The power of inner linking

31 replies
  • SEO
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I just wanted to share with you guys about a little experiment that I recently did.

I have always done inner linking before, always. However, the way I originally did it wasn't as strong as it could be.

What I used to do was set up SEO Ultimate so that EACH page/post would have links pointing towards it. This way that each time I put a keyword phrase into my web content it would automatically link to that page.

This is good, you need your inner linkings, however, I was making a major mistake. And the experts will probably see that before I even mention it.

My main mistake was that I was inner linking to each page and post. I am not going to say that this is a bad thing, because its not; each page should have pages linking to it. However, because I wasn't planning ahead for which pages/posts would link to which ones, I was not creating a solid support system for my main keyword pages.

So I went back and looked at my list of main keywords that I was targeting. These were of course the highest volume keywords for my niche. Now, I usually have a list of about 100 keywords; my main keywords and a bunch of lesser volume keywords. I then paired each main keyword with a list of keywords that were surrounding the same topic. Some had more some less, either way I managed to get a good list of supporting pages for each main keyword.

Now since I had already pre-done my deep linking with the deep link module in SEO Ultimate, I just went in and took out all the inner links for the support pages ( this is only temporary ). So, at this point only my high volume keywords had links pointing towards them.

I looked at my list of supporting pages, and went to each one that was already done up and did some rewording so that it was only linking to one of the main pages. I set the module so that it would only point to 2 pages max.

Anyways I finished it all up last night, and when I checked my rankings this morning some of the pages had jumped up several spots in the rankings, some several pages. And these were pages that only had 1 or 2 inner pages pointing to it at the moment. Some of these pages ONLY have the inner pages pointing to it, no outside links as of yet ( since I usually work on 1 keyword at a time ).

This goes to show you that deep linking on your website is a definite MUST!! And I am talking about above and beyond your navigation links.

For anyone NOT deep linking you had better get your a$$ in gear and get to it. And don't just randomly spread your inner linkings around, actually have a proper plan in place for each stage of your website.

Anyways, I figured I would share this with you guys, especially the ones starting out in SEO.

-- Jeff
#back linking #deep linking #linking #on page seo #power
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    Listen to him folks,

    That targeted internal linking will lighten your external backlink load (a lot), when trying to rank a keyword.

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    • Profile picture of the author theverysmartguy
      You are going to constantly read where inner/deep linking is a must. However, what I have noticed a lot is they don't tell you how to do it properly.

      All my inner linking had been more casual than it should be. Yes, it was pointing to related and relevant content, BUT it was spread a bit too thin to be as powerful as it could be.

      Once I tightened it up the rankings rose over night. Since I add content to my webpages on a daily basis I am going to target 1 keyword at a time and build pages/posts to support that main page.

      My normal linking strategy is to go after the easiest to rank for first and then work my way up the ladder. However, I would even work on the low volume keywords. This has now changed; I will work on the easiest to rank for keywords based on my main group of keywords with the most volume.

      Since it will have the support of the inner pages it will take a huge weight off of the back links that I build. And in the process I will rank for more than 1 page at a time, even though I am only back linking to ONE page at a time.

      Remember people, always been looking to change and evolve your main plan of action. If you can do anything to make it more powerful DO IT!! Don't be afraid of change!!

      -- Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author d0rhk
    Wow.. both you thank you so much for your advice.

    This is huge lol I appreciate it so much. I've been doing research on internal linking and some ways to achieve it, but most content on the subject just says to "internally link pages and posts" not really saying much else on the topic.

    I'm going to go change my internal link structure immediately and hope for the best.

    Thanks again yukon and theverysmartguy.
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  • Profile picture of the author milapetersburg
    i remember siloing after reading, and by remembering it, I forgot that I once had learned how to properly drive your site's pages within. Gotta apply it and see where it goes. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author dtang4
    Wow, I'm really surprised at how quickly your SERPs changed. Were your SERPs pretty much stable before this experiment or were they kinda fluctuating about anyway?
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    • Profile picture of the author theverysmartguy
      Originally Posted by dtang4 View Post

      Wow, I'm really surprised at how quickly your SERPs changed. Were your SERPs pretty much stable before this experiment or were they kinda fluctuating about anyway?
      The pages that moved up the most were pages that didn't even have any external links to them in the first place. I hadn't gotten to them quite yet so, as I work on 1 keyword at a time and get it to the top 3 before I move on.

