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Interlinking Posts

Building-A-Better-Blog-2Today’s task in the 31 Days to Building a Better Blog project is to dig back into your archives and do some interlinking of posts.

As you add more and more content to your blog there will be more and more opportunity to link your posts together so that readers can view more pages of your blog. It’s also won’t hurt the search engine ranking of those posts that you interlink as internal links count in SEO (not as much as an incoming link from an external site – but it still helps).

I find that I naturally add links from new posts to older ones as I write the newer posts – however the other way around (links in old posts to new ones) takes a little intentionality.

When I do this (I generally set aside a few hours every six months for it) I generally do it in one of two ways:

  1. Add a ‘read more on this topic at…’ link at the bottom of your post and then list other related posts (of course many of you will use a ‘related posts’ plugin to do this for you)
  2. Add links inside the post itself. I find that these work pretty well at getting people to visit other pages on your blog as they are a little more natural

As I say – the plugins are great (and I use them on all of my blogs) but when I’ve tracked clicks on my pages I find that in content links get actual clicks at a much higher rate than the ‘related posts’ at the end of articles.

So take a few minutes today to go back to some of your earlier work and identify other posts in your archives that you might have written since that you could link to.

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. Josh says:

    Darren again thank you for the vast amounts of information. Looking at your web stats for this page has given me faith that you are a trustful informant for bloggers. I have used yours and other bloggers information to setup a guideline for my projects. I have broke free from my mediocre shell and have started my own presence. I look forward to reading more of your articles. Keep up the good work and good luck.

  2. Patrick says:

    Great tips. Thanks so much. I suppose this practice could also inspire you when you get the proverbial writer’s block of course we don’t want to do what they do on T.V. i.e. the dreaded “clip show.” but it is good to reference past posts to show you are still thinking about something, aren’t contradicting yourself and adding to the topic in a constructive way.

  3. The ‘related posts plugin’ link doesn’t work…
    And I’d like to get a hold of one of those…

  4. Teejay says:

    Your link for the wasabi plugin goes to a 404 page.

  5. RobMalon says:

    Instead of doing it every six months, I find it easier to do it after each new post. Just do a search on your own site to find the post you might want to consider. Generally I dont forget what I wrote about in the past so I have a pretty good idea of 2-3 posts that I might want to mention my brand new post on.

  6. I don’t do this as much as I should, but I definitely have the “related links” plugin.. and it helps!

  7. Here is the related post plugin by Semiologic:

    http://www.semiologic.com/software/widgets/terms2posts/

  8. foodette says:

    I don’t have that plugin – sounds like I should though! I always try to put links to old content in new posts, but rarely do I ever go back and do it the other way around. That’s a great idea! One thing I do, though, is put a link to “The Reviews” page at the bottom of each restaurant review that I do. In turn, I make sure that there is a link to each restaurant review, by name, on my “Reviews” page. I think this helps people with navigation.

  9. Lucia says:

    I had to chuckle when I saw your post. I wrote a How to get Traffic post, (planning to ad it to your list) and near the end I say:

    Toot your own horn! Have you noticed I linked my own plugins in this post? Have you noticed Darren Rowse mentions and links his own posts at ProBlogger? Have you noticed John Chow describes the “John Chow Effect” (leaving out the failures?)

    From time to time, you should mention your most useful past articles at your own blog. If they are really useful, new visitors will want to discover them!

    Now I just have to go find your form and submit this as my build a better blog post!

  10. shaun says:

    I agree I think the related posts plugin is a must have for any blog. It gives your readers somewhere to go after they finish reading your posts. I also get way more clicks on my links that are in my posts more than the related posts. Great post thanks for sharing!

  11. Crazykinux says:

    Since I use Blogger, the plugin won’t be any good for me. What I’ve done instead is a Blogger hack using labels. I do have to input the label myself, but that just gives me more control.

    You can see the label cloud at the top of my side bar right here. It even tells me the number of labels I have for that one in particular.

    As for links in the post, well I’ll just have something ” Read more on EVE guides here“. And it works wonders to increase the pageviews!

