Day 22 – Internal Links

Day 22 Quick Summary: Internal links

Now we look at adding internal links to your article.

  1. Look for suitable places in your article’s text where a link to another page on your site makes sense
  2. Ensure the links attributes are set correctly

Back in the day, the only links that counted on a website were external links. That is, links coming into a site. Google looked at the source of each link to decide if it came from a worthy source – and it would also check on the links coming in to that page too – uncovering a whole chain of links.

These links provide the so called ‘link juice’ that SEO experts talk about so often. It’s called juice because the idea is that it flows from page to page and depending on the quality of the site doing the linking, adds extra ‘fuel’ (aka juice) to the link.

As you know, Google gives each page a ‘rank’ (from their original patent ‘PageRank’) and the idea is that each ranking (from 1 to 10) is based on the link juice (plus other factors).

But things have changed as you now know, and that link juice is no longer so important.

Having said that, tests have shown it’s still possible to ‘juice’ the hell out of a page to get it to rank, it just won’t rank for very long (assuming another, better page comes along).

And on top of that, Google has become expert at understanding something called ‘unnatural linking’. If it spots a page with an unnatural link profile, the page can be demoted or even removed, and in the worst case, an entire site can be removed from the search results.

But backlinking still matters. And one aspect of that is internal linking.

Internal linking is the term used for links that connect pages within your site. Header and footer navigation bars are typical examples.

If you link relevant pages together, Google understands that as a whole, those pages tell them something about your site. They raise its authority status. It makes logical sense that Google will add some brownie points for this, so today’s task is to get that done.

DAY 22 TASK

If you have more than one page on your site on the same topic, place a link in a relevant place from one article to the next. You can continue the linking through all related articles.

Make sure you have at least one link from the home page of your site to your main article on the topic (the one you’re putting together in this course).

How To Add Links To A Page

To add a link to any page in WordPress, select the text you want to add the link to, then click the Link button in the WordPress editor toolbar, and add the link to the box that appears.

adding a link to a page using the WordPress editor

THE TECHNICAL STUFF: Every link on every site uses the same HTML code. It’s called the HTML Links tag, and looks like this: <a>. But to make it do anything, you need to add attributes.

The most important is the href attribute. This tells the browser (and Google) the link’s destination.

Another attribute is the target attribute. This tells the browser whether to open the link in a new tab, or to use the same tab.

I always use a new tab for external links, but the same tab for internal links. And that means, for internal links, you don’t need to do a thing!

There’s a third attribute you need to be aware of though, and that’s the rel attribute. Typically this would be used as shown in the following example of a full HTML Link:

<a href=”DestinationDomain.com” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow”>Click here</a>

The target=”_self” attribute tells the browser to open the link in the same tab it is being shown in (in other words, replace the current page with the new one – if we used target=”_blank” instead, it would open it in a new tab in the browser).

The rel=”nofollow” attribute tells Google (and other search engines) that the link is not to be followed. The idea is that any link juice on the page will remain on the page and not be diluted by being forwarded to the next page in the chain.

For internal links, we are happy for the current page to be replaced with the linked to page in the same tab so we use target=”_self” (or we can simply leave out this particular attribute altogether for internal links – which is the default setting of most browsers).

We are also happy that Google will follow our internal links to other pages on our site so in this case we use rel=”follow” – (you can also leave out this attribute completely for internal links as the default accepted by most search engines is to follow links through).

Lastly, every link includes the link text. This is called the anchor text. It matters because it gives the link some context. However, search engines, and in particular, Google, can now understand the intent and context of the link from the text that surrounds it, so it no longer carries as much weight as it was once thought to have.

<a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchor_text” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Click here – This text is called the Anchor text</a>

If you’re using WordPress or most other CMS style website builders or systems, you will have access to all these details – if you get stuck, just shout out on our Facebook Group.