      The pages that I had already linked to still moved up several places. Now, just so you guys know, at the moment there are only about 1 - 2 supporting pages for each main page at the moment. I know that once I add the full list of supporting pages to the site that they will shoot up in the ranks.

      I have always been able to get good rankings for the pages on my sites, now it is just easier. I knew this stuff before, but I was reminded by Yukon that that is what I should be doing instead of the standard thin inner linking that I was doing in the first place.

      -- Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    It really is a shame that this post got so little attention and fell off the first page of the forum so fast.

    It is one of the only threads I have seen created in the past week that actually deals with a worthwhile SEO tactic.

    Internal links can make your SEO work so much easier if you pay attention to them.

    People are too worried about the next push button SEO system or how to properly spam, I mean comment on, blogs and other nonsense like that.

    This is something that is so easy to do and will pay huge dividends.
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    • Profile picture of the author theverysmartguy
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      It really is a shame that this post got so little attention and fell off the first page of the forum so fast.

      It is one of the only threads I have seen created in the past week that actually deals with a worthwhile SEO tactic.

      Internal links can make your SEO work so much easier if you pay attention to them.

      People are too worried about the next push button SEO system or how to properly spam, I mean comment on, blogs and other nonsense like that.

      This is something that is so easy to do and will pay huge dividends.
      That is probably my fault, I didn't really put up an exciting post title. I should have known better. Since in my writing I am known for my "clickable" titles.

      It should have been something more a long the lines of:

      "The Power of Inner Linking - Learn a Simple Trick to Increase Your Google Rankings"

      You know, something along those lines.

      Right now I am working on just doing some major TIGHT inner links for my pages, and just with that they are increasing in rankings without any external effort.

      @ulcseminary: The SEO ULTIMATE Plug in acts just like the All in One SEO Plug in. Except this one has an automatic deep linking tool built right in.

      One word of advice for you though: Don't install plugins onto your site UNTIL you know what they will do for it.

      I used to use "ALL IN ONE SEO until I found "SEO ULTIMATE". Once I looked it over and tested it out I changed all my sites to it. Its easy though; when you install ULTIMATE and you have ALL IN ONE installed it will detect it and ask if you would like to transfer over the info from that plugin to the new one. Then it will disable the ALL IN ONE plugin so they don't clash.

      -- Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author lovboa
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    What about if you have every post/page on your sidebar. Technically, doesn't that count as having the link on every single page TO every single page?
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    • Profile picture of the author theverysmartguy
      Originally Posted by lovboa View Post

      What about if you have every post/page on your sidebar. Technically, doesn't that count as having the link on every single page TO every single page?
      The thing is though is that you DON'T want to have EVERY page linking to EVERY page. It is good for navigation purposes but not so much for SEO.

      When you have the tight inner linking you will be grouping those pages together in the eyes of Google. This will potentially group them together on the first page of Google for the same keyword without actually competing against each other.

      -- Jeff
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  • How does this differ from page rank sculpting except for the anchor text? Google has always liked keyword anchor text... this is an interesting idea to use it to manipulate search internally.

    The bigger question is it really working or is something else you are doing... like targeting long tail and using some kind of mark up - underline, bold, itallic, making the real difference.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by InternetMarketingIQ View Post

      How does this differ from page rank sculpting except for the anchor text? Google has always liked keyword anchor text... this is an interesting idea to use it to manipulate search internally.

      The bigger question is it really working or is something else you are doing... like targeting long tail and using some kind of mark up - underline, bold, itallic, making the real difference.
      Because this (tight internal linking) has nothing to do with PR.

      I've tested this on a new domain (.info) with content from a public domain book.

      Two days after I setup the new domain/Wordpress site & 50+ pages of duplicate book content, I had triple listings for multiple keywords in Google SERPs.

      This new blog had zero external backlinks, the only thing for this test was all I cared about was internal linking.

      Granted the keywords competition was weak, I did this as a test (the first time) & didn't want to wait a week or more just to see what would happen in the SERPs with very targeted internal linking.

      Again, I didn't care about PR while testing, that wasn't a factor in this test.

      Outside of testing this on my real sites, it still stands a very good chance of getting double/triple SERP listings per keyword, in real competition keywords.

