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Internal Links


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5 replies to this topic

#1 zzmac

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:11 PM

Hi All,

I have some questions (or need general advice about my strategy) about internal links.

I just finished revising quite a few pages on my site and now I want to add more internal links.

!. My first strategy is to just go through all the text on my site and link any important keywords found to the appropriate page on the site that is optimized for that particular keyword. So as to keep the appearance of the site nice, I plan on leaving the text "black" on all of these links but they will change color when mouseovered. (is that a word??) wacko.gif
a. Is that stategy ok? When are too many of these links too many? Should I limit each page to a set amount of incoming internal links?

2. A lot of sites at the bottom of pages will have a little heading that says "Quick Search" or "Tags" and then will list keywords that link them to the appropriate page. Is that considered keyword stuffing or is that acceptable? If I'm not able to find the appropriate text anywhere on my site to facilitate an internal link for a specific keyword, is it acceptable to add a "Quick Search" list of keywords to make this happen?

Thanks in advance!

#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 02:34 PM

I think you're investing in link overkill syndrome. The question is, why do you feel compelled to do that?

#3 Randy

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 02:41 PM

Either option you mention can be construed as keyword stuffing. It's not the methodology being employed, it's the way you implement it.

For instance, if you took your first option and linked every phrase that held some perceived anchor text value somewhere, it would more times than not be stuffing. The idea that you're essentially hiding these links from real users tips it closer to this line in the sand.

The same can of course be true with footer links that serve no useful purpose for real users.

The question to ask yourself is what you'd do if the search engines didn't exist. Would there be certain words or phrases in your content that you would link off to other pages simply because the other page would be useful for real people? There probably are. Would you put a series of links somewhere in your page to help facilitate real people finding the information they're most interested in? You probably would because certain pages address certain themes.

The trick is to get beyond trying to figure out ways to trick the search engines and instead to give some thought to what how you can make your site the best it can possibly be for real users. When you get there users will be happy and so will the search engines, because you'll be actively telling both which pages of your site you consider to be the most important.

#4 zzmac

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 11:10 AM

Thanks for the reply Randy.

Let me first of all say that I have no intention of deceiving the search engines (I never do). I asked about keyword stuffing because I want to avoid that. If putting a "Tags" or "Quick Search" list of keywords is deemed to be a no-no, I won't do it. Also regarding the color of the text, I think pages that have a lot of visible linked keywords in their text look cheesy and wreck the look of a page. I don't see how leaving link text black would deceive a search engine because the text is quite visible and a the search engine knows it's a link. Plus the color would change if you run your mouse over it. The only one being "deceived", if you can even call it that, is the visitor. And if I was on a site and a word changed color when I ran the mouse over it, I wouldn't give it a second thought (but I might click on it if it interested me).

My site has very good navigation and visitors can easily get anywhere on the site quickly. And frankly, because of that, internal links aren't even necessary from a visitor's standpoint. But I must confess I will do some things (nothing black hat or evil) purely to help improve my rankings. So if internal links will help boost my rankings, I'm doing it. The important question then is what is the best method to use that will still get Google's blessing. If you agree with me so far, which number# below would you choose to implement? (or add your own scenario). FYI - We are a service based company. Each service has it's own page. Any internal keyword based link would link to one of our service pages. ("Blue Widget" would link to our "Blue Widget" page etc..)

#1 - Limit the number of linked keywords on a page to just 1 or 2 and make the text "blue" or some other color so that the links are visible to users.

#2 - Increase the number of linked keywords on a page if needed but keep the text black so the appearance of the page wil still look nice.

#3 - Increase the number of linked keywords on a page but put them in a nice "visible" list on the side or bottom of the page and call this list "Quick Search".

Pick a number and I'll go with the consensus. thumbup1.gif

#5 Jill

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 12:42 PM

I'd say a variation on #1. Limit the links to those which you feel would be the most helpful and useful to your site visitors, however many that might be, and also make them an obvious link so that the visitor will know where to get more info.

This will improve your site's usability as well as potentially help search engines to understand what the linked pages are all about (based on the anchor text you're using).

#6 Randy

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 06:08 PM

Ditto what Jill said. Good for visitors, good for search engines. Or if you don't want the standard blue underlined links in your text you can certainly style the links. Just make sure the linked words are different so that people can tell at a glance that they're different.

FTR I wasn't presuming in the above post that you were trying to fool the search engines. Quite the opposite in fact, otherwise you wouldn't be asking. wink1.gif

The point being it's usually not the methodology that'll get you into trouble. It's how you choose to use the methodology.




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