A hyperlink is an element in an electronic document that links to another place in the same document or to an entirely different document (Webopedia c). Hyperlinks, generally called just links, provide a basis for Internet navigation. Instead of having to remember all Internet addresses, or looking them up on a book, web surfers can turn to link directories or search engines. By following the links provided by those sites, the users can find the information they are looking for.
In the early stages of the Internet, link collections and directories were the only way to find web pages on the Internet. For example, Yahoo! started out as a link directory and its directory was actually the reason for its early success on the Internet. Today, link directories are not as important of a navigational element of the Internet anymore, because search engines have taken over as the main source of information. On the other hand, hyperlinks have not lost any of their value, because search engines place heavy value on links in their algorithms.