Internal Links

why did the internal link get lost at sea? It couldn't find the right anchor

From a purely navigational perspective, an internal link is a hyperlink that creates a navigational path from one page to another under the same domain. It is excellent for navigation purposes, but it also helps increase page views throughout a site, extends the user journey, and helps internal pages rank – all benefits for SEO.

Internal links help search engines (and users) find content more easily. Unlike backlinks, internal links stay within one site’s domain and can use single keywords as anchor text instead of long-tail ones.

The history of broken links can be traced all the way back to the beginning of the internet. When the Web was a much smaller place, there were fewer websites and fewer links. However, the web rapidly grew, and older websites retired. This led to a growing number of broken links across the internet. To this day, broken links remain a problem for all websites, though they are of special concern to larger, older sites.

No piece of online content should go without internal linking. Not only does it keep a user engaged on a site longer, but it also creates a handy path for search engines to crawl the site with.

The purpose of internal linking

For users 

While backlinks are a potent SEO tool, no site can hope to rely entirely on off-page SEO to get eyes on every page under its domain. Even with link building strategies in place, only a fraction of all URLs from any given website will be lucky enough to gain a backlink. That’s where internal links come in.

Within a breadcrumb structure, internal linking is visible to users as a primary form of navigation. Links within a website lay the groundwork for drawing traffic and engagement to additional content, product and service landing pages, or contact submission forms. This creates a more pleasant user experience, too,  as users don’t have to go out of their way to find what they need.

As mentioned above with the Wikipedia example, a path of internal links will keep a user on a site much longer. This sends signals to search engines that the site is helpful, which can positively impact its ranking.

For search engines

Internal linking creates a certain ‘structure’ to a site. When a search engine crawler visits a website, it follows these links around according to the instructions laid out in the site’s robots.txt files. Search engines read and interpret anchor text, and the crawler picks up information about the site’s overall structure and purpose. In this way, a site can improve its crawl budget by helping the bots crawl and index a page more efficiently. When more pages are indexed with appropriate anchor text, a rise in search engine rankings may not be far behind.

Internal linking also creates an informational hierarchy, outlining all of the information on a site and distributing link value to important pages. This can, in turn, boost page authority.

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    Inbound links –>

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