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What Are Internal Links?

Internal links are hyperlinks that connect different pages within the same domain. You'll commonly encounter internal links in website navigation menus. For instance, here's an example of an internal link that directs users to the homepage of SEO Dogs.

The primary purpose of internal links is to enhance user navigation on a website by guiding them to related pages. Additionally, these links help establish a site's hierarchical structure and distribute authority and equity throughout the website.

The Importance of Internal Links for Users
Internal links play a crucial role in improving the user experience. They should ideally lead users to relevant pages, providing additional context or directing them to content of interest. This helps define a user's journey on the site, ensuring they can easily accomplish their intended actions or find the information they seek.

It's important to avoid adding internal links that point to irrelevant, empty, or broken pages, as this can frustrate users and hinder their experience.

The Significance of Internal Links for Search Engines

In addition to benefiting users, internal links are essential for search engines for several reasons. They assist search engine crawlers in discovering and indexing content, especially newly added content that hasn't been crawled before.

Internal links also contribute to the transfer of authority within a website, signalling to search engines the relative importance of different pages. 

The quality of these internal links matters just as much as the quantity, as is often the case in SEO—quality takes precedence over quantity.

Pages with no internal links leading to them are termed "orphan pages" and will remain undiscovered by both search engines and users. Hence, it's crucial to ensure that none of your important pages become orphaned.

Understanding PageRank

PageRank is a Google algorithm used to assess the importance of webpages based on the quantity and quality of links pointing to a page. This evaluation considers both internal links and backlinks to determine a page's significance. The underlying assumption is that more links indicate a more valuable and relevant page.

Implementing Effective Internal Links

The most effective internal linking strategy feels natural and prioritises user experience. Strategies may include creating hub pages for specific topics, linking to complementary products, or guiding users to related content for an enhanced browsing experience.

Anchor Text

Anchor text refers to the clickable text used as a hyperlink to another page. Instead of displaying a  link like "," you can use anchor text like "read more about internal linking." This not only informs users about the linked page's content but also includes a call to action to encourage clicks.

When crafting anchor text, it's essential to make it relevant to the target page, concise, and avoid keyword stuffing tactics. Furthermore, anchor text aids accessibility, helping users who rely on screen readers understand the linked page and decide whether it's worth visiting.

Follow vs. No-Follow

By default, internal links are tagged with either a "follow" or "no-follow" directive, which informs search engines whether to pass authority to the linked page.

A follow tag enables the transfer of authority from one page to another, benefiting PageRank and signalling to search engines that these pages are of higher importance.

A no-follow tag is used to instruct search engines not to pass authority to a specific page. These tags are useful when a page is significant to users but doesn't require search engine crawling.

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