Internal linking for better rankings

by AskJon
28 replies
  • SEO
  • |
Hey everyone,

I have been reading the entire SEO forum for days now and I've decided to finally start my own threads to better help everyone here improve their rankings and overall SEO knowledge. To make everything easier for warriors to read and to keep my content organized I will dedicate each thread to a narrowed topic and answer any question you have! Of course, everyone is welcome to chime in and answer questions

INTERNAL LINKING

I've decided to concentrate on on-page SEO at first since so many people here got hit by panda. The very first thing I'd like to discuss, and a factor that even experts tend to forget/undervalue is internal linking. For years now the secret formula to top ranking has been to dedicate 100% of our energy on off-page SEO, to acquire backlinks. Sadly, this kind of thinking often means that most SEOs didn't really care about their on-page and, even worse, about the user experience.

In my opinion, internal linking has 2 main benefits:
  1. "Link juice" distribution
  2. Better user experience

First, an internal link really has the same role as any inbound link; it tells search engines the importance of each page. In Google's words, your website basically "votes" for its most important pages. This is the main reason why homepages and category pages are stronger pages... Not many people here would be ready to outrank an amazon category page right? Well, the same should apply to you: by smartly inter linking your pages, you'll give more weight to specific pages and help them become stronger and climb the SERP. On bigger website, use this to target your category pages and home page. On smaller niche site, you should definitely link to your homepage and maybe to 1 or 2 secondary pages depending on how much content you have. (Pro tip: internal linking + deep linking = profit!)

Second, internal linking also means a better user experience. Could you imagine how painful navigating in Wikipedia would be if there was no internal linking between each article? This very factor is probably why wikis are so popular nowadays. How convenient it is to users to easily click on links and read what they're looking for! As everyone knows, user experience will become more and more important in a near future, so definitely take the time to interlink your articles and make these visitors happy!

Last, I think it's important to mention that internal links are probably the easiest quality links anyone can get (+ you have total control of the anchor text you're using!).

Feel free to ask any questions!
#internal #linking #rankings
  • Profile picture of the author healthseocontent
    I always encourage my clients to develop an editorial linking policy and implement it. You've providing some good insight for others not aware of the value of internal links.
    Signature

    Do you have a natural health, vegan, etc. related site? I'm ready to write copy, content, and e-books for you!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5795838].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author lolusernames
    huh. I hadn't considered that. Do you think that may be why google suddenly changed the title/description of my webpage? When I first started it, it was showing up in google with the title/description/keywords that I wanted. When I started adding a few other pages to it, I noticed that google suddenly changed the name and description of my page in the search results.

    I didn't think about it at the time, but could it be because I created those other pages, linked from the main site to them, and never bothered to link back to the main site?

    I'm so new to all of this SEO stuff, and it seems like there's one twist right after another! lol. I'm trying to figure it all out.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5795868].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author jhauer
      Thank you, great info for newbies like me. Are Wordpress sidebar widgets that link to recent posts and categories useful for this? Do they get the same juice as say an internal link within the text of a post?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5795953].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AskJon
      Originally Posted by lolusernames View Post

      huh. I hadn't considered that. Do you think that may be why google suddenly changed the title/description of my webpage? When I first started it, it was showing up in google with the title/description/keywords that I wanted. When I started adding a few other pages to it, I noticed that google suddenly changed the name and description of my page in the search results.

      I didn't think about it at the time, but could it be because I created those other pages, linked from the main site to them, and never bothered to link back to the main site?

      I'm so new to all of this SEO stuff, and it seems like there's one twist right after another! lol. I'm trying to figure it all out.
      I don't believe it has anything to do with your newly created pages. What happens with Google is that they always try to present the most accurate information possible.

      What generally happens is that Google will take the title you specify as it should accurately represent your website. However, I've seen in some cases that Google would rewrite titles stuffed with keywords.

      The same concept applies with meta description. If you don't specify a description Google will take an excerpt of your content or could do it if they think the description you specify doesn't accurately represent your website content.

      So basically it shouldn't "directly" has anything to do with your new pages, but let us know if one of the above situation might apply to your case!
      Signature
      Contact me on skype for any SEO related questions!
      SCALABLEINCOME.COM
      Step By Step Coaching to Wealth
      Join Our Community!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5795963].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author lolusernames
        Originally Posted by AskJon View Post

        I don't believe it has anything to do with your newly created pages. What happens with Google is that they always try to present the most accurate information possible.

        What generally happens is that Google will take the title you specify as it should accurately represent your website. However, I've seen in some cases that Google would rewrite titles stuffed with keywords.

