This article has been written for and published by iGaming Business Affiliate
. When we talk about SEO we usually talk about two different topics Onside-SEO and Offside-SEO. Offside-SEO is what is done to rank better on other pages than your own, mostly link building, and Onside-SEO is what is done on your own website, which influence is usually underestimated.
Naturally the Onside-SEO-factors are far more easy to influence than the Offside-SEO-factors. This article discusses one of the most important factors on your website, which is your internal linking structure.
Former “Google page rank sculpting”
I do not want to talk much about page rank because we want to emphasis on ranking and internal linking strategies which help your website to rank better, but it is a good way to explain how the link juice flow through your website.
Imagine you have 5 links on your home which are pointing each to another sub page, one is pointing to your imprint and because you do not want to loose link power to this sub page you decided to add the rel=”nofollow” attribute. For the sake of simplifying this case we do not implement the decay factor of each link.
Old way the link power is distributed:
Lets say your home has a link power of 10, so each “dofollow” link will distribute 2.5 of link power to each sub page and 0 to the “nofollow” sub page.
Today’s way the link power is distributed:
Your home has a link power of 10 and each link will distribute 2 points of link power, but because the imprint has the “nofollow” attribute this power will not be submitted.
Knowing that each link counts
is the most important learning we should take from these changes, which by the way have taken into account a year ago. If you add a link to a page you are discounting each former link, keep this in mind each time you want to put a link on a page to decide if it is really necessary.
Basic linking rules
There are some basic rules that apply for nearly all of the links you use:
1st link counts
If you have two or more links pointing to the same sub page the attributes of the first link, in terms of source code position, counts. This also includes the rel=”nofollow” attribute. Think of the necessity of using more than one link to a sub page and the order before taking them live.
Link text / anchor
Often used as synonyms, link text and anchor, this is an issue I see over an over again on websites. Because some designer likes a “more button” or something like that, a possibility to link using a keyword is wasted.
Be aware that on your site you decide where and how to link. Use your power to make the link juice flow to your important sub pages using the keywords or at least phrases containing the keywords for this pages.
Some times it is not possible to use the whole keyword or all keywords in the anchor. The link title-attribute has been made to explain the link target a bit more detailed. Make use of it but do not overuse it and keyword stuff every link you have.
Images and links
A lot of images are used as style elements to link to sub pages. Search engines and people with seeing disabilities need your help to see what is on the image. The use of the title-attribute of the link as well as the alt-attribute of the image are not only common sense but also a way to implement keywords.
Excursion css cloaking
Be sure not to hide text or links behind images. I have seen a lot of designers who use css to implement the logo in the background not as an img-tag in the actual source code. This might be seen as cloaking as the user and the search engine are seeing two different things. To be on the safe side implement the images as what they are.
Nofollow is method (introduced in 2005 and supported by multiple search engines) to annotate a link to tell search engines “I do not vote for this link”. In Google, links with the rel=”nofollow” attribute do not pass Googles PageRank and do not pass anchor text
Quick link checklist:
- Has the anchor a keyword of the targeted page included? (usually “click here” is not a keyword)
- Does the link has a title-attribute?
- Is it a follow link?
- Is it the only link to this page? If not is it the first?
Building up a good internal link structure
After knowing the basics for using links the right way, we can focus on a good structure for our website. Keep in mind that each link counts and the following things should be taken into consideration when building up a website structure:
- Flat navigation structure
- Focus on your money pages and get the link juice to them
- Ensure that the crawlers also find your deeper pages
- Make sure your home is linked with your main keywords
Choose your links wisely
Do not link to each and every page you have from your home, just because this might be the strongest page you have and you want all sub pages to profit from it. When you focus on the important ones you will get better results.
Get the crawler to your deepest secrets
Opening the search engine crawlers an easy way to reach even your deepest pages by having some linked from your home. You could for example link directly to some of your “Casino Reviews”. This is a good way to show your users and the spiders your content. By linking deep into your page structure you give them more “starting points”. Crawlers follow links only to a certain level, by giving them a direct link to your deep content you shorten their ways, which is a good measurement for better indexation of your content.
Tell the crawler what to index
Use the robots meta tag “noindex, follow” to avoid duplicate content problems and keep the link juice flowing. A good example for this use are “tag” pages from blogs. The tagging system is good for users and search engines, but they produce always the same list, which could be considered duplicate content by some search engines. By using the robots meta tag “noindex, follow” you tell the search engines to keep following the links (including the juice) but not indexing the page with the possible duplicate content.
When you are using these principles to build up or pimp up your website, you gain more control of your internal flow of link juice. By controlling and optimizing it you have an instrument to target specific pages which might be the last touch to get into the top rankings which leads to more traffic, which should lead to more sales and more money.