Now that I have discussed What Is the Purpose of Internal Linking? Is it Important for SEO?, I will now continue with the best practices for internal links. Both Google and Bing have made it clear that website should follow the proper guidelines.
If you haven’t read yet the article on internal linking, just click the link above. If you are done, go ahead and read the internal link recommendations for Google.
Google’s take on internal links.
Google’s Matt Cutts took time to answer some questions about internal links. In a video posted on Google Webmaster, he answered that internal links will not typically hurt a website’s ranking.
It became a pressing issue when Google released the Penguin update. However, Matt Cutts assured the public that adding numerous internal links won’t cause trouble just as long as you are not exaggerating by adding thousands of internal links. For example, adding 5000 links in one page.
If you don’t exaggerate links and take it way too far, then, you have nothing to worry about. You are NOT violating the Google webmaster guidelines. Speaking of which, Google emphasized on the importance of providing relevant anchor texts for links. So, whenever you feel confused about the usage of internal links, always refer to the official rules provided by Google.
How about the Bing’s recommendations?
Remember, Google is not the only search engine available. Take time to also be familiar with other search engines such Bing, Ask, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, and many more. Bing, in particular, has another way in tackling SEO and internal links.
Yes, Bing has the usual things such as content and links. However, Bing gives importance to social signals unlike Google. For more information, you can review the Bing webmaster guidelines.
As for links, Bing said the following:
Internal links – helps create a view of how content inside your website is related. Also helps users navigate easily to related content.
So, what is the perfect example of internal links?
Just look at the website: Wikipedia. It exhibits the ideal internal linking system. You will notice right away that each page contains internal links that will lead you to another page. Their links are not presented in a spammy way. Usually, the internal links use keywords as anchor text.
Learn more: 5 Best Practices when Writing Anchor Texts
Best practices for Internal links.
For internal links, there’s nothing to worry about because Google said that there is no such thing as over optimizing internal links. You don’t have to fret over an anchor text penalty for internal links.
If you observe closely, in this article, I usually use relevant keywords as anchor text. If not, I will just stick to the page title.
A few reminders to take note:
- Avoid the generic anchor texts. Yes, I know that most websites use the typical ‘click here’, ‘read more’, but do not overindulge by adding ‘click here’ 20 times!
- Don’t randomly add links just to help website crawlers discover more pages. Internal links also help users to learn more about a topic. So, add links only when necessary.