Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.82.10.219

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

Internal Links, SEO And The User Experience

     
7:48 am on Aug 14, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 4, 2001
posts:1097
votes: 7


Regarding the SEO impact of internal links. Having been influenced by the events/recommendations/rumors/myths that have surfaced over the past 20 years, my approach to internal links is that if it makes sense for the viewer to find a link to another page of the same site, then go ahead and make the link, even if there is also a link in the navigation menus. An example: if a viewer is on a page about local attractions <snip>, then provide a link to the page that offers hotel bookings <snip>. Sure its blatantly commercial in the intent, but there is a logic to why the link exists. That is pretty basic stuff….

But do internal links contribute that much to the SEO? They can be artificially created, they are a vote for yourself, they are not freely given, anchor text can be easily manipulated etc etc…. yet it’s easy to argue that they play an important part in the overall user experience. Whether that counts for much is a moot point.

I have never been sure about how far you can go with internal links before you overcook the mixture. Any suggestions/experiences to share?

[edited by: Andy_Langton at 9:45 am (utc) on Aug 14, 2016]
[edit reason] Exemplified keywords [/edit]

9:54 am on Aug 14, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member andy_langton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Jan 27, 2003
posts:3332
votes: 140


The impact of internal links in terms of "brute force" anchor text-based optimisation is certainly not there any more. And, sure, they are votes for yourself. That doesn't particularly matter, though, because it depends on how trustworthy Google thinks that vote is. In many cases, this could be more trustworthy than an external link.

Google will also replace titles with internal anchor text in SERPs depending on a user's search query, which to me highlights that the effect can still be strong.

Aside from that, your internal links still play a critical part in:

- Content discovery
- Site hierarchy (which pages are most important)
- Page quality

The days of using keywords in your "Home" link anchor text are long gone, but I think the days of internal links remaining important are going to stick around ;)
7:37 pm on Sept 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 13, 2002
posts:14845
votes: 473


What Andy said plus I would add that if correctly executed the internal links could help search engines tie the pages together thematically in order to help them understand what the set of interlinked pages are about.

Think about it in terms of a link graph. In a general sense, a link graph is a map of the interlinked web. The web self-organizes itself according to niche topic and segregates itself according to artificial and natural linking patterns. Each section of the web graph is called a node. A node can be a web host, a website, a web page and even the different sections within the website (paragraph level).

Interlinked web pages contribute to creating what is called a set of nodes. Those sets of nodes can be organized by niche, topic, theme whatever you want to call it. So instead of thinking in terms of ranking boosts, consider the internal links within the larger picture of how it fits within a link graph and how that will contribute (or not) to helping the search engines understand what those pages are about.
5:24 pm on Sept 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from US 

10+ Year Member

joined:June 29, 2000
posts: 59
votes: 0


" yet it’s easy to argue that they play an important part in the overall user experience. Whether that counts for much is a moot point."

To add to this...for persuasive design, I will provide the internal link inside a sentence constructed specifically to trigger a call to action, at the moment the thought is presented to the user, for cognitive reasons (memory) and it increases the chances of it being clicked, keeping them on the site longer. The anchor text would contain an action word along with the keyword. It's a more natural approach.

I'm also thinking of accessibility (Google is hyper aware of it), screen readers and text to voice. Well timed internal links. Not over cooked.

While these may not provide immediate power, I feel that increasing time on site is a positive for reputation, referrals, customer satisfaction... which sends good vibes for credibility, trust and authenticity.
6:42 pm on Sept 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member aristotle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 4, 2008
posts:3485
votes: 310


I like to put internal links in a section at the bottom of an article. For example

<section>
<h4> Related Articles </h4>
link1
link2
link3
etc
</section>
10:39 am on Sept 11, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:May 10, 2003
posts:929
votes: 13


Yes I'm old school at this since 1995, but I remember the origins of the internet and html 1.0, and if I recall, the whole idea (or one of the primary ones) for the invention of html was PRIMARILY to interlink content within and between your own pages to more detailed information about a topic (drill-down) on your own site or other relevant references. I remember college websites full of white papers with the references to the original research and reference works linked as it was intended. The fact that Google has obfuscated and perverted <-[WebmasterWorld didn't like my original perfectly valid word] this for their own benefit (in effect making it LESS of a "good" user experience) is just another example of why no one should bother using it for serious research and not for anything but fun and games. When pay per article sites stating the obvious (I like the one on how to clean your smart phone screen with a wet paper towel in two simple steps... duh) outrank serious research articles and original manufacturer engineered spec sheets because of G's judgement call that the public is getting TOO much information, and will need to search G more often to get more relevant details (and more ads), it's time to commit that search engine to the realm of fluff and rubbish because they have obviously gone too far.
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members