Best Practices for Adding Internal Links According to Google

Internal Link

‘Adding internal links is a must’. We always hear this statement when we talked about onsite optimization. Moz defined internal links as:

Hyperlinks that point at (target) the same domain as the domain that link exists on (source).

Simply, this is a type of link within a domain that is pointing to another relevant page.

Why Internal Links Essential to Add?

Internal links, like backlinks, have functions. It helps a website to achieve the following:

  • Allowing users to navigate a website
  • Establishing information hierarchy
  • Spreading link equity (ranking power) across the website
  • Showing relationship of pages

Through an internal link, search engines use it to check the relevance of a page. It also showcases the value of the content, i.e. adding relevant links to the previous post.  Those values indicate that it’s a must to add internal links.

What’s the Best Practice in Adding Internal Linking?

You might read a lot of tips articles about the best practices when adding internal links. But, what we need to remember when adding it?

Avoid Linking to Every Page From Your Homepage

In a recent Webmaster hang-out, this has asked. Google’s John Mueller answer an interesting question from a website owner:

If we try to link to every page on our website from the home page does this dilute the focus?”

In response to that question, Mueller says yes. It does dilute a little bit in the sense that they don’t understand the structure of a website.

See the full response in 30:49 mark:

Dedicated to Larger Site

He also said that this rule is a must when you have a bigger or larger site. Why is that so? Your site can lose the semantic structure when you link to all pages from your homepage. Google will lose understanding on your site structure (categories, higher level pages, lower level pages and the pages fit into the structure of a bigger website).

No Worries for Smaller Sites

He also added that with smaller websites, he thinks that it’s completely natural. Linking across all the different pages on your website is ok. For example, you’ve got 10-20 pages only, therefore it is normal getting all of those pages from the homepage.

Stick to a Clean Structure

Mueller also recommends sticking to a clean structure when adding internal links. It must be easily understood by both the users and Googlebot.

He also added that they understand the lower level pages a little bit if they can understand that the product belongs in a certain category (higher-level category).

With this type of linking style, they can able to distinguish higher level pages from lower level pages. And it will be easier to understand.