Contents of the Article
- 1 Internal Link
- 1.1 Differences between Internal Links
- 1.2 Repeat the Link on the Page
- 2 External Links
- 2.1 Influence of the Link Type and Position
- 2.2 Use of Images
- 2.3 Opening the Link in the Same or in a New Tab?
- 3 More Link from a Page: Counts Only the First?
- 4 Risks of External Links
How to use the links within a website? Are there any specific rules to follow? Are some links more relevant than others? Are those within a content more important than those in the navigation menu?
Yes, there are some tricks that can (or rather, must!) Apply. Also, not all links are identical and have the same weight in the eyes of Google. Understanding the potential of each and optimizing them according to their characteristics, such as the type of link and position within the web page, can contribute to the construction of a structure of links much more solid and have consequently positive feedback in positioning on Google.
First of all, let’s analyze the characteristics of internal links to a website.
Differences between Internal Links
Are some internal links more relevant than others? The answer is yes! Surely …
- in the eyes of Google, the link within a content is more relevant than the same link placed in the navigation menu;
- compared to a few years ago, links in the footer have acquired less and less value unless they are very used links by visitors;
- in general, the more visible a link is, the more important it is from Google , so using very small characters certainly does not contribute to ranking in the search engine ranking;
Repeat the Link on the Page
If you want to strengthen the internal structure by adding the same link in several places on the page, for example in the side menu, in the content and also in the footer? Absolutely not! It is useless, as well as harmful, to insert more than one link to the same content.
Suppose we have a link to a page in the navigation menu and also within the content itself. Google will see both links, but the landing page will inherit the anchor text value only from the first link , not from every single link present. So, it will be as if it did not exist! So, if you think you get more value from internal links, be careful not to insert more than one on the same page, also checking the navigation menus and links in the footer.
The exception that confirms the rule is represented by the repetition of the link made solely for the purpose of improving navigation , as in the case of links of the main menu repeated in the footer, which in the longest pages helps the user at the end of the consultation to find the sections of interest at the foot of the page.
Influence of the Link Type and Position
In general, external links placed in a content are more valuable than links in the footer or in the navigation menu. Among these, text links seem to render more than image links with alt attributes.
Use of Images
In reality, to avoid this, there is an alternative “method”. Assume you have to insert an image in an article, exactly like this. The image is a link that links to another external page and is accompanied by a caption, in which keywords and links appear. Google will only consider the first image link and its tag alt .
In any case, the caption, in which you will have to insert the external link with the anchor text corresponding to the keyword of interest, enclosing them in a paragraph along with simple text, will serve to strengthen the whole structure , define better keywords and favor the positioning on the search engine.
It is very important to create a solid link structure .
Opening the Link in the Same or in a New Tab?
What changes if we set the opening of an external link in a new tab or browser window, rather than in the same one? In the eyes of Google, absolutely nothing . What can actually make the difference is the user experience.
Many visitors prefer to open links in the same browser tab; others, however, find it annoying to stop reading and opt to open the link in a new panel. It is important to monitor all this, because it could have a decisive influence on the time spent on the website and the frequency of rebound of users.
More Link from a Page: Counts Only the First?
Yes, as with internal connections, only the first is important. So, if two or more identical links arrive at my website from the same external page, the Google crawler will only consider the first one.
The risks of external links
Are there any risks? Unfortunately. Receiving backlinks, “inbound links” , from some, most or all pages of a given website could get both parties in trouble. In short, throwing headlong into a crazy and inconsiderate link building is not a good idea.
But … It’s not a universal rule, in some cases it may be fine.
For example, in the American version of the Amazon website, several external websites are linked in the footer, including Whole Foods , a supermarket company recently acquired by the online sales giant. In this case, it is an external link, positioned on every single page of the site, but still part of the Amazon company, so Google does not consider it as spam .
Instead, if Amazon had inserted the words “cheap food delivered directly to your home” in the footer of every single page, pointing to foodeconomico.com/acquista , Google would have certainly penalized and devalued considerably, discarding it in all probability from the ranking of research.
So, getting links from every single page of a website is not only useless, but it can be a big risk! Always opt for a link from the outside that is inserted in a particularly relevant section , such as the homepage, the pages about us, about, partners or a dedicated content. So … Never try to fill entire pages of links, especially if rich in text and clearly directed to keywords!
Remember: trying to manipulate Google is never a wise choice! He always notices!