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In case you have some pages with identical or nearly similar content, search engines may rank the wrong page. It is a good practice to use a canonical link element to avoid any issues with duplicate content.
While the Site Audit dashboard will show you the list of all your redirects, there is also a great and super easy way to see whether you have long redirect chains (those that search engine bots can stop following at some point, and the destination page may not be crawled).
In this situation, you have to avoid the following scenario. Imagine you have an image which is a link that points to another page. And there is also a keyword-rich anchor below which serves as an image caption and also points to the same page. As we discussed above about multiple links to one URL, Google will count only the first link of the image where the alt attribute will pass its authority. And this authority will be lower than the one of the caption text link could pass.
Internal linking affairs.
For quite some time it wasn't really clear whether Google transferred PageRank value via redirects. However, when we think of their main function — that is to tell that a particular piece of content was moved to a different place — it seems only logical that link authority should be transferred as well.
In terms of authority, canonicals work as redirects, i.e. all URLs that refer to the master canonical page transfer their PageRank to it.
So, bad news or good news, now you know that not all links are created equal, and they have some curious tendencies. While your in-content links, both internal and external, are the ones of higher SEO value, you should also pay attention to functionality of all the links that you place on your page. Consider which links will be the most effective, such as having only the most useful placed on your home page, will be a good step towards food internal linking strategy.
So finally, Google had a pity upon us and officially verified what we longed for:
In case of a cross-domain canonical tag , it is a really powerful tool that can save you from duplicate content penalty when your content gets republished. It also prevents your site from the situation when any of your domains with similar content outrank the domain that should get most SEO benefits.
I would suggest you to run a site audit with the help of WebSite Auditor. Run the tool, create a project for your site, and go to Site Structure > Site Audit . Check the Links section for Broken links as well as the Indexing and crawlability section for Resources with 4xx/5xx status code .
Link authority trends.
But to give footer links some justice, we should look at this funny case. One of Reddit users spotted a new site in Google search results that ranked for pretty competitive keywords at pretty high positions. The site featured a collection of posts about best products for different categories — laptops, lipsticks, car seats, you name it.
However, my key suggestion is to use redirects with caution. First, using too many of them, such as redirect chains—just like high link counts, won’t be healthy for your site. After a number of redirects in a row, the search spiders will stop following the whole redirect chain at some point, so the destination page may not get crawled.
When you are in WebSite Auditor's project and you want to check your anchor texts, go to Pages and in the All pages section, click on any page that you are interested in. Below you will see the Links to page section where you can find out whether you have multiple links to this particular page. If it is the case, then analyze the anchor texts and, if necessary, make changes:
External link affairs.
The only thing, try to avoid canonical chains. Google can follow them, but it's strongly recommended to optimize your links to point to a single canonical page.
As we have figured out which links have SEO value, let's make sure that they are not broken or do not return a server error. Otherwise, it will be an outrageous loss of your crawl budget.
Go to Site Structure > Visualization . You will see your site structure visualized as an interactive graph of pages and connections between them. Look for those long tails of nodes — those are your long redirect chains. Analyze them in order to make a decision on whether their presence is justified.
I drew a small table with those links that I'm going to talk about in more detail. While there are the same link types, they have their own peculiarities depending on whether they are internal or external, along with the effects that SEO link placements have:
Click on these factors to see the list of problem links that need fixing:
Links are important in ranking and still indicate the same values as before.
Link out to other sites if it is the natural thing to do.
However, the quantity of links that a page gets is not all that matters.
For some number of years, this may have been correct.
However, both of these links are good for the page being linked to. Whether the content is loved or despised, it has provoked a strong reaction, which indicates quality content.
Nobody Likes Fake Friends.
This causes sites to rank for keyword phrases even when the site doesn’t have much to offer on a topic.
The main idea was to use links between webpages as a ranking factor.
Feel free to read all about the PageRank algorithm. This is all public information, and the PageRank patent is viewable for free online.
Inbound links are the most beneficial because PageRank gets passed on from other sites to your site.
Conventional wisdom taught us that outbound links leak out PageRank, and that is still true today, but it is recommended to link to good quality sites.
User Sitemaps: A sitemap is a single page that links out to all other pages of the site. Based on usability studies, there are three types of people that navigate a site: those who use the normal site navigation, those who immediately use the search box, and those who go straight to the sitemap. For very large sites, sitemaps can be overwhelming, and in cases like this, the sitemap may just contain the main category areas and not necessarily every page of the site.
Links serve as a reflection of the quality of a page’s content as long as they are natural links.
Whenever any webpage links to another webpage, the creator of the content that used the link did it for a reason.
Over the past decade, Google has implemented a series of important algorithm updates. One of these important updates was Penguin.
Outbound Link Focus: Just Appear Natural.
After the Penguin update, there is now a stronger emphasis on natural links, which made many SEOs in the industry focus a lot more on content marketing.
Outbound links are those links on your website that link out to websites with a different domain name.
Google started in 1996 through a partnership between its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
The search engine’s early ranking algorithm was based on the PageRank algorithm, developed by and named after Page while he was studying information retrieval at Stanford University.
Even though we’re emphasizing the use of internal links in the distribution of PageRank, always make sure the users are the highest priority.
The rank of these pages with artificial links can be hurt by various ranking factors monitoring link quality, as well as algorithm updates, or even manual actions from Google.
Inbound Link Focus: Natural Links from High-Quality Pages for Greater SEO Benefits.
Links have always been important ranking factors; however, the methods of obtaining links have evolved, especially after the Penguin update arrived.
These artificial links have negative consequences for the pages.
Ever since the Penguin update, there has been a strong focus on having natural anchor text in your inbound links.
On the other hand, some authors link to pages for the opposite reason; they may be linking to a page they want to criticize or don’t agree with.
Any outbound link was the equivalent of a leak. But if an outbound link was necessary for users, you could add the nofollow link attribute.
Thus, links on pages are like votes of trust, credibility, and authority.
Adding a nofollow should help preserve PageRank. However, if links are all nofollow, they look more unnatural.