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    Backlinks to homepage vs. internal pages


    Hi all. This is a great forum, and I've being using a lot of the suggestions to optimize my internal page structure . I'm about to renew my effort to get external backlinks. I'm wondering if anyone can comment on this dilemna...on whether it is better to have backlinks point to my homepage vs. my internal category pages from a SERPs point of view.

    The general keyword relevant to my homepage is highly competitive (wordtracker says about 500,000 competiing sites), and I think optimizing for that term is going to be hopeless. Instead I'm hoping to optimize each of my 10 category pages for a different secondary keyword (wordtracker says these keywords each range from 2000 to 15000 competiting sites).

    Let's say hypothetically, I can get 80 backlinks from 80 different websites and each website allows me one backlink. Which of the following options seems optimal?

    1. have all 80 backlinks point to the homepage, with anchor text of the general keyword

    2. have all 80 backlinks point to the homepage, but vary the anchor text between the 10 secondary keywords

    3. spread them out to have 8 backlinks point to each of the 10 category pages, with the anchor text relevant to that particular category page

    4. concentrate efforts on half of my secondary keywords and abandon the others -- so that I'm spreading them out to have 16 backlinks point to each of 5 category pages, with anchor text relevant to that particular category page

    Also, am I correct in assuming that having backlinks point to internal pages vs. the homepage won't have a significant negative effect on my page rank value...because internal pages will pass the page rank back to the homepage, just link the homepage normally passes page rank to the internal pages. Of course, I would prefer visitors to enter my site via the homepage for obvious reasons...but I'd rather lure them into an internal page than not get the visitor at all.

    Thanks for your help!

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    Just a suggestion, but here is how I am working the links game.

    What I do first is to check my present rankings on targeted keywords by page.

    Find the pages that are in the top 30 or so for your keyword and then start getting inbound links to those pages first.

    Once you have inbound links to those pages and they start moving up, begin generating links to the next highest ranked pages.

    After you have done this for a few months you will find yourself with several top rankings. If you have top rankings webmasters begin to contact you and ask you for trades and everything speeds up!

    I've tried sitting down and planning out inbound links as you are trying to do now, with a specific formula (strategery), but that only works if you are purchasing links - as you then have control.

    If you are trading links, you will have a devil of a time keeping with your initial strategy of ten links to this page and six to that page and can become quite frustrated - I did. Other webmasters might not grasp your strategy, link to your homepage anyways, change the anchor text in your links, drop your link without telling you... it's like juggling cats. You might get 10 inbound links to your main page - all PR3 - and then two links to an inside page that are PR6. It will make your head spin.

    Find a page that is of merit, push it to the top with links and then go on to the next page. I'm doing that now and am having very good luck.

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    • GabrielG agrees
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    I guess, if you just ask them to BL to your homepage and if you have your internal linking structure done properly, then you can pass on the PR from your homepage to your innerpages.

    And as TheJedi said, if you get PR3 links for your homepage and PR6 links for your internal pages, it will make your head spin.
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    I wouldn't get too bogged down in getting x amount links per page. Just try to get a natural spread of links and also get a good variety of anchor text.
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    Instead of focusing on numbers and ratios, just focus on relevance. Is the link more relevant pointed the homepage? Is it more relevant in your deeper pages? I would follow sense and logic instead of over-engineering SEO.
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    My personal opinion is not to depend on Wordtracker data it's not accurate try to check your keywords on other tools also it's not good to depend on one tool.
    Instead of hopping into collecting bakclink you should check the relevance also. No matter how many backlinks you are getting for your home page and internal pages if the link is not natural it wont give you result which your expecting.
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    What's better for visitors? Seeing category pages or the homepage? Typically you'll get a better conversion rate if there's a correspondence between the link that lead to your site and the page they arrive at.
    e.g. they click "blue widgets" and arrive at the "blue widgets" page = good conversion rate. if they click "blue widgets" and go to "acme.com - we sell industrial machinery including widgets and doodads" then the conversion rate will be lower.

    So assuming you can get links for the different category pages, that's a likely better bet. Also from an SEO perspective, it may get you more valuable traffic.

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