What is an internal link?
Internal links are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain. They are commonly used in main navigation.
These type of links are useful for three reasons:
• They allow users to navigate a website.
• They help establish information hierarchy for the given website.
• They help spread link juice (ranking power) around websites.
Post Penguin internal linking
We all experienced the negative impact of Google's Penguin and Panda on our sites. As Google continually launches algorithm updates as campaign against over-optimisation and poor quality content, we need to keep abreast with these updates. In order for our sites to rank well for competitive terms, we need to adapt them with Google quality policy changes. Aside from content quality, Google also looks on the quality of sites linking to our pages. How can we build internal links so that our important pages not only avoid Google penalty, but achieve higher rankings as well.
A good user experience is important to Google. They want users to find what they want in the quickest and best possible way. In SEO perspective, this likely implies identifying your most competitive pages and ensuring that these pages contain keywords that could give them the best possible edge of attaining higher rankings. To do this, you may determine first sites that rank well for your targeted keywords through keyword research. Identify which pages of those sites are most competitive. Analyze the keywords used and the quality of links on those pages.
Then, analyze your taxonomy. What are the types of pages you have on your site? Your site architecture should emphasize your home page, product, and categories important in promoting your brand. Your homepage must present the kind of business you are into and the brand you are promoting. Your product page should contain your product details, promo, special offers, and amenities. These kinds of pages must present information most important to users who search for products or services suited to their taste and budget. Google wants these pages to rank well in its SERPs in line with the key terms used by most users in finding products or services.
Your homepage must have links to your important pages. This will help users find information that's most important to them. But beware of sidewide linking as sidewide links give your site the effect of too narrow anchor text variation. So, you need to think of some creative ways of linking your important pages to your homepage. One way is by using sidebars. Prioritize your pages that contain the most important content about your brand and business. Update these pages semi-frequently except the most competitive ones. Footers can also be used to direct users to the most useful content or pages on your site.
Nevertheless, these approaches to internal linking must not scale out into a sitewide section. This could make each of your pages becomes like your homepage linking with optimized anchor text. As well, be cautious about your microsites. Though each site may add value to users, but sidewide links on it will make your internal linking go crazy. To avoid drawbacks, register your microsites' domains as private and use SEO hosting. In addition, vary your anchor text and, as much as possible, avoid using footers.
Overall, it would be better if you will categorize your content into different levels of page types. Aside from your homepage, your site should have category pages, product pages, and product landing pages. Have a separate page also for your blog posts and pay-per-clicks. If you find post-Penguin internal linking difficult, you can hire SEO professionals to do the task for you.
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