      You still need external backlinks, but the key to this whole tight internal linking is, it lightens the need for external backlinks.

      Everybody & their brother builds a single web page, tries to rank it in the SERPs with a boat load of external backlinks (from sites they don't own).

      Why do they do that?

      Because they don't know any better. They don't test, they don't learn new things related to seo, they keep doing the same things every single day instead of asking themselves "Is there an easier way to rank a web page"?

      Tight internal linking + a few high PR external links will beat most competition, doesn't matter If they have thousands of weak PR backlinks.

      Tight internal linking will most times get you double/triple SERP listings per keyword, which most times will put you on page #1 in Google SERPs without even messing with external backlinks (for an average competition keyword).

      When was the last time you noticed double/triple listings for a site on page 2+ in Google SERPs, I can't remember a time I've ever seen them on pages 2+, they almost always happen on page #1.

      Give Google a reason to give your internal pages a double/triple listings for a single keyword, then keep an eye on the SERPs see what happens.

      This is unlimited per keyword, just keep building groups of supporting pages when you have a new keyword, build a few high PR external links, watch the SERPs, repeat...
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Originally Posted by InternetMarketingIQ View Post

      How does this differ from page rank sculpting except for the anchor text? Google has always liked keyword anchor text... this is an interesting idea to use it to manipulate search internally.

      The bigger question is it really working or is something else you are doing... like targeting long tail and using some kind of mark up - underline, bold, itallic, making the real difference.
      Hi InternetMarketingIQ,

      This doesn't differ from page rank sculpting because this is precisely what page rank sculpting is, when done the proper way.

      And yes, internal linking, when done strategically, does work very well.

      @Jeff,

      What you described isn't "deep linking", that is the wrong term.

      The correct term for this particular technique is known as "Page Rank Sculpting". You are using the link juice available on all the pages of your website to channel link juice through relevant anchor text that points toward you most important pages.

      "Deep linking" is a term that describes the practice of pointing backlinks at pages "deep" within your website, instead of all pointing towards you homepage. The combination of "deep linking" in combination with "Page rank sculpting" can be a very effective internal linking strategy.
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  • Profile picture of the author ulcseminary
    I checked out the seo ultimate plugin and installed it on one of my sites. What exactly is it supposed to do? I ask because it's installed, but I don't see any difference in anything.

    It talked about deep linking setting stored on my computer, etc. Where does one generate such a file?
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  • Profile picture of the author vtotheyouknow
    Thanks Jeff!

    Awesome post.

    I've suspected that inner linking is AS, if not MORE, powerful than external links. A few weeks back I was comparing the top 3 listings for dozens and dozens of keywords in SEOMoz's Open Site Explorer out of curiosity and to get "calibrated" with using the tool. I noticed something that kind of shocked me, which was this:

    A significant majority of #1 sites have FEWER external do-follow backlinks then competitors but MORE internal links.

    Granted, that's not enough data to unequivocally shout it from the mountain but there's a high enough correlation to warrant further testing and exploration. I'll be trying out your strategy soon.

    Vic

    p.s. Just started using SEO Ultimate, too. AWESOME plugin! :p
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  • Profile picture of the author redtaksaka
    Sorry, I have nothing to add to this conversation, but I believe this thread need a bump. So, every newbies that getting hyped of building links or trying new kick-ass link building tool can get a hold of themselves before burn some money.
    (And for the sake of this reason, I remove my sig from this post so I don't seem contradict my self ).

    Oh, one confession I need to make: I just found out SEO Ultimate plugin from this thread (shame on me! but, thanks Jeff).
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Barboza
    Greatest SEO thread ever!

    Can you give me a for Dummies explanation of how should I do my internal linking? I was thinking of something like this:

    From home page to category pages
    From category pages to posts
    From posts to next post in the same category

    I think that's how the experts recommend it. But I have a question: is it necessary to change my permalinks settings to show categories and posts in url?

    Do I need static page as a home page ot can I do it properly with my latest posts?
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    • Profile picture of the author Conjur
      I'm intrigued by this internal linking discussion. Sounds worthwhile and also fully under control.

      Question:

      I have an authority site that covers about 20 niches (related). I cluster the individual niches under categories in WP and then use a related posts plugin to provide niche specific navigation for each niche. Therefore, pretty much each niche has internal links (bullet navigation at bottom of page).

