came from 2 of those domains… not coincidentally owned by the same company).

Note that this is an extreme example which I selected to illustrate the point.  Overall the reporting is going to be much more nuanced… but still worth watching especially when your agency tells you they are busy building backlinks but won’t show you the results.