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Inter-site Linking Tips from Google

interlinking of web pages

Every website is interested, or to be more precise, banking on Google to make its presence felt on the internet. So the tips coming across from the house of this search engine giant to improve anything about the site is bound to be taken seriously.

Such a tip has come from John Mueller, who is using the Google Webmasters Hangout zone to make matters clearer for all professionals engaged in this arena. The tip this time around is: don’t link the home page to every single web page on your website.

Traditional knowledge about interlinking on a website tells you that you should establish links between the home page and other important pages on your website so that Google understands the hierarchy of the website in terms of importance of content. Mueller warns against overusing this tip. When you link every single web page on the website, you do the exact opposite of what you aim to do!

Instead of helping Google bots, you confuse them by linking every internal page to the home page. This dilutes the advantage you would have otherwise had of showcasing some web pages as opposed to others. Google may end up focusing on the weaker pages and deprive the important pages off their place on the SERPs.

Here is the full transcript of the response from Mueller on this issue:

“It does dilute [the focus] a little bit in the sense that we don’t understand the structure of your website that cleanly in a case like that.

With smaller websites I think it’s completely natural that you would be linking across all of the different pages on your website. If you have, I don’t know, 10-20 pages on your website then it’s kind of normal that you can get to all of those pages from the home page.

But if you have a larger website and you link to all pages from your home page then we lose the semantic structure of the website. So we kind of lose the understanding of categories, higher level pages, lower level pages, and where these pages fit into the structure of a bigger website.

So, in general, I would recommend trying to stick to a clean structure with regards to your linking so that users and Googlebot can try to better understand the structure rather than ‘here’s a structure of 200 or 300 different links that you can click on.’ So that would be my recommendation there.

It’s not so much that you would see a big effect in search but, depending on the website, you could certainly see that we understand the lower level pages a little bit better if we understand this product is in this category in this higher-level category, and those kind of things.”

September 14, 2018

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