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Are internal linking factors becoming less important over time?

     
11:01 pm on Aug 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Now - i'll say in advance, feel free to roast me if i'm missing something, I hope that i'm wrong but curious to hear what everyone else is seeing...

Back about 5 years ago, internal linking was the sh*t. It was. A good internal linking strategy can make a lot of the difference on the site, so long as you knew how to beat the block level analysis. Nowadays, I'm seeing on a number of my sites and other sites that the the internal linking strategies, including the dynamic ones, are having less of an impact. On the flip side of the coin, i'm seeing sites with no internal linking strategy applied crushing it, due to domain factors....

1:06 pm on Aug 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The main purpose of internal linking is to guide visitors around the site and make it easy for people to find what they want. This should be the main consideration when creating your internal linking structure.
1:44 pm on Aug 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It's just one thing among many. Site architecture matters, but it won't save you if you also have other issues.
8:04 pm on Aug 29, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Serve the user first. Game the system last (as they will always catch you). Er.... leave out the last part. :)

These days navigation is not where you put your "keywords" because navigation is... wait for it!.... navigation. All the SEs these days know that.
1:31 am on Aug 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Netmeg - everything else being equal, I am just finding that the internal linking component is just not helping as much...are you seeing domain factors outweighing on these types of on page signals overall - I guess thats the general thing that i'm getting at...
4:07 am on Aug 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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if you meant quality factors by "domain" factors, you are right,...it helps in guiding your visitors on site for sure...but it doesn't help you much in what you rank for or how you rank for them? so how is quality determined? it depends on how users try to find you site as a "brand"...
4:54 am on Aug 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Not because of this thread, but because I was asking similar questions. I took one of my pages that had been "shared" and another of my pages that had also been "shared".

Combined the related content, made it unique, then made it live on a new domain.
Redirected some very topically related domains to the new domain.

We're in a climate where "mashing" or taking your stuff for free and adding it to some other stuff is considered unique and interesting.

I don't like people taking my "stuff", but it's better for me to re-use than it is to let them do it.
11:28 am on Aug 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I find the navigation structure is less important itself. There is however a negative signal that goes out from generic site wide navigation. In my experience, customizing the navigation for each section of a site positively correlates with higher rankings.

But that's only one part of it. Still getting very good results from in-body, in-paragraph links, where anchor text is a) very varied b) uses synonyms and related vocabulary. I particularly like linking long phrases. The latter may be getting better results just because it improves user engagement however. i.e. if you give people something to click around on, they usually do.

All of this assumes the domain is basically strong.