What Are Internal Links?

What are internal links?

What Are Internal Links?

This article will explain the question “what are internal links” and how it works hand and hand with SEO. Internal Links are hyperlinks that point to target the exact same domain as the source domain. An internal link, in layman’s terms, is one that points at another page on the same site.

Optimal Format

Anchor text should contain descriptive keywords that convey the topic or keywords of the source page.

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. These links are often used in the main navigation.

These links can be useful for three reasons.

  • They enable users to navigate a website.
  • These help to establish an information hierarchy for the website.
  • They spread link equity (ranking authority) around websites.

SEO Best Practices

Internal links are most useful for establishing site architecture and spreading link equity (URLs are also essential). This section will focus on building an SEO-friendly website architecture using internal links.

On an individual page, search engines need to see content in order to list pages in their massive keyword-based indices. To find every page on a website, search engines must have access to a crawlable structure. This allows spiders to browse the links and navigate through them. Many sites make the fatal mistake of hiding or burying important link navigation so search engines can’t access them. This makes it difficult for them to be listed in search engines’ indexes. This is how it can happen.

Google’s colorful spider reached page A and saw internal links to pages B and E. However, it doesn’t know if pages C or D are important to the site and has no way of reaching them. There are no crawlable links that point to these pages. These pages don’t exist to Google. Google doesn’t care if great content, keyword targeting, and smart marketing can’t get them.

A pyramid would be the best structure for a website (where the big dot at the top is the homepage).

link-pyramid.png?mtime=20170104131420#asset:2245:url

This structure allows for the smallest number of links between any page and the homepage. This structure allows link equity (ranking potential) to flow across the entire site, increasing each page’s ranking potential. This structure is used on many websites that are highly performing (like Amazon.com), in the form of subcategory and category systems.

How is this possible? The best way to do this is with internal links and supplementary URL structures. For example, they internally link to a page located at http://www.example.com/mammals… with the anchor text “cats.” Here is an example of a properly formatted internal link. This link will appear on the domain jonwye.com.

link-anatomy.gif?mtime=20170104131458#asset:2243:url

The “a” tag in the above illustration indicates that a link is being created. You can use link tags to create images, text, or other objects on a page. This allows users to click to go to another page. This is the original concept behind the Internet: hyperlinks. The browser and search engines can determine the location of the link by looking at the link referral location. In this example, the URL http://www.jonwye.com is referenced. Next, the visible portion of the link for visitors, called “anchor text” in the SEO world, describes the page the link is pointing at. The page being referred to in this example is about custom belts that Jon Wye made. Therefore, the anchor text for the link is “Jon Wye’s Custom Designed Belts.” The tag closes the hyperlink so that any elements later in the page won’t have the link attribute.

This is the simplest form of a link and is easily understood by search engines. The search engine spiders know that they should add this link to the engine’s link graph of the web, use it to calculate query-independent variables, and follow it to index the contents of the referenced page.

Here are some reasons pages may not be accessible and therefore not be indexable.

Links To Submission-Required Formulas

You can have it as simple as a drop-down list or as complicated as a complete survey. Search spiders won’t attempt to submit forms in either case. Therefore, any content and links that could be accessed via a form will be invisible to search engines.

Only Internal Search Boxes Can Access Links

Spiders won’t attempt to search for content. This is why it’s estimated that millions are hidden behind inaccessible internal search boxes.

Links in Un-Parseable JScript

Javascript links may be either uncrawlable or weight devaluation depending on how they are implemented. It is advised that standard HTML links be used on pages where search engine traffic is important.

Flash, Java Or Other Plug-ins Can Be Used To Link To These Pages

Search engines are often unable to access any links embedded in Flash, Java applets, or other plug-ins.

Link To Pages Blocked By The Meta Robots Tag, Robots.txt

The Meta Robots tag and the robots.txt file both allow a site owner to restrict spider access to a page.

Links On Pages That Have Hundreds Of Or Thousands Links

Search engines have a crawl limit of 150 links per web page before they stop linking to other pages from the original page. Although this limit can be flexible and pages with high importance may have 200 to 250 links, the general rule is to keep the number of links to a page below 150 to avoid losing the ability to crawl additional pages.

Links In Frames And I-Frames

Technically, both I-Frames and frames can be crawled, but they both pose structural problems for engines in terms both of organization and following. These elements should only be used by advanced users who have a solid technical understanding of search engines and how they index and follow frames.

Avoiding these pitfalls will ensure that webmasters have spider-friendly HTML links that allow spiders to quickly access their content pages. Links can have additional attributes applied to them, but the engines ignore nearly all of these, with the important exception of the rel="nofollow" tag.

You can get a quick overview of your site’s indexation. To run a site crawl, use a tool such as Moz Pro, Link Explorer, or Screaming Frog. Next, you can compare the number of pages that were crawled with the pages listed on your site: search on Google.

The following syntax can be used in conjunction with rel=”nofollow”:

In this example, by adding the rel="nofollow" attribute to the link tag, the webmaster is telling the search engines that they do not want this link to be interpreted as a normal, juice passing, “editorial vote.” Nofollow was originally created to stop spammers from linking to guestbooks, blogs, and commenting on automated blogs. However, it has evolved to be a way to tell search engines to reject any link that would normally be passed. Each engine interprets links tagged with nofollow in a slightly different way.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between External And Internal Linking?

Simply put, internal linking is when a website links to URLs from the same site. External linking, on the other hand, refers to linking to URLs on another site. In other words, internal links refer to links to your pages. External links point to pages on different domains.

Why Is It Important To Have Internal Links?

Google can understand your website and rank it better by adding internal links. You can give Google links to follow with descriptive anchor text to indicate to Google which pages are most important and what they are about. Internal links can improve user experience and engagement.

What Number Of Internal Links Is Too Many?

Although there’s no definitive answer to the question of how many internal links a page should have, Google has stated that they can crawl hundreds of pages with these links. A lot of links can be detrimental to the user experience. Therefore, limiting the number per page to around 100 links (or less) can help with SEO.

How Can You Identify Internal Linking Opportunities?

You can find internal linking opportunities by finding pages that rank for related topics on your website and making sure they link with descriptive anchor texts.