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Published on July 9th, 2017 | by Guest

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What are internal links and how they play an important role in SEO?

What is Internal Linking?

As we all know, internal linking is all about linking one page with another page within the website itself. We can take a look at a simple example – XYZ.com is linking to another page in the same website at XYZ.com. The linking is done with the help of so called anchor texts. We take another example – we link XYZ.com/A to XYZ. /B as you can see the anchor texts here are ‘A’ and ‘B’. This is also known as the shipping routes page. So we are basically linking from ‘A’ to ‘B’ with the help of anchor text shipping routes.

Why internal linking? How it helps drive traffic?

The purpose of internal linking is to drive traffic from one place to the other. In other words, internal linking shows where visitors need to go from one spot to the other, by following these internet linking routes. How is the linking done? Well, we use something call the HTML code to point it to the same root domain. Although internal linking may not have the ability or power to change or sculpt rankings on the SERPs, but they surely can change the crawling patterns. It will completely change how search engines see your site.

Ingredients for good internal linking

Anchor text is important to some extent as you would still need it to link one page to the other within the same website. Although their importance has declined, they are still considered to be important to some extent, especially when it comes to internal linking. Google may penalize you for putting a link down there in the footer on every individual page and then pointing it here just in order to manipulate the internal linking structure. Do not stuff any anchor text into the internal links. That would invite algorithmic penalty. The link target is also important, that shows the specific route between the two links.

Relevant linking of pages within a website

If you have a page in the website that has external links pointing to it, then it gains authority. So if you have a network of well linked pages on your website, then you should make sure that you link out from those two pages on your site. The relevance of the linking page is also an important factor. If you are linking from one page to the other, it should be of the same category or at least be relevant. So if you have a shipping routes page, then you must link to another shipping routes page as well. Instead pointing it to a different theme page, for example – a dog food page will probably won’t make much of sense.

First link on the page – why that matters?

Google usually considers the first anchor text when you connect from different places to a certain page. Out of your five different links, if the first one says ‘click here’, then that’s the anchor text Google is going to apply. The type and quality of the link matters as well. Keep the link in the HTML form. Do not use anything else such as JavaScript. Use a lot of text or content as that is better than image according to various tests conducted. In case you want to deal with image links, remember that the alt attribute of that image acts as an anchor text of that link and s considered to be important.

Internal links vs. External links

External links help gain rankings and provide more authority. It’s basically a vote saying this is a good place to go to for a certain kind of information. Internal link anchor texts usually have lesser significance and do not help in gaining rankings or improving rankings. Do not involve in spammy tactics, or else, the bounce rate with increase and there will be a drop in rankings, possibly some drop in traffic as well. Internal links are not as powerful as external links. In order for your page to get crawled and indexed, internal links are important to have. It’s very important that you link to other pages within the website, especially those that have external links pointing to that page. If you are not linking to other pages in the website or do not have internal links, chances are that you may not rank well for that page. You must also remember the fact that pages with more links on them distributes lesser link value to each link. Page rank sculpting is rare and not effective any more. Instead if you have adopted the right internal linking strategies, then chances are you will not only index, but also rank well for that page.

Removal of low value content

Remove content that possess little or absolutely no value, lowly engaging content and instead create internal links that people want. This is going to produce awesome results. Content marketing is an awesome tool that will work in your favor if done the right way. no other link building techniques, works as well as content building and content marketing.

Should have links for pages to and from them

You must also make sure that all your important pages have links to them. Do not leave any page in what you call an orphan condition. This means no links to and from the page in your website. Plus you should also not have a page that links well, but the other party is not linking back well to your site.

The perfect linking structure

So what is an ideal internal linking structure? Remember the following parameters:-

  • On small or medium site, no page should be more than 3 link hops away from one another.
  • Pages linking to each other should be relevant and useful for visitors.
  • Canonicalize.
  • Do not use excess amount of rel=’nofollow’. This won’t help much to your cause of internal linking structure.
  • Creating internal linking that people want is probably the smartest thing to do.
  • Pages within the website that matter must have links pointing to and from them.

 

About the author:

Udit Khanna is a Digital marketing professional at Expert Training Institute, an expert in Digital Marketing , Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click, Social Media etc. who helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Udit worked as a marketing professional for various startups and tech companies. He graduated with B.Sc from IGNOU with a dual degree in Business Administration (Marketing & Finance). For more background information on him, please view his profile on G+.

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