Internal Linking Tactics To Get Top Google Rankings
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If you own or run a website and are not following these
six tactics for properly linking your website together then
you're losing Google traffic as you read this. First some
definitions. Internal linking is the links on your website
that point to other pages within your same website. External
linking is when you link to another website. Tactics are
specific things to do to achieve desired results, or any
mode of procedure for gaining advantage or success.
There are things you can do when developing or refining
your internal linking structure. If you carry out the following
tactics, you're going to achieve two things. One, you'll
make your website better from a user's perspective. Two,
you'll rank better in Google. And it's no coincidence that
Google rewards you for doing things that make the website
user's experience easier and better. In fact, the most important
thing I can recommend is that you create, design and link
your website together in a way that benefits the visitor
first. Your visitors are most important, not Google rankings.
One last thing before I get to the tactics. Have you heard
that links from other websites that point back to your website
is essential in getting top search engine rankings, especially
with Google? It's true. These links vary in their effectiveness
and value depending on the website from which they're coming.
But did you also know that internal links often can have
similar effectiveness and value as external links? So bear
this in mind as you read on.
1) Add links in your navigation or footer as text links
to all your important pages and main sections.
This is a very easy and an extremely effective tactic that
not all sites do, and even less do for maximum results.
This is the first thing I look for when reviewing a website
for a client. Unfortunately, sometimes artsy Web designers
add cool buttons, which are images, to all the main sections
of the site, but neglect to include text links as well.
Or a programmer decides to make the website's navigation
to include text links to the same pages represented in the
menus. Search engines cannot follow image links or links
links, so be sure you add them to your site as well.
So if you want search engines to visit and index (or record)
ALL your website's pages, be sure there are text links pointing
to all the main sections of your site and to all your important
2) Make use of the rel="nofollow" HTML tag.
This is fairly simple. Google created this tag which tells
them NOT to count the link in their search engine ranking
algorithm when used on a link. There's debate that maybe
Google does count them a little, or will some day in the
future. But for now, this tag does greatly decrease a link's
value in Google's eyes. Therefore, consider using this tag
on some of your links within your site. For example, let's
say you have a homepage and then create two inner pages,
and that's the extent of the site. Let's further say that
you add a link to both pages on your homepage. If your homepage
has some external links pointing to it, then it has some
value in regards to Google's ranking system. When you link
to each of your two new pages within your site from your
homepage, each page gets only 50% of the value the homepage
has. (This is all measured in Page Rank). Let's then say
that your first inner page is the one you want to rank well
in the Google, but you don't care if your second inner page
even gets found by Google or ranked. You could add the nofollow
tag to the second link on your homepage, thereby giving
the first inner page 100% of the homepage's value.
Think of the implications. Imagine if you had a website
with hundreds or thousands of pages and used the nofollow
tag throughout. To understand how to implement this tag
is, see the two links in HTML below, one without it and
one with it correctly included.
<a href="http://www.yourwebsite.com" rel="nofollow">Your
Finally, if you have pages such as a privacy page, terms
page, checkout pages or contact pages that you don't care
if they rank well in Google, be sure to use the nofollow
tag when creating internal links to these pages.
3) Use descriptive and different phrases to point to
the same inner page
The words that are in the text of a link (also known as
the anchor text) affect your search engine rankings. For
example, the anchor text in the two links above is "Your
Website". If enough of these links that were on quality
and valuable sites, including your own website's inner pages,
pointed to the same page, it would eventually rank well
in Google when someone searches for the phrase "your website".
Therefore, be sure to make the anchor text in all your internal
links the phrases you want the pages to be found for in
Google. If you have a page that sells "blue widgets", make
the anchor text in links on other pages within your website
that point to this page "blue widgets". Do it like this:
Going back to the number 1 tactic above, you would be far
better off making the anchor text in all your footer links
as descriptive as possible. If you want to rank well in
Google for "affordable blue widgets" then use this in your
links that point to this page:
Finally, vary your anchor text when pointing to the same
page within your website. For instance, on some of your
pages you could link to your Blue Widgets page with the
anchor text of "blue widgets", then on other pages link
to it using "affordable blue widgets" and then maybe use
"widgets that are blue". This allows you to get the page
ranked for multiple terms and helps the user since you're
being descriptive and making your anchor text better match
the content of the page it's on.
4) Make links in your content
If you have text on your site, make some of the words within
the text links that point to other pages within your website.
For instance, if you have an article about blue widgets,
or a page that describes how great your blue widgets are,
make the first or second occurrence of the phrase "blue
widgets" in the text a link that points to your Blue Widgets
5) The Home link solution
If your website is typical, you'll probably have a link
on every page that points back to your homepage. And you
should because this helps users. By doing this, you're supplying
a lot of link value to the homepage since it is getting
all these internal links pointing back to it. Since in the
number three tactic I recommended that you make your anchor
text the same as what you want to rank for, the word "home"
does you no good. I'll assume that you're not trying to
get your homepage ranked for the word "home", so make the
anchor text what you do want it to get ranked for.
The other option is to add the nofollow tag to all your
'Home' links, thereby canceling out the word "home" altogether.
6) Make important pages at most 2 folders deep with your
site and at most two clicks away from your homepage.
The farther away a page is, the worse it ranks. So if you
put a page in a folder that is five folders deep within
your website folder structure, Google will likely consider
that page not as important as a page only one folder deep.
Also, make the pages in your website that are most important
to get ranked two or less clicks away from the homepage.
This is good for users and allows Google to index these
pages more quickly.
By following these top six internal linking tactics, you'll
be far ahead of the competition, you'll rank better in Google
and you'll be making your website visitors' lives easier.
About The Author:
| Jason O'Connor
is the owner of Oak Web Works, LLC (http://www.oakwebworks.com), an
Internet strategy firm that specializes in helping businesses
make money with their business websites. From Web
design and programming to strategic Web marketing
and providing free resources for Web professionals,
Oak Web Works is a center for online strategy.
Article Source: thePhantomWriters Article Submission Service
Published - October 2008
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