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Internal Linking Strategy - Best Methods

   
2:24 pm on Nov 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Hi my internal linking strategy is all over the place so I'm trying to rectify this.

Few Questions

1) Should I link to 'home' on every article page? Should this be my 'keyword' or 'home' as anchor text or a combination?

2) I want my homepage to rank highest for my keyword. I have 10 or so links to article1, article2....all the way to article10 on my homepage.

Do I 'no follow' these links to the articles on my homepage? My reasoning for doing this is that I want the homepage to rank the best - I dont want to push any 'link juice' to other article pages.

3) If I do the above would it look 'articifical' to google ie. too much manipulation?

4) Anyone have a simple diagram to show the best way to set out your site? A diagram for the 'best' internal linking structure in the eyes of google?

Thanks!

6:55 pm on Nov 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Linking to Home from every page is a standard practice. And if your internal pages attract any backlinks, that form of internal linking helps to circulate that link juice throughout the site. PageRank is not voted "once and done" -- the calculation is iterative, round and round again, until the calculated value begins to approach a limit. Without the link back to Home, you disrupt that possibility.

It's OK to use a keyword in the link back to Home, however the entire site should be constructed around the main keyword themes - and Google can pick that up without all kinds of unnatural internal anchor text. In fact, some people who added that kind of home page linking to an established site report getting penalized. So be gentle with your approach.

Do I 'no follow' these links to the articles on my homepage? My reasoning for doing this is that I want the homepage to rank the best - I dont want to push any 'link juice' to other article pages.

I'd say no - your home page will naturally rank the best, for most sites. However, it can be a very good thing if some internal article gets so popular that it gains a very high PR. There's no reason to subvert that natural process, if it occurs. I'd say you are trying to over-control the situation, and if you do that you will most likely have problems.

A website is not like a house - people do not only come in through the front door. They come in willy-nilly, through the roof, the sewer system, the windows and the walls. This IS the nature of the web and you succeed more easily if you create a site that flows with that reality.

It is very common on a successful site for well over half the traffic to enter through an internal page. Be happy about that traffic, and make sure that those visitors can still find their way around your site, no matter where they begin their visit.

Here's a thread from the archives about site structure that has a site structure diagram: Theme Pyramids [webmasterworld.com]

And another thread that may help your planning: Information Architecture for the Small Site [webmasterworld.com]

7:18 pm on Nov 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Thanks Tedster very useful info :)
1:47 am on Nov 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Build your link structure in a manner that'll be most benefitial to your users. You will find there is a remarkable correlation between user-friendliness and search-friendliness.
3:10 pm on Nov 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



You should try keeping it natural. If your navigation is set up correctly you won't have to worry about the home link as much. Build it to a point where you will benefit the user experience and not your on site SEO.