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Introducing heavy internal linking to well ranking site
idolw




msg:4119870
 7:27 am on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Wikipedia is a model site that's been using in-text links for ages to make it easy for users to navigate and for search engines to index.
Recently, I have been seeing sites doing internal in-content linking automatically. It seems they just assigned certain keywords to certain pages and everytime a word shows up in text, they make it a link automatically.

Would you PROs consider such tactic secure and worth giving a shot on a site with a couple thousands articles?
Will this have any visible SEO benefit these days?
Will this be secure to shot all internal links at once?

 

aristotle




msg:4120018
 12:22 pm on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Would this affect the page loading speed?

idolw




msg:4120026
 12:28 pm on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

No, not at all.

aristotle




msg:4120048
 1:17 pm on Apr 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Personally I wouldn't do this to any of my sites. First, it could redistribute PR within the site in unexpected ways beyond my control. Second, a sudden major change in internal linking, including a huge increase in the number of links, could adversely affect Google rankings and traffic.

pavlovapete




msg:4120464
 4:47 am on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've been wondering about this same topic recently.

everytime a word shows up in text, they make it a link automatically


If it is done well then I think it is good for users. If it is done badly it could be disastrous.

Automatic interlinking is probably a bad idea - I have seen it overdone where every third word is a link - that is hopeless.

Maybe automatic suggestions with a final human review would ensure better quality?

all internal links at once


I'd rather introduce it over a couple of months in one section of the website and monitor traffic carefully.

it could redistribute PR within the site in unexpected ways beyond my control


I have trouble knowing how it is distributed already.

topr8




msg:4120542
 8:29 am on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

different sites are different and there is a payoff both ways.

for instance with an ecommerce store what you are talking about has been common (not universal) practice for years - it's called, 'links to similar products'
in this case the point of the website is to sell stuff and such links can highlight other products on the site and increase sales.

sometimes it isn't all about rankings it's about making the most of the traffic that you get when you do get it.

FranticFish




msg:4120545
 8:40 am on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

everytime a word shows up in text, they make it a link automatically

sounds like a good way to risk an Over Optimisation Penalty.

michaelj72




msg:4120552
 8:53 am on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

i think aristotle is right in both aspects but the second aspect of doing it too quickly is probably the more serious as it could well trip a filter or cause a penalty - like frantic says, some kind of Over-Op alert.
it would kind of be like having 2,000 new links in a week but no new material on the site to support it or justify it...
i prefer a more 'organic' approach, a little at a time, so rather eschew any of this automated stuff/way of thinking; but then again i don't have a huge site to deal with either.

aristotle




msg:4120602
 10:43 am on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Another reason I don't want this on my sites is I think it could be a distraction to readers to have links within the content of an article. I want my sites' visitors to read the whole article before they see a link to another page.

BradleyT




msg:4120816
 4:23 pm on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd start with one silo and manually do it.

This stuff can bring massive rewards - I don't get why people are saying don't do it.

idolw




msg:4120850
 4:50 pm on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Many thanks for all your advice. I will probably try it on one section to see if it does any bad. Even if it does not too much good in terms of rankings it might increase the number of pageviews on my content pages and keep the user longer with us.
And we will go with the first section using humans for changing words into links.

FranticFish




msg:4121041
 9:34 pm on Apr 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

manually do it

That, I think is the key. Natural variation. Doing it automatically (or just hammering away at the same keyword(s) is just asking for trouble. -950 anyone?

sean22




msg:4121370
 5:37 pm on Apr 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

"Another reason I don't want this on my sites is I think it could be a distraction to readers to have links within the content of an article. I want my sites' visitors to read the whole article before they see a link to another page."

How about if you use the same color for your content and in-content links. Black for example, the only way the readers would know it's a link is if they hover over it, actually you could manipulate that too.

Or is this a no-no?

tedster




msg:4121396
 7:11 pm on Apr 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd say if it's not a total no-no, it's pretty close to the edge. I can easily see such a site failing a manual inspection.

aristotle




msg:4121427
 8:13 pm on Apr 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Another reason I don't want this on my sites is I think it could be a distraction to readers to have links within the content of an article. I want my sites' visitors to read the whole article before they see a link to another page."

How about if you use the same color for your content and in-content links. Black for example, the only way the readers would know it's a link is if they hover over it, actually you could manipulate that too.



Well that's "another reason" why I wouldn't do this on my sites. I gave two other reasons earlier in the thread.

SEOPTI




msg:4121462
 9:52 pm on Apr 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

You need a balanced text (semantic) - link ratio, in this case there is no problem introducing more internal linking.

More internal links will increase GBot activity.

pavlovapete




msg:4122527
 10:58 pm on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I did some looking into Wikipedia - according to one research paper the average Wikipedia article has 26 links to other Wikipedia pages.

The Wikimedia CMS linking algorithm is automatic from memory. However it is applied judiciously - not every occurrence of a term is a link, and in some cases it is not the first occurrence on a page that is the link. Not exactly sure how the software handles this or if it can be manually edited.

I'm thinking about this for our site - my preference would be to roll out a program of internal linking over 6 months for example.

Planet13




msg:4203535
 1:27 am on Sep 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think if the link would really benefit a user, than do it. but if the link might not benefit a user, then don't do it.

