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Most links do provide a bit of additional context through their anchor text. At least they should, right‽— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) November 23, 2017.
It may also make sense to look for non-indexable pages with many internal links pointing to them—especially if they’re “dofollow.” You can do that using the Page Explorer in Site Audit with the following filters:
Here are a few ways to solve such issues:
Why internal links are important for SEO.
Start by searching in Google with the following search operator: site:yourdomain.com “keyword or phrase related to page”
Here’s an example for “image SEO”:
Google must constantly search for new pages and add them to its list of known pages. Some pages are known because Google has already crawled them before. Other pages are discovered when Google follows a link from a known page to a new page.
Here are a few guidelines to follow when building any internal links:
The second is to scrape the Google results using the Scraper Chrome extension (here’s the XPath to do that: //div[@class=“srg”]/div/div/div/div/a/@href), then paste them into Ahrefs Batch Analysis tool. Sort by UR.
For example, imagine that we have a website about countries and cities with these pages:
3. Lots of internal links to unimportant pages.
Just click on the number of internal links to see the actual links.
Internal links aren’t the only means of increasing the authority (PageRank) of a page. Backlinks also help.
You can tell that each page falls into one of two distinct groups:
First, let’s cover the basics.
How to audit your internal links for issues.
Which brings me to my point:
This report shows the working pages on your site.
You can see that in this instance, the phrase “image SEO” appears in six of our blog posts, including our WordPress SEO guide. However, if you look at the page itself, you’ll see that those words are unlinked.
Using Site Explorer instead of Site Audit is useful for when you want to see broken internal links on a third-party website without having to run a full crawl.
In other words, say that you have a page about blue widgets. You have multiple internal links pointing to that page with anchors like widgets , blue widgets, and buy blue widgets. Those help Google to understand that the page:
We don’t have to keep all technical and deep-dive content on the first or second-level page of the website. Organize your content around topics and prioritize what gets top-level focus versus being multiple clicks deep.
Lastly, the most obvious but still sometimes overlooked UX factor ties into content and layout.
In addition to diluting link value mentioned earlier, having too many focuses and links on the home page interferes with what you’re doing to build context for your content and depth in the proper order.
With billions of data points on how users interact with search results and websites, the engines have the ability to tune algorithms based on user experience factors and this is only expected to grow moving forward.
Internal link structure isn’t totally controlled by SEO professionals for most websites. A mix of content, UX, IT, and other factors and stakeholders weigh in.
3. Context & Hierarchy.
In this column, you’ll learn five specific best practices to gain an SEO boost from internal link structure.
When the searcher uses Google or Bing and finds what they are looking for at the top of the search results, that search engine and the site they visited are giving the user value.
While best practices are subject to change over time due to changes in website design trends, user behavior in general, and search engine priorities, we have to stay focused on what matters now.
If you have valuable content that naturally leads through the customer journey and sales cycle, you’re setting yourself up for the opportunity to keep the visitors you land on your site.
By having a streamlined navigation and not spelling out dozens of links on every page, you can concentrate link value to flow to the pages that are most important — whether that means spreading it around to top-level topic pages or down into a silo of content on an extremely specific topic.
Getting the hierarchy of your content in order is important for a user as well as the search engine. You can gain topical relevance by ensuring your content is well organized and logical to navigate.
If you know what you have to navigate around, you can then plan your use of canonical tags for duplicate and similar content pages, language variations (if you have international content), or pagination on your site.
Whether you’re thinking about getting link value into the site and managing where it goes once obtained or considering how user experience might impact conversions from organic search, internal link structure is an important consideration.
Be good to your site visitors.
2. Flow of Link Value.
This can be tricky in ecommerce as you can inadvertently make a product category invisible if you canonical too many products to a more important category, or to a root version of the product page independent of any product category.
You’ll definitely need to plan this out carefully.
Tell site visitors what you do in a clear way, right away. If we can’t determine quickly if what we’re looking for is on the page, we’re often going back to Google.
Don’t hit them with things that are bad for SEO like thin content, too many ads above the fold, or disruptive interstitials. These will make a visitor bounce back to the search results page.
From there, use your sitemap as a tool to understand when you layer on the canonical pages and URLs where you’re sending the search engines in and out of specific sections.
Years ago, when we had a clearer picture of Google PageRank, we could see how much value each of the pages on our site have and manage our linking structure to push PageRank into areas we care about most.
4. Unique Content & Canonical Use.
Internal link structure boosts for SEO include indexing, link flow, and more. Learn 5 best practices to implement for great user experience.
Search engines put emphasis on rewarding positive user experiences as they care about their end customer – the searcher.
Unnecessary navigation wastes precious crawl budget and focus. The key is not only to get the search engines to see all of our content and have an easy linear path to get through the depth of content in our topical areas but also to understand the linking association between the pages based on topical relevance.
We’re heading into an era in SEO where most of what we do is natural and aligns well with what logic would dictate.
However, there are some legit reasons for having duplicate content. You can’t ignore those or write off the need to address them.
Don’t be afraid to have your site visitors click and scroll.
This ultimately leads to ranking on anything from broad top-level all the way down to unforeseen long-tail keywords for the specific and detailed content.