Internal Linking and SEO

It just hit me: SEOs don’t talk too much about the importance of internal linking for SE rankings! I mean you read many articles about linking strategies, link exchange, link bait, link farms and so on. But you don’t see so many about internal linking and outbound links. So I had to choose this topic for today, although initially I was going for Google’s new project: the Google phone. Well, I’ll write about it tomorrow.

Outbound links are critical to good rankings. Some very experienced SEOs state that internal linking and outbound links matter more than reciprocal links and other inbound links. I wouldn’t go so far. I’d just say that they are indeed very important.

The internal linking structure tells a lot about what really matters on your site. The page titles and the internal linking structure are two of the most important factors taken into consideration by the SE when they index and rank your pages. Navigation text links are the best choice. That’s no secret. CSS allows you to use background images to create fancy text buttons. This is a great technology and I am perplexed to see that some web designers still use image links and javascripts instead of text links.

Internal linking shouldn’t be unsystematic. When you have a really hot topic a “related pages” category could do wonders. Use it to link to other stories you wrote and even to authority sites that discus related topics. The best example of how this works is Wikipedia, but many online journals and some blogs use the same technique to “lead” their visitors. Little do people know that this technique “leads” the search engines as well.


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