The last couple of posts in the series talked about the importance of linking and keywords. Now it’s time to understand various link building technics. As I have maintained in the past, internal linking is as important as external (outbound) linking and backlinking (inward linking). In this chapter I will be deliberating more on internal optimization and linking technics alone. Needless to say, I will be focusing on blogs (mainly WordPress powered) than generic websites.
Internal Linking & Optimizing
Internal linking and optimizing of your pages and posts is a continuous process. However, there are a couple of onetime settings that you have to do in order to make sure that internal linking is effective and your site structure is SEO Optimized.
ROBOTS meta tag optimizing
As I mentioned in the post dealing with the importance of linking, ROBOTS meta tag plays a very important role in deciding the crawlability of your site within and for outbound links. The following should be the ideal setting for various types of pages on your blog.
Single Post, Single Page, Home: index,follow
Archives, Categories: noindex,follow
Special pages with too many outbound links: index,nofollow
Unrestricted link love pages: follow,all
Archives and categories don’t need to be indexed because they will otherwise create duplicate content in the eyes of search bots – mainly owing to the excerpts of the content. For any special pages, that have too many outbound links to which you don’t want to pass PR weightage, you must use index,nofollow. But if they are unrestricted in nature, use follow,all. Avoiding duplicate indexing is the most important thing to your internal optimization.
You can use the Robots meta plugin to set the page level options. Alternatively, if you are already using the All-In-One-SEO pack for SEO optimization, it automatically takes care of the Robots meta setting.
Restricting links per page to 100
edit some of your old posts not only to optimize them but if to exploit them if they are already rated high on search ranks and/or have a high PR. Passing the link juice from posts with high search hits to other potential posts (via relevant internal linking with the right keywords) will always help to increase your reach. Similarly, a few of your popular pages (or pages that need more popularity as well) may be linked form your homepage so that they get better page ranking.
I use the free PaRaMeter tool to frequently check the PRs of my internal pages (Check one of my old posts on free tools to check internal PR for more information)
’Nofollow’ tags wherever applicable
You should judiciously use the rel=”nofollow” in links. I have adopted the following strategy in setting the link relation.
- All internal linking (within the site) will be dofollow (no nofollow used)
- Most external links to big and popular sites/pages, dealing with similar topic as discussed on my page, will be dofollow (e.g. Sites like Google, WordPress and blog posts of ProBlogger etc if the content is relevant, that is)
- As much as possible, all external dofollow links will appear after the excerpt part of the posts (so that homepage PR won’t be affected while posting)
- Blogroll links, Top commentators etc are dofollow only on the homepage
- Comments and relevant links there in, all my private ads are nofollow
- Paid text links, especially with bad and out-of-place keywords, are avoided
There are a number of plugins available for internal linking and related posts linking but they are not int the scope of this post. There are also tools to check the internal link validity of sites (Please check out the Xenu link sleuth tool as reviewed by Nihar)
A few other things, that I am yet to incorporate, include the removal of URL in author name (what value it adds?), optimizing tags etc. However, we have already covered the main technical aspects of internal linking though one could think of 100 other ways to internally link. I shall talk about backlink building in the next post followed by keyword optimizing tips.