        The same concept applies with meta description. If you don't specify a description Google will take an excerpt of your content or could do it if they think the description you specify doesn't accurately represent your website content.

        So basically it shouldn't "directly" has anything to do with your new pages, but let us know if one of the above situation might apply to your case!
        Well, if that's the case, google is terrible at naming and describing websites. The one I put in was infinitely better. It took a phrase i had at the top, turned that into the title, and it even included the first page "Home" in the title. It looks terrible. No one is going to click that. And the description went from what the site is actually about to pulling the first sentence off my page, which does not summarize what the site is about.

        So right now i'm ranking in the top 1-3 for my keyword, but the title and description are so horrible that no one is going to click it. lol. I even took out that top phrase to try to get google to re-title it, and tried to ensure all the 'titles' and 'descriptions' of that main page were filled in... and it's STILL stuck like that. It's driving me insane.

        Do you happen to know how often google re-titles things? I'm at my wits end here. I really need it to be re-titled. Is it even possible that it will go back to how it was before?
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5797094].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author discuss4u
        Originally Posted by AskJon View Post

        However, I've seen in some cases that Google would rewrite titles stuffed with keyword
        One of my site is like that. Google adds a lot of keywords to my original title.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5830309].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
    I use a wordpress plugin to help internal linking. I think it's a smart thing to do.
    Signature

    My Guitar Website | My SEO Blog - Advertising spots available.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5796009].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AskJon
      Originally Posted by healthseocontent View Post

      I always encourage my clients to develop an editorial linking policy and implement it. You've providing some good insight for others not aware of the value of internal links.
      Thanks a lot healthseocontent, I appreciate the kind words. Internal linking really require a few minutes to setup, it definitely is something I'd recommend everyone doing!

      Originally Posted by jhauer View Post

      Thank you, great info for newbies like me. Are Wordpress sidebar widgets that link to recent posts and categories useful for this? Do they get the same juice as say an internal link within the text of a post?
      Yes, sidebar links are good for interlinking. Recent/popular posts widget are really good and you should definitely use them if you have more pages However, even though both sidebar and contextual links are valuable, you should still complement your internal linking with contextual links (better quality).

      Originally Posted by gearmonkey View Post

      I use a wordpress plugin to help internal linking. I think it's a smart thing to do.
      Great tips gearmonkey, totally forgot to talk about them! Plugins like pretty link and ninja affiliate are great time saver for bigger websites (I still do my contextual interlinking manually on my niche sites). + they give you awesome data on which links get clicked
      Signature
      Contact me on skype for any SEO related questions!
      SCALABLEINCOME.COM
      Step By Step Coaching to Wealth
      Join Our Community!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5796281].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kreative4
    I leave the interlinking work for WP seo smart link plugin It is much easier when you work on multiple website.
    Signature
    signature coming soon...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5797180].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author williamsam
      Originally Posted by Kreative4 View Post

      I leave the interlinking work for WP seo smart link plugin It is much easier when you work on multiple website.
      How this plugin work dude can you please tell me as i also wanna use it for my blog. I tried many plugins about SEO but didn't helpful to me but hope this might be.
      Signature
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5855811].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ThatAblaze
    Hey loluser. If you're using wordpress I suggest you get a plugin called "All in one SEO pack" it allows you to easily set the title and description that google should use. Google is probably using a bad one because yours got deleted somehow.

    Google will probably recheck your page by itself once every week or three. However, after you make a change you can go into google webmaster tools and find an option for "fetch as googlebot". After you do that you will have the option to submit your site fetch which should update Google's image of your site within a day or so.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5797254].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author robertwin45
      Originally Posted by ThatAblaze View Post

      Hey loluser. If you're using wordpress I suggest you get a plugin called "All in one SEO pack" it allows you to easily set the title and description that google should use. Google is probably using a bad one because yours got deleted somehow.
      I tried to set up the plugin as you guided. It works properly
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5860071].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author UMS
    Originally Posted by AskJon View Post

    I have been reading the entire SEO forum for days now....
    That's an impressive feat given that there's almost 49,000 threads in this sub-forum.



    You make some good points about internal linking. It's definitely a factor of on-page SEO that a lot of people neglect.

    Internal linking is a lot more than just having navigation menus and/or footer links, it should also include contextual links.

