Internal Links: When and How to use them | SEO COURSE 2020 【Lesson #16】

Few people know that one of the easiest methods
to give search engines guidance on the topics of their articles is the use of some special
signals, which are often little used, because, in my opinion, completely misunderstood by
those who are approaching SEO. In addition to the breadcrumbs, which we have
already talked about before, inserting other internal links in a webpage definitely improves
the user experience, because it returns and highlights a content directly related to the
current webpage. Based on the number of links used in the layout,
it will be easy to understand which are the most important pages of the website. Having an internal linking strategy certainly
plays a significant role in improving the SEO of an entire website. But what do you need to know in order to correctly
use internal links? ● Content-Related Connections: by following
internal links, Google bot scans the pages of the website in order to determine importance,
relevance and connections between the contents. ● Link Value: it depends on the position
within the page (the more it is visible, the more powerful it is). We must also consider how many other links
are present on the webpage (the less the better). The backlinks’ number and the quality of the
webpage should also be considered. Usually, the homepage has quite some of them
and that’s why the internal links on this page have the best effect. An ideal internal linking structure should
have the most important content linked from many webpages and, at the same time, relevant
pages should be linked to each other. I realize that it may seem a bit too theoretical,
so let’s try out a practical example. A “women’s diet” website could have the homepage
containing a link to a guide page that shows all the various types of diets, within which
there may be references to the article “Top 3 aliments during pregnancy”. On the other hand, putting a link to this
article directly on the homepage would be a waste, unless it is part of the “Latest
posts” section. Where should the internal links be inserted? Menu or Navbar: it should contain only the
categories, or really fundamental pages, because this element will be present throughout the
website and will give a very high relevance and importance to internal contents. Side Column: the related articles, the most
popular, or most commented ones can be inserted in the sidebar with thumbnails or small preview
images. Body: links can make sense even within the
text of the article if they add value to the topic, when it cannot be treated in the current
article, due to space or relevance issues. Remember that the number of links also depends
on the website type. An e-commerce, by its nature, will obviously
contain many more links than a blog landing page. On the other hand, as I have verified several
times in some of my students’ websites, it is absolutely necessary to eliminate the “credits”
to the themes’ authors links (if the license allows it) and to the links to the tag archives,
authors, and all the other pages (except for some special cases), because they do not contain
useful content for visitors or for the search engines. So far, I have talked about when and where
to insert a link, but how about doing it the right way? We have already analyzed the concept of link
value. If you must show a link that leads to a useless
page for search engines, such as, for example, a login page, you should use the nofollow
tag in order to signal its low importance. The diatribe on the dofollow-nofollow speech
is still very hot and many believe they are now outdated tags, but personally, I continue
to take them into consideration and later I will also explain why. The second component of a link is the anchor
text, meaning the clickable text. Be very careful not to abuse it, by using
specifically optimized keywords, because this type of over-optimization has been the subject
of specific Google updates, like Penguin, and the risk of being penalized for these
practices is still high. Use common sense and use anchor text with
keywords that make sense in your context, without pushing too much on optimization. If we refer to a link in the article’s body,
my suggestion is to use a sentence of at least 4 words.

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