Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Michelle Korn on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, June 6, 2019).

Some questions about internal linking

Hi all,

So I can`t remember what this is called where you put links at the bottom of your articles to other articles on your site.

I guess that`s internal linking or something?

So a few questions:

1. How many need to be at the bottom for SEO?
2. Some people would think they need to click on the next link as it`s leading them there, so how do you avoid that if it`s for SEO only?
3. Do you put them before or after the closing company name?
4. Do the linked articles need to be relevant to the first article, or that doesn`t really matter?

I think that`s about it for now unless you can think of anything else I missed.

Thanks a ton

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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Jason Chong: It is internal linking. I have recently installed this plugin to see if it increase time spent browsing my site. I think that having related content linked would be the best option. Would love to know the feedback of more experienced pros here on this topic and plugin.
  • Stockbridge Truslow: I don`t know about the plugin Jason is talking about, but let`s speak to the topic in general.

    The links you are talking about are "a part of" internal link strategies, but they are only a small part and probably not the most important part. A lot of it is logical and effective categorization of the blog - with categories that describe a concept and then posts that get into some specific aspect of those concepts. This shows "what" the page is about - and also shows commonalities between any two posts within the category. There are many other factors here, too - but that`s probably the most important part of internal linking - in developing a logical and predictable structure.

    Your links in question are what we call "Related Links" - which link to other posts within the same category or topic. They are also sometimes referred to as YMAL (You May Also Like) links. These can be very useful for users and SEO - but I wouldn`t let a plugin try to automatically pick related links for me. YOU need to look at the articles and pick the ones that are TRULY related - ones where you can say, "Okay, if I am interested in this article, I would also like to read this..." These are often most useful if you`re talking about something in a different category, but that would be of interest to the same user group/niche. (Your category relationships are already there based upon the existence of the categories in the first place - this is a handy place where you can show how elements of one category can relate to elements of another category.) Machines suck at figuring out those types of relationships - which is why we have to send these types of signals to Google to help them along. And if "Google" needs help, then any plugin you have that`s going to try to determine contextual relationships between posts is going to suck even worse since they haven`t spent billions of dollars inventing new ways to actually do that.

    Related Links: Do them by hand.

    How many? As many as you have which are ACTUALLY related in some unique and useful way that isn`t already shown - but no more than are ACTUALLY related because then you`re confusing the issue by showing things that don`t follow the pattern. (And google can only figure things out like this when it can spot a pattern).
  • Michelle Korn: - thank you very much for your thorough answer.

    I was doing it by hand, good thing I didn`t use that plugin
  • Stockbridge Truslow: And... Michael is exactly right below this...
  • Michael Martinez: 1. How many need to be at the bottom for SEO?

    As FEW as possible. They should be relevant to the page on which they are placed. The search engine algorithms may ignore these links so don`t expect any SEO benefit. Do it to enhance the visitor experience.

    2. Some people would think they need to click on the next link as it`s leading them there, so how do you avoid that if it`s for SEO only?

    You don`t do it for SEO only.

    3. Do you put them before or after the closing company name?

    It is best to place them where people are most likely to click on them (because the search engines may ignore them otherwise).

    4. Do the linked articles need to be relevant to the first article, or that doesn`t really matter?

    It depends on how you inform your visitors of what the links lead to. The search engines will generally follow links lead to irrelevant content. Think of the "Recent Posts" widgets you see on many blogs.

    DON`T EVER DO THIS "FOR SEO". Those visitors whose clicks you don`t want are less likely to provide you with links and good references if they don`t enjoy their experience on your site.
  • Michelle Korn: - Thanks
  • Neil Cheesman: agree with above... if YOU were reading a webpage what would make you want to click on it... or someone else...
  • Michelle Korn: And the text for the link, am I allowed to use the same kws that I used on the post I`m linking to, or is that a no no?
  • Michael Martinez: You can do anything legal on your Website. The relationship between Website and search engine is a tacit contract. You give them permission to crawl and potentially (index and include your site in their search results) and they may show your site in their search results. But as you decide what you do on your site they decide what they do with their search results. If your only objective with these links is to influence search rankings you can probably find a better use for your time and energy. They have seen every trick in the book. Sometimes the manipulative ideas work and sometimes they don`t. Sometimes they work for a while before the hammer drops. I really believe you should approach the use of "see also ..." or "related articles" end-of-post summaries from the perspective of "what improves the user experience". You`ll get a better return on investment.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, June 6, 2019).

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