SEO – Link Building Series: Internal Link Building and Optimization

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

It is said that a lot of search engines do not crawl beyond 100 links on a page though I am yet to see the proof for this claim. However, since it’s consistently mentioned on many SEO tools, I tend to buy this idea. Hence, your pages (especially your home page) may be optimized to have no more than 100 URLs on it. Even if you have, you may push the unimportant links towards the end of the sidebar or footer. The Meta tag analyzer that I talked about earlier can be used to check the number of links on the page. To check the sequence of links I use my own little javascript so that I can push less-important links to the bottom.

get all links on this pageedit 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.

Part VI: Keyword Research & Optimization for Short and Mid-term traffic boost >>


  1. Hi Ajith,

    One more great post in the series. Hats off. Btw since you are planning to write a post on keyword optimization, can you look at my latest post on the same topic.

    I was wondering if we can not work together since both of us seem to be concentrating on similar topics.

    binaryday’s last blog post… The best way to use keywords on blog post for maximum impact

  2. Stumbled.

  3. Nice tips. One thing, in terms of using nofollow, I do use them within my own website. For example, there are certain pages that I don’t want to waste pagerank on such as pages like ‘terms and conditions’, ‘privacy policy’, ‘login’, etc… So when I link to these pages in the footer of my website, I use nofollow.

    Shirley’s last blog post… Is Your Search Engine Optimization Expert Legit?

  4. I agree with Shirley. No point in spending serious link juice on pages that you do not need to get ranked on Google.

    Binaryday’s last blog post… The best way to use keywords on blog post for maximum impact

  5. Raju :

    How to make Top commentator/blogroll doFollow only on homepage?

    Raju’s last blog post… Microsoft Offers $250 Million Reward for Downadup Creators

  6. I really need to work on these things. My search engine figures are not that good comparative to others. I need to take additional steps like the ones mentioned on this blog to increase my Search Engine traffic.

    Read 2 Know’s last blog post… Microsoft issues Emergency Fix for Browser Flaw

  7. Getting quality backlinks getting more and more difficult these days, maybe I should spend some time to optimize the internal linking architecture, of course building incoming links can not be neglected.

  8. Great post man

    i have become a big fan of you.

    Once again thanx bro

  9. You seem to have a great handle on some pretty technical stuff. Thanks much of the tips.
    Great blog skin too!

  10. Nice post.. thanks for sharing again

  11. Nihar :

    One Great post. good series of tutorials…

    I have the same question as raju. Do let us know so that we can set the Top Commentator plugin to have dofollow only on homepage.

  12. Your post worked for me. I read it the whole through! thanks.!!

  13. @BinarayDay, thanks for the link… Will definitely go through it when I prepare the drafts for the keyword post :) Btw, now I am thinking whether I should ask Simon, Arun or Samrat to guest post on keyword optimization :) I guess, they can do a far better job than me, looking at the SEO challenge numbers.

    @Shirley, that’s an interesting point :) I should check for any such pages…though I don’t have many such pages (Btw, you seem to be so stingy on the following aspect. When are you making your top commentators links dofollow 😆 )

    @Raju, I am writing a detailed post on these aspects, please hold on for a few days.

    @Read2Know, search traffic is the way to go if you want real huge traffic in the long term.

    @Chinese Girl, you said it. These days, even if you get a genuine backlink, Google will suspect :) better manage within…

    @Narendra, thank you :)

    @Millionaire, thanks… and the theme is same as yours… I just modified it here and there.

    @Nicholas, thanks buddy…

    @Nihar, I will definitely write about it… in the context of a bigger topic on SEO Optimization

    Thanks everyone for your comments

  14. owain :

    Good article on an interesting topic. Just saying hi because I am new to this blog. Looks good. Will have a look around and read some of your other posts. : )

  15. @owain, thanks for your visit and comment :)

  16. Is there any plugin that Can scan My Blog post and Suggest related links for me Automatically. I have been searching for that plugin but could not find one

    Anyway good Article …

  17. @Amit, there are several ways in which internal plugins work.

    1) Related posts – Try one of them listed in the article below

    2) RB Internal links – To internally link to posts while you are editing a new post.

    3) You can also use automatic internal linking via keywords using the aLinks plugin… I could not find a download page for that…perhaps you could search and locate it.

  18. Dennis Edell :

    You explained why we should do follow links to Google, but why the others? Especially big name bloggers that don’t even acknowledge the link….not to be bitter lol.

  19. Nihar :

    Ajith, Thanks for the link!

    BTW, how is that link exchange going on. I read the post last week i guess. what exactly, i have to do if i want a link back?


  1. […] couple of posts ago, we saw how internal linking and optimization can be done within your blog or website in order to improve reach and thereby help Search Engine […]

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