Google: External Links for Search Quality
Back in 2014, Matt Cutts of Google said that if they left, the search results will be bad. Means when they look at links for ranking purposes, the quality of the search results that fall Google fall. Gary Illyes repeated this news last year.
Dawn Anderson this morning ask Gary Illyes from Google when referring to external links or internal links. External links are links that you get from third-party websites, internal links are links that you control within your website. Gary said he refers to external links.
He said on Twitter, “I refer to external ones. These connections translate in a sense to popularity and confirmation by others.”
So the internal links do not translate to “popularity and advocacy” because they are internal.