  12. Dan Cole says:

    Dude, you use the same plugin as I do. I hope that plugin wasn’t as hard to hunt down for you as it was for me. It’s not published as a plugin on WordPress.org… It is a lot better than any other in WordPress’s plugin search though.

  13. Elena says:

    This is a great tip. I have already started inserting links between posts. Since my blog is still new and I’m still working on covering a variety of topics, I don’t yet have many “related” posts. But I have already made a note of yourself and other successful bloggers using that strategy effectively, and I plan to start adding the “related posts” at the end of my articles, as my content grows.

  14. Genesis says:

    I haven´t been able to get the Related Posts plug in to work on my blog. However, I have been linking to my older posts and vice versa for a couple of weeks now. I think it is a good idea to mention that this is best used when you have a good archive going. I purposely waited until I had over 75 posts. Otherwise, people will remember the post anyway and won´t be interested. It is a great way to get folks reading all your older articles, though and keeping them on the site longer.

  15. Dadviser says:

    As a parenting blogger, the only way I felt I could participate was to do a 31 Day Project much like your own. I guess I was wrong though, as I just wrote a post last night that linked back to two other posts on my blog.

    More great advice that I’ll continue to use. Keep up the great work Darren.

  16. Simon says:

    I covered this briefly in my post on reducing bounce rates which you featured a few days ago. I always think it’s best to go with the personal touch when doing this, I’ve tried the plugins and they’ve all been a bit hit and miss. I got much better results doing it manually.

  17. ApOgEE says:

    Great idea! Since I’ve just linked back to my old post, I didn’t link my old post to the new one. Thanks Darren for such a wonderful idea. I’ll start doing that from now on.

  18. Angel says:

    Yes, this is something we should all do. It’s just a matter of finding the time to do it.

  19. Baz L says:

    I’ve found that the Similar Posts plugin works better than Related Posts. It also comes with a Similar Posts Feed plugin. It just matches posts better, that’s it.

    Also, there’s the aLinks plugin. Read up:
    Interlink Your Posts: aLinks Plugin

    Baz L
    Day In The Life of Baz

  20. Baz L says:

    [Sorry, wrong link. Please delete last post.]
    I’ve found that the Similar Posts plugin works better than Related Posts. It also comes with a Similar Posts Feed plugin. It just matches posts better, that’s it.

    Also, there’s the aLinks plugin. Read up:
    Interlink Your Posts: aLinks Plugin

    Baz L
    Day In The Life of Baz

  21. The new link for the Plugin mentioned is WASABI Related Posts but it hasn’t been updated and may not work with the most recent versions of WordPress. I’ve created a list of Plugins which might in Blog Navigation WordPress Plugins.

  22. Jeffro2pt0 says:

    Wow. I didn’t know this was going to be the next tip but I already accomplished it the other day. I do use a RELATED POSTS plugin for WordPress which does a nice job. However, I bet creating related posts links manually are more successful at getting the reader to stay around and browse a few other articles.

    Generally, If I am writing a new post and it is somewhat related to an archived post, I will do a direct link to it. Seems to me that this is one of those common sense things to do but I bet there are a lot of bloggers who don’t do it!

  23. Tony Conrad says:

    Hi Darren – many of our partners see higher CTR on related posts at the end of articles than highlighted in the text. I think both approaches are smart and given they take up very little real-estate on a page, I think it’s good to do both.

    Sphere has a Related Content Plug-in that is quite popular with lots of publishers and bloggers. WordPress.org users can download it at:
    *http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/sphere-related-content/ ;
    and non-WordPress.org bloggers can download it via a Feedburner FeedFlare at:
    *http://www.feedburner.com/fb/static/flareunits/relatedfromsphere.xml.

    Sphere automatically performs high-precision matching based on the article’s content alone. We don’t rely on links. If article meta-data is available in the article, we can make use of it, although this isn’t usually required and may artificially constrain matching. We’ve done numerous deployments that relate content across multiple properties – all in a few seconds after a reader clicks on the Sphere icon.

    If you have thoughts or experience on alternative contextual matching technologies, don’t be shy to let us know your thoughts.

  24. I started doing this about a week ago and my page impressions have almost doubled!!! This is a great technique!!

    Thank you,

    Jason MoneySpace

  25. komirad says: