WHY INTERNAL LINKING MATTERS

ISSUE NO. 8

HOW LINKS HISTORICALLY INFLUENCED SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS

The concept of using links as a way to measure a site’s importance was first made famous by Google with the implementation of its PageRank algorithm. In essence, each link to a web page is like a vote for that page. However, it’s not as simple as the page with the most votes wins.

ANCHOR TEXT

Anchor text refers to the clickable part of a link from one web page to another. Anchor text is a golden opportunity to strengthen the crawlability and site architecture. Anchor text remains an integral part of search algorithms, but now the search engines look for unnatural patterns of anchor text (too much of a good thing).

CUSTOMIZABLE ANCHOR TEXT ON NAVIGATIONAL LINKS

Contact, About Us, Read More, Full Article, and so on make for lousy anchor text – from an SEO standpoint. Make the main nav items keyword-rich.

MISLEADING ANCHOR TEXT

Although a subtle issue, if the page is about tile cleaning, do not link to it with carpet cleaning language.

EXAMPLE BELOW:

#5 CONDUCT AN ANALYSIS OF SERP’S AND YOUR COMPETITORS SEARCH INTENT 

Links that Google does not like -Article Directories -Cheap Directories -Excessive Rich Anchor Text -Excessive use of rich anchor text was also a part of the initial release of Penguin. -Low-relevance International Links -Comment Spam

LINK TRACKING

Keep a document of links over time – that these individual pages earn – to measure which are most authoritative and should be replicated across the entire site. With this tracking, link growth and how it affects search rankings can be analyzed. Additionally, it would be good to understand which links the competition has to their top pages as well.

STRUCTURAL DECISIONS

One of the most important decisions to make about a website concerns internal linking and navigational structures, which are generally mapped out in a site architecture document. Before you make wholesale changes to a site structure, obtain a current site information architecture (IA) document for reference.