Internal links are built by including hyperlinks on pages on your own site that link to other pages that are also on your own site. These are essential because they allow search engines to recognize which of your pages you view as the most important and rank them accordingly.
In the rest of the article, we are going to learn what exactly an internal link is, which pages it should cover and how they should be structured, the difference between internal linking and external linking, and 6 types of internal links that are actually not beneficial for SEO so that you can avoid them.
In a structural sense, an internal link is built up of all of the same parts that most other hyperlinks are. What defines an internal link as such is that it sends users who click on it to a different page on the same site.
Because much of your backlink profile from external sites can be concentrated on a small number of pages, maybe with the plurality of it to your main page, you will need internal links to let search engines know both to crawl these other pages and to transfer some authority to them so that they can rank in search results on their own.
Internal links should cover every page on your site that you want to potentially receive organic traffic to. For many sites, this will typically mean every page that exists. Remember that if a page is not accessible from elsewhere in the site and there are no backlinks to it, search engines have no way of finding it.
One of the most optimal ways to structure your internal links is to use a pyramid shape. What this means is that your main page, which is usually the one with the most authority, links out to a small number of highly important pages, which link out to a small number of moderately important pages each, and so on.
This is only one structure of many, but it is a good way to stop link authority from diluting too much or not being properly focused on your most important pages.
Internal links only link to other pages within your own site whereas external links link to other sites. Internal links are significantly more important for SEO and are in fact crucial to it. A site can live without external links, but it will not be able to rank at its best without internal links.
Not every single internal link is useful for SEO purposes. Let us look at a list of 6 situations where the internal links will not provide you the bump in search engine ranking position that you want.
Although Flash is slowly being phased out, Java is still kicking around, but links in neither of these will help your SEO. It is true that users will still be able to click on them, but search engine spiders have no way of discovering them, therefore will not be following those links to index those pages or transfer link juice to them.
Having a search box on your site is a great way to help users find what they are looking for without having to hunt for the link, especially if one doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, search engine spiders do not enter queries in the search boxes and therefore cannot link through any of the results like users can.
It can be very tempting to just include as many links as possible on any given page to cover all bases. Unfortunately, search engines are known to stop following links once they pass a certain number of them on a page. This number is not static, but it is believed to be between 150 and up to 250 links on a page.
If you have blocked a page to spiders in the robots.txt file, no matter how well linked it is, search engine spiders are meant to obey the file and the vast majority will not visit these pages.
Internal links in frames and iframes are not always useless for your SEO, but getting the structure and organization right for the search engines requires a pretty solid technical understanding, so it is best to avoid these if you are a beginner.