      Is it still worthwhile to sprinkle in contextual internal linking (3 or 4 per page), or is that overkill?
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      • Profile picture of the author Palaecro
        Just wondering if you guys know of any good guides that focus on internal link building?
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  • Profile picture of the author jr1228
    I know this is an old thread, but it's a fantastic one! I've only started working with inner linking in the past month or so and I'm seeing great results so far.

    Question: What should you do with main keywords that are very similar? (e.g., dog training, dog trainings, dogs training, doggie training) Each slight keyword variation gets a notable amount of traffic. Should you have a main page and supporting posts for each variation, or should you lump all similar variations into one main page?
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    • Profile picture of the author Loloy Diango
      Originally Posted by lovboa View Post

      What about if you have every post/page on your sidebar. Technically, doesn't that count as having the link on every single page TO every single page?
      Originally Posted by theverysmartguy View Post

      The thing is though is that you DON'T want to have EVERY page linking to EVERY page. It is good for navigation purposes but not so much for SEO.

      When you have the tight inner linking you will be grouping those pages together in the eyes of Google. This will potentially group them together on the first page of Google for the same keyword without actually competing against each other.

      -- Jeff
      I'm glad to have come across this great thread.

      I have the same issue with sidebar links. Say the site has about 25 pages, and links to each posts are on the sidebar (Recent Posts) and below each post (Related Posts). Does this serve the technique discussed here, theverysmartguy?

      Or do I have to get into each post and insert the site's main keyword in its content, link it to the homepage (or any other page promoting that keyword) and then hit update?

      If this is the way to do it, how will this affect the fact that links are already on the sidebar and at the end of each post?

      I'd really love to hear your thoughts on these, folks. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author StoneWilson
    Sounds like inner linkwheel to me, but I just run few micro-niche sites and I don't think I've enough pages to build good inner link circle, any suggestion for sites have less than 20 pages websites?
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  • Profile picture of the author Midir
    A little off topic, but whats everyone's opinion on using SEO ultimate to mask referal links to amazon?
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  • Profile picture of the author Kavin edverd
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    • Profile picture of the author zecke
      Hi there. It`s a very interesting thread.

      Could You give us some example URL where internal linking is done propertly ?

      I got also couple questions:

      Should I set navigation menu and sidebar -> nofollow ? Then internal linking in body text of every page - dofollow and anchor texted ?

      I was always using sidebar links to every page on one domain, so I need to know

      Second question is the look of internal link:

      HTML Code:
      <a title="keyword" href="domain.com/keyword.html">keyword</a>
      Thanks for Your help and great topic guys
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    Interior links are hardly a magic bullet for high rankings!

    If you think they are, build a high ranking website with no external links.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

      Interior links are hardly a magic bullet for high rankings!

      If you think they are, build a high ranking website with no external links.

      Lol, who said no external links at all (besides you)?

      Try getting a double or triple SERP listing without internal links. You'll be working yourself like crazy with only external links.

      Work smarter, do the easy things first (internal links), then follow up with external links once you have your site structure right.
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  • Profile picture of the author Silverlight
    Huge eye opener! Ill have much more inner link focus now!
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  • Profile picture of the author Yeehaw
    Oh yea, interlinking is critical to OnSite Seo. Just look at some of the big players in your niche, odds are theyve been doing it for years.
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  • Profile picture of the author slappytheking
    Awesome Post!!! I have a question...what if you have a static HTML site (10 pages) and you want the home page and 3 other pages to rank high? Should I install a blog with the site so I can create posts/pages to point to these 3 pages I want to rank?

    Thanks

    Slap
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  • Profile picture of the author jdooley13
    Could someone either point me to a thread that explains (in terms a non-technically oriented noobie can understand) how to do tight internal linking or give me a step by step instruction here. All I have done is link my supporting posts to the main page of the particular keyword I have targeted on that page. I am pretty sure this is not the what you guys are talking about. My site has been live for over a week and I have done blog posts, ezinearticles etc as well as written about 10 posts of over 5,000 words (all total) and I am not anywhere to be found for any of my target keywords. Even one of my ezine articles is outranking my site. Any help would be appreciated.Thanks
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