    And if your site has a lot of pages, try to use diverse linking, eg:

    page 1 links to page 3 and page 9.
    page 3 links to page 12 and page 2.

    etc

    mix it up.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5797587].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AskJon
      Originally Posted by lolusernames View Post

      Well, if that's the case, google is terrible at naming and describing websites. The one I put in was infinitely better. It took a phrase i had at the top, turned that into the title, and it even included the first page "Home" in the title. It looks terrible. No one is going to click that. And the description went from what the site is actually about to pulling the first sentence off my page, which does not summarize what the site is about.

      So right now i'm ranking in the top 1-3 for my keyword, but the title and description are so horrible that no one is going to click it. lol. I even took out that top phrase to try to get google to re-title it, and tried to ensure all the 'titles' and 'descriptions' of that main page were filled in... and it's STILL stuck like that. It's driving me insane.

      Do you happen to know how often google re-titles things? I'm at my wits end here. I really need it to be re-titled. Is it even possible that it will go back to how it was before?
      ThatAblaze gave a really good answer to your problem lolusernames. I myself use SEO WP by Yoast (which I find better than AIO seo pack) to take care of my titles and meta description.

      As for when Google will "re-title" your pages, it will happens when your site will be crawled/updated so it really depends, but it shouldn't be too long!

      Originally Posted by UMS View Post

      That's an impressive feat given that there's almost 49,000 threads in this sub-forum.



      You make some good points about internal linking. It's definitely a factor of on-page SEO that a lot of people neglect.

      Internal linking is a lot more than just having navigation menus and/or footer links, it should also include contextual links.

      And if your site has a lot of pages, try to use diverse linking, eg:

      page 1 links to page 3 and page 9.
      page 3 links to page 12 and page 2.

      etc

      mix it up.
      Ahah, might have skipped a few threads here and there But to be honest I've read at least the first 5-10 pages

      I agree with you that contextual links are a must and the only thing I want to make sure warriors understand is that even though it is good to diversify your links and send them to more than 1 page (I guess you refer to a bigger site in your example with lot of pages), you should not forget that what you're trying to do is to tell Google which pages of your website are the most important, so don't just link to every pages
      Signature
      Contact me on skype for any SEO related questions!
      SCALABLEINCOME.COM
      Step By Step Coaching to Wealth
      Join Our Community!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5798022].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author lolusernames
    Thank you! I'll have to check that out.

    I made a thread on this, but it hasn't gotten any responses, so maybe i'll ask here since you guys seem to know what you're talking about.

    If you track your backlinks with something like bit.ly or trafficwave, are they still seen as backlinks in google's eyes? Or do you have to post the plain URL for google to recognize it as a backlink? I'd like to see what's getting the most attention, but I'm more concerned that google likes my site and keeps it high in the rankings.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5801041].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AskJon
      Originally Posted by lolusernames View Post

      Thank you! I'll have to check that out.

      I made a thread on this, but it hasn't gotten any responses, so maybe i'll ask here since you guys seem to know what you're talking about.

      If you track your backlinks with something like bit.ly or trafficwave, are they still seen as backlinks in google's eyes? Or do you have to post the plain URL for google to recognize it as a backlink? I'd like to see what's getting the most attention, but I'm more concerned that google likes my site and keeps it high in the rankings.
      Hey lolusernames, thanks for asking the question. I'll answer your question directly from bit.ly FAQ.

      How does bitly work?
      bitly works by issuing a "301 redirect": a technique for making a webpage available under many URLs. When you shorten a link with bitly, you are redirecting a click from bitly to the destination URL. A 301 redirect is the most efficient and search engine-friendly method for webpage redirection, and is what bitly uses. Because bitly doesn’t re-use or modify links, we consider our redirects to be permanent.
      And to understand a 301 redirect, I'll quote seomoz's post on redirect best practices:

      301 Moved Permanently
      A 301 Redirect is a permanent redirect which passes between 90-99% of link juice (ranking power) to the redirected page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In most instances, the 301 redirect is the best method for implementing redirects on a website.
      This should pretty much answer your question! Personally I don't use redirect on my niche website since it just doesn't make any sense to go that far to track these links. However, if you want to track important backlinks/links then you could consider using redirection services. As long as you track them for a purpose that is greater than that little link juice leak you're good to go!
      Signature
      Contact me on skype for any SEO related questions!
      SCALABLEINCOME.COM
      Step By Step Coaching to Wealth
      Join Our Community!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5803071].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author lolusernames
    haha, okay... so in plain English... You can use a redirect and it'll still count as a backlink, just not be quite as powerful as a plain, non-tracked backlink.

