In the book “Ultimate Ecommerce SEO Guide” the writer Preben Sangvik in Responspartner AS in Norway recommends to use a good internal links strategy to get the different pages to rank well in Google. We all know how Wikipedia uses internal links very well to help their readers to find topical relevant content, and this is the way that is recommended to power up a site.
So why is it recommended to use internal links by purpose?
All tests have shown that setting up internal link structures work well. Some call them internal links, others call them a “silo”. One of the first to nail that expression was Alex Becker, but a lot of different people have been talking about “siloing” og building silos.
A silo is in essence a structure for internal linking, and if you have complete control and am 100% certain how to do it you can keep up doing it. But if you don’t know, or you want to keep your site “just regular”, you should keep doing internal links.
The wrong and the right way to build internal links
There is a wrong way to do it, and a better way. The wrong way to do it is simply to not put any attention or thought into how and why to build out these links.
Example bad way: For instance linking from a page about “car dealership” to a page about “how to tame a horse” seems kinda strange, because there is no contextual info in one of the pages that is relevant to the other.
Example good way: How ever, when it’s a wrong way there may be a right way, or a better way. Making a link from a page about “car dealership” to “how to clean your wind shield” is much more topical relevant, and logical.
You can use this technique for all kinds of sites. It’s a concept that works well for regular company sites, blogs and even work well for ecommerce SEO. Did you notice what I did there? I made an internal link to another post on this blog, and bound it to this by talking about different web sites and the concept of SEO. So it’s contextual, it’s relevant and if gives the reader a good experience by clicking it.
Does internal links work well?
Yes, all tests and information I have read about this topic leads to the same conclusion: internal links work well. They can even have a much higher exact match link anchor text ratio than externali links.
Why do internal links work?
The thesis is that Google pay attention to what you, as the site owner, says is the most important page on the site. So we believe they count the number of links to each page, or in fact we know they do it. And we believe that they some how weight the number of links to a page to measure what page the owner says is most important.
So be aware of what pages you link to. Keep the most number of links going to the most important page on your site.
The other part of the thesis is that Google takes into account what the internal link’s anchor text is, and weights the landing page accordingly more important to the acnhor text.
So if you have 12 internal links going to one page and all of them say “best windshield washing tips”, that page is more likely about exactly that. And that will count when Google will measure that page against other pages in the web about “windshield washing tips”. And hence it’s more likely that your page about that ranks higher.
So there are at least two factors about internal links that seem to inpact the rankings in Google: the number of internal links to a specific page, and the text anchors.
The conclusion is that you need to pay attention to your internal links when you are doing SEO for your company, and create internal links if you don’t already have them. They work for all kind of sites Google can crawl, and Google obviously pay a lot of attention to the number of internal links and the anchor text ratio of the same links to this one page.