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Do Internal links boost Search Engine Ranking?

Interesting thread over at ‘Self Starter’s Weekly Tips’ forums – Do Incoming links from the same URL have less weight than incomeing links from a different domain? was the question that started the thread off.

The advice is good – and can basically be summed up as follows:

Internal links within your blog are good for a number of reasons:

- Firstly they help your readers navigate around your site. A well thought out menu or relevant links within your posts to other post on a similar topic will help you retain your reader for longer and send them deeper within your site.

- They help Search Engine’s robots to navigate your site and hopefully to get every possible page indexed. If you have a site map page or an archives page that links to every page on your blog this helps the SE’s robots index you more comprehensively.

- It seems that most Search Engines (like Google for instance) do give some weight to internal links when it comes to ranking your pages.

However internal links are not the be all and end all when it comes to SEO

- I suspect that Google are decreasing the value/weight of internal links. There is a number of other people that I respect who believe that the last few updates to Google’s algorithm have had something to do with this – and that pages with a lot of internal links have actually seen their search engine page rankings (SERPS) decrease. I don’t think internal links are penalized – but rather have been given less value. Its just my opinion.

- External links are more important to SEO. If you want to build your blog’s ranking and SERPs then it would be a better use of your time to look for external incoming links from other relevant sites than to plaster your own blog with internal links.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. francesco says:

    It is possible to improve the Google pagerank changing the internal links of a website:
    http://www.cepolina.com/freephoto/tips2.html

  2. Cyrus says:

    So basically what you’re saying is focus on obtaining external link to your blog rather than spend a tremendous time building internal links?

  3. Darren Rowse says:

    Cyrus – I think it’s worth building up both. External links are more powerful – however internal links count too.

  4. mcrilf says:

    I was reading somewhere that a useful tip on some internal links is to use a ‘rel=nofollow’ tag so that the page doesn’t leak page rank to an unimportant internal page. For example, use this to link to utility pages (Ts&Cs, contact us etc etc)

  5. Robemmerson says:

    Thanks for the interesting commentary. You make some good points, I guess it is important to concentrate on the quality of all links, internal and external.

  6. Excellent – Thankyou

  7. Simon says:

    I have about 200 internal links on every page of my blog.
    Do you think it’s good or bad for my ranking?

  8. Simon: It would be great if there were some quantifiable ratio of internal links to words per page or to external links. Maybe someone has some ideas on this?

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