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To Massive Internal Link, Or Not
Does mass linking help with Google
GrinninGordon




msg:35643
 2:12 am on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have seen a number of sites that do this and are quite / very prominent in Google;

1) Index with selected 3rd level internal page links (product pages).
2) Site Map (of course)
3) Sub directories (2nd level pages) with links to all pertenent 3rd level page links.

Now, my question relates to the 3rd level (products) pages. These sites have internal links on these 3rd level pages to all the other 3rd products pages covered by the peer (2nd level) sub directory. Plus of course, all pages have links to the main site pages.

This cross linking between 3rd level product pages seems not to be for user benefit. Does this generate PR or link text relevance? Is that why they do it? Or doesn't it have any effect with Google?

 

annej




msg:35644
 2:35 am on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I do it because a lot of people come in to 3rd level pages through search engines. I want them to be able to find the rest of my site. So it's more for the users. I don't link everything on every page but I do enough to hopefully keep people looking around the site.

OTOH it crosslinking seems to have helped with Google. I am wondering though, if there was a change in the last update. Does anyone notice less weight on internal links now. I see less internal links in my backlinks using the Googlebar.

Anne

steveb




msg:35645
 2:41 am on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

"This cross linking between 3rd level product pages seems not to be for user benefit."

I don't see how it could be anti-helpful so there is a miniscule user benefit or at worst a nuetral benefit.

"Does this generate PR or link text relevance? Is that why they do it? Or doesn't it have any effect with Google?"

Pointing relevant link text at pages surely is beneficial. Whether a person should just link back to directory page or link to all the third level pages is a question of how to best utilize your PR and is definitely different for many people.

steveb




msg:35646
 2:45 am on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Does anyone notice less weight on internal links now."

I've never seen a hint that Google knows what an "internal link" is. A link is a link.

GrinninGordon




msg:35647
 11:11 am on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

steveb

So the more "relevant" internal links per page the better?

Also

"Pointing relevant link text at pages surely is beneficial. Whether a person should just link back to directory page or link to all the third level pages is a question of how to best utilize your PR and is definitely different for many people."

What about linking to the directory page AND all the "relevant" pages at the same time. Is there any (real) loss to the directory page, or is it win win as far as Google are concerned?

annej

No one has any problem coming to my 3rd level pages (some of which have individual ODP listings, such is their content) and finding other content. The extra links for the sites I have seen do not help surfers / users either, so I presume they are there for search engines, particularly Google.

Matt_James




msg:35648
 12:55 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I hope and suspect that, the value of heavy internal linking will be reduced in the next big algo change.

There has been a huge increase in sites contructed out of links and little else. This is not helpful to the average web surfer, and therefore will probably be stopped by google.

annej




msg:35649
 4:55 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

No one has any problem coming to my 3rd level pages (some of which have individual ODP listings, such is their content) and finding other content.

I do not link to all third level pages or to all other pages in the site from third level pages. I do interlink the third level pages under a specific second level page (index page on that topic). I have been looking at ways to keep people on the site and suspect people are more likely to explore further when other topics of interest are listed and linked in the left column. It's one less step for them.

What I hope is that if Google decides to change the algo here they will simply neutralize internal links. I don't want to find myself afraid to do what I think works best on my site for fear of penalty.

Anne

europeforvisitors




msg:35650
 6:32 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

What I hope is that if Google decides to change the algo here they will simply neutralize internal links.

I think it's unlikely that Google would "neutralize" or give less weight to internal links, for several reasons:

1) As "themes" come into play, internal links will be valuable in determining a site's theme and the relevance of individual pages. (One could argue, for example, that--if Google has determined that a site is about purple widgets--a link from that site's round-purple-widgets.htm page to its own square-purple-widgets.htm page would have a greater likelihood of being relevant than a link to that page from generic-site.com/linkpage.htm.)

2) Giving greater weight to external links would encourage Webmasters and SEOs to create multiple domains and crosslink between them to maximize the value of their own page-to-page links.

