homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Visit PubCon.com
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

The NEW optimal internal link structure is - don't have one?

 6:52 pm on Apr 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

After reading this thread [webmasterworld.com] and reviewing stats over the past few months it seems to me that pages fall in rank, even if they are the BEST page available online, because other pages on the site are of objectionable content(according to Google, e.g. has affiliate offers or less socially mentioned content etc, nothing blackhat or adult).

If your site has such content that is dragging down the rest of your site, and given Google's silence on exactly what that may be, it seems that radical approach may be in order where traditional SEO is falling flat.

The problem: how to identify and get disassociate your site from such content in order to avoid having it drag down your overall rank.

Potential solution: internal link structure(?). If every page on your site linked ONLY to the index page, and all have a search box allowing visitors to find whatever they want, your pages would REQUIRE outside links to remain on the grid so to speak.

The 'one link to home only' structure would result in 100% orphaned pages but no page is orphaned if it is linked to from somewhere, even from another domain. The end result would be that if Google doesn't like a page, or doesn't like the pages linking to it, it's not going to rank but you're also not linking to it and wasting internal rank/trust flow.

You could modify this theme by adding links within articles to already trafficked related pages but under Google's new system it would seem that even your own less than stellar content can drag down your best stuff. This way only your best content remains visible.

Has anyone tried this?



 9:51 pm on Apr 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

If every page on your site linked ONLY to the index page, and all have a search box allowing visitors to find whatever they want, your pages would REQUIRE outside links to remain on the grid so to speak.

It would also result in some human users absolutely HATING the site, so you'd have to assume for the sake of discussion that g### either doesn't know or doesn't care.


 4:24 am on Apr 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I dunno, I have a stong feeling Google's gone and ripped the spine out of the book and all pages fend for themselves now and can't be boosted by other pages as easily, but they sure can be brought down by them. It's as if a "quality of page linking to this one determines the quality of this one" scenario much stronger now, mixed in with social that works essentially the same way.

Scenario: you have a heavy hitting home run type article on your site. Look at what links to it. Probably a few other articles do but for each one of those you've probably got a category page, a tag page, a profile page and likely an archive system all pointing to it too. Maybe even a sitewide sidebar link?

My point is that if Google did rip the spine out of the book these would no longer matter, they are hierarchy and not a vote per say. They may even be counter-intuitive since these likely don't rank well(not many category pages on page one in serps huh!).

As for Haters, these are search visitors looking for an answer to a curiosity or question. their metrics are much different than a regular direct visitor. I don't think many of them would even notice, much less hate, a page that has the answer they want.

Still, I wouldn't want to read a book without a clear structure and I am catering to regular visitors and not search so this is a moot subject really.


 4:49 am on Apr 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I suppose the solution is to rewrite poor quality content so that nothing on the website drags anything else down, and so that internal link weight passes properly and strongly from page to page?


 4:54 am on Apr 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe, but even a small 300 page website with just 20 links in the sidebar/navbar creates an astounding 6000 extra internal links. That's hard to ignore. If you have 6000 navigational links you'd better have a lot of in-text type links too otherwise your best page according to rank flow is a category or tag page... and you don't count many of them on page one.


 5:19 am on Apr 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think your concerns about internal links have a reality basis. Yes, you don't want to overload any given page with hundreds of internal links. That can be very destructive and creates a terrible Information Architecture.

But most websites, even the best ranking ones, do have a significant internal navigation - because it works for users, because it's an expected and standard feature. Without it, user trust goes out the bottom, IMO.

I worked with one highly successful site who went very much in the direction you described against my advice, with heavy dependence on internal Site Search and almost no internal linking. It was dammed near suicidal!

[edited by: tedster at 10:54 am (utc) on Apr 3, 2012]


 7:02 am on Apr 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

You wouldn't have a "site".

You'd appear to have a series of doorway pages leading to a site-search page.


 2:31 am on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

More precise detection of old pages. [launch codename "oldn23", project codename “Freshness"] This change improves detection of stale pages in our index by relying on more relevant signals. As a result, fewer stale pages are shown to users.

That was a change announce by Google in March 2012. I would argue that appropriating a large portion of any given pages rank/trust value deep into a sites older content via extensive navigation/category lists may no longer be optimal. I've been a webmaster a long time, and done my share of speculating wildly, but this doesn't feel like wild to me.

I don't think Google looks at my site as a site anymore, it's a series of individual urls the may or may not receive credit for interlinking to other pages. Sticky me if you're interested in evaluating a PR7 authority site with no internal link structure at all(pages float or sink based on how well they get linked to by others on a page-by-page basis). You can see the jump in traffic coincides with the wayback machine indication of when the navigation system was purged.

Call it a hunch, you want a high ratio of incoming links compared to internal links, especially social mentions. As with all things Google does not want to rely on what you as a webmaster tell it and internal links would qualify as a metric that can be manipulated, imo. Google knows about all urls and can send a visitor directly to any of them, in that sense nobody has a site anymore in the eyes of a search engine.

You'd appear to have a series of doorway pages leading to a site-search page.

Not if the search box is on every page instead of having a link to a page with search boxes. It would bring the search box closer to your visitor than a backpage and a 2nd google search would.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved