Internal links: How they can either degrade or improve your website ranking on Google and other engines

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Most of us already know about backlinks, or links from other websites, and how google currently assigns a quality score to different backlinks. For instance if Google thinks many of your site’s backlinks are “spammy” – or not high quality, then they will lower the pagerank score for your whole website. However, if most, or all, your backlinks have good ‘link juice’, or Google interprets most of them as high quality backlinks – especially from other well known or well trusted websites, then you ranking will improve more than significantly.

Internal linking is another subject area. Your internal, or intra-site, links also play a role in how search engines determine the quality of your website, and give a ranking boost to those that follow the below guidelines.

Tip A: Internally link your blog content (you really should have a regularly updated blog for many seo benefits) to your service and/or product pages or category pages.

Essentially if you publish a new blog article that has something to do with a service or product that you are offering (on the same website; as we are focusing on internal links on your website), then definitely link to the relevant page from your article. This applies to category pages as well.

The best method to get higher rankings for certain keywords or phrases is to optimized your link’s anchor text for the correct category or product/service page. So, for example, if you offer ‘solar shingles’ as a product, and you are based in Vancouver, then linking from your article or press release to your product page with the link ‘Vancouver solar shingle sales’ or ‘Vancouver solar shingle installation’ will get your product or service page highly ranked for those keywords. When doing so, also try to make it look natural and smooth within the context of your sentence in your article.

Tip B: Cross link your product pages with other related products

Crosslink related product pages. So say if you sell both trumpets and trombones, make sure that you have some extra links in the content of each related product page crosslinking the pages (not just in your menu atop your page). When doing so, it is important to use appropriately described link anchor texts, such as “You might also like to view our selection of ‘Acme Trombones’. Basically ensure that you use meaningful link anchor texts that contain the precise keywords; to link from one page to the other.

Tip C: Overhaul the menu links on your website, if necessary.

The menu of your website has a powerful influence on your overall pagerank as your site’s menu appears on most if not all the webpages of your website.

The most important point here is to use the most appropriate keywords in your menu link for the various pages in your site. Show the search engines that the keywords used in your menu links pertain directly to the linked page(s). Also a minor point is that simply “About” for the link in your menu is better than partially diluted “About Us”. More importantly, the use of a breadcrumb trail, typically printed below the menu, is another strong way to link categories with appropriate product pages; and vice versa.

Tip F: Crosslink your product/service category pages

Category pages generally are shown higher in the navigational structure of a website than single product pages. For that reason, search engines interpret them as more important than product pages. So crosslink your category pages with keyword rich link anchor texts just like you did for your product pages; as described in Tip B.

So is this all much ado about little or nothing at all?

No. When you perfect the internal link-map of your site, you increases the ‘link juice’ potency and ‘authority’ of your pages; as interpreted by the major search engines. Aside from that, optimized internal linking will also guide your visitors to better find the right pages more effectively.

Google eats and breathes in and out contextualism. If your site is designed with optimized internal link anchor texts in mind, then you will most effectively stimulate Google and others to elevate page rank for those keywords.

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