3) PageRank is based on the idea that sites "vote" for other sites with their links. If widgets.com gets a PageRank of 8 because many other sites have voted for it, it's only reasonable to pass some of that PageRank along to the internal pages that contribute to the site's overall quality and link appeal--not as a reward to widgets.com, but because its pages are likely to be relevant and of interest to users.

Brian




msg:35651
 6:40 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have seen one of those smart papers which explain the Google algorithms and though I can't say I followed the math, I definitely recall a calculation which shows that crosslinking within the level chips a little off the total possible pagerank. You score slightly better pushing everything back to the index, if I recall right.
On the other hand, it seems to me that crosslinking will definitely help for the words in the link.
And since hardly anybody comes into most sites through the index,good crosslinking seems pretty important from the user's point of view.
I think it's worth the effort once a site is fairly settled-down. I wouldn't do a lot early on because you will probably want to rebuild for some reason, and changing huge numbers of links is a real pain.
Dem's my views.

annej




msg:35652
 7:49 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think it's unlikely that Google would "neutralize" or give less weight to internal links

I hope you are right. It occured to me after I wrote the last message that if internal links weren't considered single page sites would do better and sites with depth in content would lose.

I've seen it mentioned here that big sites have an advantage. I wonder if cross linking is the reason for that. How else would Google know how big a site is?

Anne

steveb




msg:35653
 8:32 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Giving weight to internal links is tremedously important since very often those will be the *only* links an interior page has.

Similarly, if you are too dumb to "vote" for your own internal pages in a sensible way, then you deserve to rank poorly. And, if you do vote for your own pages sensibly, then Google will use that data to rank all your pages sensibly.

Almost no site should link everything from everything. Cast sensible votes to emphasize what you want to emphasize.

steveb




msg:35654
 8:38 pm on Mar 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

"So the more "relevant" internal links per page the better?"

Heck no. The more links *to* a page the better for that one page, but that doesn't mean you should have a jillion links on every page so you can point a link at every other page.

"What about linking to the directory page AND all the "relevant" pages at the same time. Is there any (real) loss to the directory page, or is it win win as far as Google are concerned?"

Well again the idea is what is important to you. If you have two pages, one devoted to Charlie Chaplin and one to Geraldine Chaplin, the Charlie page will need a lot more help to rank well. You may want to not link to the geraldine page as much so the Charlie links are stronger. One the other hand, you might just want to not battle for rank with the Charlie page and link to the Geraldine page more so you can be in the top couple results there. There are definitely no hard and fast answers to what is "best" in terms of internal linking.

GrinninGordon




msg:35655
 12:35 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi steveb & annej

Thanks for the input. I was not thinking of adding more then 40 links per 3rd lever (product) page to other 3rd level product pages that are listed in the same peer 2nd level products directory page.

So, some PR is "lost" to other 3rd level product pages from each page, but then each page gets that back anyway right? And what it also gets (if I link with the right text) is added keyword relevance yes? So it is a win, no lose situation?

Also, I wouldn't ever want to risk a nervous breakdown and try and study some of the algo theories that are posted here. But am I right that this "mass" (as I explained, maybe a total of 50 links per page) linking actually creates a little extra PR? Or did I get that wrong? I know PR is not everything, but every little helps right?

Brian
You said that cross linking on 3rd level pages reduces the PR of those pages. But I do not see how. I might be able to see how it could reduce the PR of the index / directory pages, as they have less % per page. But even then, as the 3rd level bounce PR around, it is allk retained on the same site, and isn't that a factor in itself for Google determining the site's page rank?

Powdork




msg:35656
 2:03 am on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've never seen a hint that Google knows what an "internal link" is. A link is a link.

Google can definitely tell a relative url from a full one. I believe they can also tell internal full urls also. If they couldn't, many, many sites would be banned for cross linking, which is not the case. Also, if they couldn't distinguish between internal and external links all those fancy web visualization tools wouldn't work very well. I don't think they treat internal and external links any differently, however.

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