Simsi




msg:4203667
 4:27 pm on Sep 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I did this on a site in February. Only 25 pages but added auto-linking back to the homepageon each one. On March the 5th the site's homepage got a -950, returning exactly 6 months to the day. I can't be sure it was that as I did two other changes at the same time but they were more minor and I regressed them all in April to be safe.

However, I think if the links come in at the same time as the page itself and aren't overdone - ie: done for the user or as footer links - it would be ok.

Robert Charlton




msg:4203717
 8:50 pm on Sep 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Re how Wikipedia looks at this within its editing community, I found this Wikipedia article amusing but also revealing. I should note that the article is talking about too much internal linking within Wikipedia in general.

Also, there's no specific SEO awareness in the article. They're looking at it almost entirely from the user perspective, which I think is a good guideline for what makes sense for SEO. I've chosen excerpts that focus mostly on in-sentence linking...

Wikipedia:Overlink crisis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Overlink_crisis [en.wikipedia.org]
[en.wikipedia.org...]

This essay addresses the overlink crisis and problems of overlinking Wikipedia pages with excessive wikilinks, especially in navboxes or infoboxes....

There are some typical cases of overlinking. It is characterized by:
- a large proportion of the words in each sentence being rendered as links;
- using links that have little related content, such as linking on specific years like 1995, or unnecessary linking of common words used in the common way, for which the reader can be expected to understand the word's full meaning in context, without any hyperlink help;
- A link for any single term (other than for date formats) is excessively repeated in the same article. "Excessive" is usually more than one link for the same term in a line or a short paragraph....


There's no question that the technique when used in moderation can be highly successful as a way of internally linking to related topics. It's perfect for a site like Wikipedia or the New York Times, eg, where the linking often comes in to articles at deep levels, and there's no way of structurally anticipating either the articles or the related pages.

How much moderation is required, IMO, depends on what kind of authority the site has. I see a lot of sites without nearly the authority of Wikipedia using this kind of linking much too often... and apparently some Wikipedia editors are thinking it's happening much too much on Wikipedia.

Future




msg:4203745
 12:34 am on Sep 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

when used in moderation can be highly successful

I will begin with interlinking process on a small section/category of website and play only with new articles, will watch the same for a few weeks and update old articles manually, if required.
This shall help avoid any kind of penalties

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4203751
 1:30 am on Sep 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Does it help your visitors? If so do it, who cares what Google thinks.

Globetrotter




msg:4203825
 12:27 pm on Sep 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've done this, but so far I've replaced to much links at the same time so it doesn't look natural. Now I'm changing the algorithm to maximize the number of links in total and per keyword. It did help me and my visitors to get related content.

So far it didn't harm my site, maybe it did harm the keyword but because this is the first test I'm not sure about that.

londrum




msg:4203826
 12:42 pm on Sep 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

if you've got ads on your site then it will probably affect the click-through rate too, because your giving the user so many more options.

Planet13




msg:4215798
 5:16 pm on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

These below quotes worry me.

You need a balanced text (semantic) - link ratio, in this case there is no problem introducing more internal linking.



I did this on a site in February. Only 25 pages but added auto-linking back to the homepage on each one. On March the 5th the site's homepage got a -950


I just did breadcrumb linking on my ecommerce site from the product pages (about 200 total), like:

Back To: Home > Category > SubCategory

Am I going to get penalized for this?

Should I remove the link to the Home page (because every page already has a link to the home page) and just have it as:

Back To: Category > SubCategory

(BTW: I also just REMOVED a lot of the links in the left hand navigation so that the links are more similar to a silo structure - it isn't a silo structure yet, but more similar to one).

Any suggestions appreciated.

freejung




msg:4215856
 8:01 pm on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Planet13, I seriously doubt you're going to be penalized for implementing standard breadcrumb navigation such as is found at the top of this page. It's pretty much universally considered a good idea and in most cases improves both usability and SEO. Indeed, Google explicitly recommends it in their SEO guide:

Ensure more convenience for users by using ‘breadcrumb lists’
A breadcrumb is a row of internal links at the top or bottom of the page that allows visitors to quickly navigate back to a previous section or the root page (1). Many breadcrumbs have the most general page (usually the root page) as the first, left-most link and list the more specific sections out to the right.

burcot




msg:4215877
 9:02 pm on Oct 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I recently added a shopping cart on an information only website.
As soon as the cart went live I started adding links to products and manufacturers from articles on the information pages.

Up to now (touch wood) it has been very successful. Some keywords are #1 with site links after just a few days

One thing I have noticed... Info and money pages were competing for certain keywords/phrases. The internal linking has sent a clear signal to Google and in every case my prefered page is now top dog :)

Planet13




msg:4215969
 2:41 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

@freejung:

Thank you for the reassurance. I am a little gun shy with google nowadays.

Planet13




msg:4215970
 2:45 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

@burcot

The internal linking has sent a clear signal to Google and in every case my prefered page is now top dog :)


i am assuming then that you DON'T link FROM the product pages to the article pages then, right?

it is just one way linking from the article pages to the products then, right?

Thanks in advance.

freejung




msg:4215985
 3:44 am on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

I feel the same way some times -- that something I implement with the honest intent of improving usability will get me penalized because some idiot used the same technique for spammy purposes -- and I try to remind myself that in the vast majority of cases, many webmasters have gotten away with doing things far more shady than what I'm doing.

In your case, what you're doing is not remotely shady and is in fact recommended.

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >
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