Go to hints

Links are fundamental to how the internet works, by creating connections between all the disparate documents on the web. Internal links are connections between pages on the same website, and internal linking can have a huge impact on the ranking ability of a given URL.

This article will explain how internal links can help search rankings, and how issues with links can have the opposite effect. Throughout the article you will find links to all the relevant Hints that Sitebulb uses.

The value of internal links

Most everyone in the SEO industry understands the power of backlinks from other websites (inbound links), which count as 'editorial votes' for a URL in the eyes of search engines.

One of the things that set Google apart, when they first came on the scene, was their calculation of a URL's relative value based on incoming links, through their PageRank algorithm.

PageRank Formula

Since then, 'link building' has been big business, with SEOs taking various approaches to creating links back to their pages from other websites. However, since the PageRank algorithm is URL-agnostic, you can 'manipulate' the search engines in a similar way by adjusting your internal links.

So if you have a page for which you have spent a long time creating fantastic content, and you think it has a great chance to rank for lots of keywords, you can increase the PageRank of this page and give it a better chance to rank by pointing more internal links at it. This will complement any external backlinks you develop to this page.

Internal link optimization represents one of the most effective on-site optimization techniques, and you can make big gains in organic search by improving internal linking.

Power of internal links

Image shared by Andy Drinkwater of iQ SEO.

Internal Links Hints

Sitebulb's Links report contains lots of graphs and tables that show you patterns in the internal linking structure, which can help you understand how links are distributed throughout the site. The Hints in this section will also highlight issues and optimization opportunities within internal linking practices.

Incoming Links

There are 7 Hints that relate to URLs in terms of incoming URLs - both issues and optimization opportunities:

  1. URL is orphaned and was not found by the crawler
  2. Pagination URL has no incoming internal links
  3. Alternate URL has no incoming internal links
  4. Only receives nofollow links or links from canonicalized URLs
  5. Has only one followed internal linking URL
  6. Has incoming followed links that do not use descriptive anchor text
  7. URL receives both follow & nofollow internal links

Outgoing Links

There are 4 Hints that relate to optimization opportunities for outgoing URLs:

  1. Has no outgoing links
  2. Has an internal link with no anchor text
  3. Has an anchored image with no alt text
  4. Has one or more outgoing followed links with non descriptive anchor text

And 8 Hints that relate to problems or issues with outgoing URLs:

  1. Has link with a URL referencing LocalHost or
  2. Has link with a URL referencing a local or UNC file path
  3. Has link with a URL in onclick attribute
  4. Has a link with an empty href attribute
  5. Has a link with no href attribute
  6. Has a link with whitespace in href attribute
  7. Has outgoing links with malformed href data
  8. Has link to a non-HTTP protocol

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