    Thanks for all your help.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5828293].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author gtk29
    I find this thread pretty interesting. I think the "Related Articles" section also makes a pretty good internal links helpers. Can someone tell what kind of plugins are available for "Related Articles" in wordpress?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5828493].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Juvv2096
    Internal linking = natural for any decent website. This is the main reason I think its worthwhile.
    Signature
    Web 2.0 Explosion - Hand Made Web 2.0's
    Ranks Drop After Blog Network Crash? Get Them Back!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5830176].message }}
  • You are right, but google give less weight-age to internal linking than the external linking.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5830741].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AskJon
      Originally Posted by Juvv2096 View Post

      Internal linking = natural for any decent website. This is the main reason I think its worthwhile.
      I agree that internal linking is natural, but it's also very user friendly! It's also an easy way for established website to pass juice to its new pages and get them rank FAST.

      Originally Posted by virtueinfo11 View Post

      internal link is smart thing for seo, before internal linking on my website, i have no more backlink, but after internal linking i found some increase in my google backlink. really internal linking is much important backlink and also for better ranking.
      Exactly, internal links are just like the external links you try to build, BUT they are way easier to build, of quality AND, more importantly, you control them 100%!

      Originally Posted by Magento developer View Post

      You are right, but google give less weight-age to internal linking than the external linking.
      I'm not sure if I'd say less weight, but something is sure is that they do have weight. Who would pass on some free links? What is also great about internal links is that you can control everything about them (ie anchor text!). And like I said before, internal linking is just so user friendly and easy to implement it's now part of my on-site optimization.
      Signature
      Contact me on skype for any SEO related questions!
      SCALABLEINCOME.COM
      Step By Step Coaching to Wealth
      Join Our Community!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5855596].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author williamsam
    Thank you so much dude for such a helpful info. I think it will helpful to all struggling bloggers like me LOL just kidding buddy but seriously great great post
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5855764].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author kaaregarnes
    And as with everything: Don´t overdo it!

    If you link to everywhere from everywhere it gets a bit annoying and the robots will hate it.
    Signature

    Music and beer afficinado with a keen interest in UX and copywriting,
    Workwise inkasso and inkasso i utlandet

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5855795].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AnnaSEO
    “Link juice” distribution
    Better user experience


    Exactly.Proper interlinking and making it best for the users is always important.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5856369].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AskJon
      Originally Posted by williamsam View Post

      Thank you so much dude for such a helpful info. I think it will helpful to all struggling bloggers like me LOL just kidding buddy but seriously great great post
      I'm glad you like it williamsam!

      Originally Posted by kaaregarnes View Post

      And as with everything: Don´t overdo it!

      If you link to everywhere from everywhere it gets a bit annoying and the robots will hate it.
      Exactly, the goal here really is to tell Google which pages are more important, so obviously if you link every page equally it just won't be effective!

      Originally Posted by williamsam View Post

      How this plugin work dude can you please tell me as i also wanna use it for my blog. I tried many plugins about SEO but didn't helpful to me but hope this might be.
      What this plugin basically does is automatically link each keyword you put in to the page you want.

      Originally Posted by AnnaSEO View Post

      "Link juice" distribution
      Better user experience


      Exactly.Proper interlinking and making it best for the users is always important.
      EXACTLY!
      Signature
      Contact me on skype for any SEO related questions!
      SCALABLEINCOME.COM
      Step By Step Coaching to Wealth
      Join Our Community!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5856512].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author CatherineMay
        Does the internal linking you are describing fit in at all with a silo structure?

        As I understand it, internal linking for a silo should only happen within categories. You don't say anything about this...is this because you don't believe a tight silo structure is really important?

        I'm not trying to challenge you...just trying to understand different viewpoints.


        Catherine
        Signature

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5860009].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author AskJon
          Originally Posted by CatherineMay View Post

          Does the internal linking you are describing fit in at all with a silo structure?

          As I understand it, internal linking for a silo should only happen within categories. You don't say anything about this...is this because you don't believe a tight silo structure is really important?

          I'm not trying to challenge you...just trying to understand different viewpoints.


          Catherine
          Really good question Catherine! Internal linking can actually be used to create what could be called a "virtual silo" structure (to silo your website without "proper" silo infrastructure but with an internal linking structure).

          To suit your needs, you'll basically want to link your pages to their category to send "link" juice their way. I'd also recommend to deep link to these pages (the one that links to your category) to get the most benefits and help your category pages!

          Hope that helps
          Signature
          Contact me on skype for any SEO related questions!
          SCALABLEINCOME.COM
          Step By Step Coaching to Wealth
          Join Our Community!

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[5860069].message }}

Trending Topics