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    Effective Internal Linking Structure?


    I have seen entire SEO training programs which claim proper internal linking structure is the key to dominating the SERPs.

    Many go into depth about how to use noFollow tags and doFoolow links to sculpt the internal flow of page rank and target in to the pages you want to rank...

    Personally, I have spend quite a bit of time trying to come up with a internal linking structure, that will take the greatest advantage of the links and PageRank that I have.

    1) What do you think, is internal linking structure really that important?

    2) If so... do you have any suggestions about how to create a linking structure that will make the best use of your current link and PR resources?
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    Internal links help inform search engines about what your site or pages are all about. They play a role in SEO, but as to the benefit, it has its limits. I have seen abuse of internet links where one page has 50 or 100 links to other pages. Such a tactic can backfire on you. I often place no more than 5 links to other pages from one page, outside the navigation menu links.
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    EGOL
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    A few years ago all that I had to do was put a link to a page in my persistent navigation (into the template of my site) and the page that received that link would shoot to the top of the Google SERPs. Internal linking kicked butt.

    Now, I believe that internal linking still has value - but not nearly as much as it used to. Today I can put one link into a page and it will enter the SERPs, then, months later I can give it full site linkage and it will not make a lot of difference. This tells me that some value that Google assigns to your DOMAIN has more influence upon your rankings than internal link value.

    Also, today I can make a blog post and that blog post might make the first page of google for a fairly difficult term. It will linger there a week or two and then settle to a lower position that it more reasonably deserves.
    * "It's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it's the size of the fight in the dog." Mark Twain
    * "Free advice isn't worth much. Cheap advice is worth even less." EGOL
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    Recently, I went through every page of my site and added no-follow tags onto all links that I did not want juice flowing toward. This was done because I noticed that my "contact us" page was PR1 (lol).
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    I believe internal linking is still an import thing to consider not only for PR aspects since every URL has vote, but it also helps establish relevancy. What I use internal linking for is to provide a hierarchical structure to the search engines that helps theme the site to appropriate “silos” and utilize its internal PR within the silo’s to leverage the pages I want to rank for on competitive terms. Instead of cross messing everything.

    Hope that made sense,
    -Flat4
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    I think of internal linking as self-promotion. The major SE's have done a lot to devalue self-promotion techniques over the past few years.

    That is not to say it is not valuable at all because properly used internal linking can provide a lot of useful information to both user and search engine. It can also provide a nice web for spider crawling.

    Like EGOL. I used to make global navigation with differing keywords on each page, this helped shoot pages up the SERPS. Today, I find that a global navigation with the same anchor text throughout the site is a better option as it is more user friendly and Google rewards sites built for users.

    When linking within my site I think, does this link belong here? If a user clicks here will it bring them somewhere which will provide them with information relevant to what they are currently reading about?

    I also think does this anchor text and surrounding copy accurately describe where this link is going? Does it tell the user (and thus the search engines) what the page they are about to head to is about?

    This method works for me, it works for my visitors and for people looking for good info (people who would link to you).

    So that being said I find taht a good internal structure provides a few things
    1. accurate hierarchical structure of your site
    2. proper thematic structure ( a user can stay within what he/she is looking for by following the links on the page(s)
    3. Each page should be no more than two clicks away from home, and home should always be available on each page (usability factor)
    4. Each content link's anchor and/or surrounding text should accurately describe where it is going.
    5. A global navigation should be included on every page
    6. If you have a big site, or a site which goes deeper than two links breadcrumb navigation should be added IMO.

    Thats my 2 cents
    Work Smarter, Not Harder
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    that's an article that speaks about leaking juice on SEOmoz

    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/are-you-leaking-juice


    concerning breadcrumb links....it sounds like a good idea but you need to be careful with it.

    most breadcrumb navigation links do not come with the optimal anchor text...and since Google only counts 1link to a page...then they'll probably see that one first since it's usually at the top of the page.

    proper internal linking should be focused within the article first

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