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Seven things you can do to improve the link structure of your website

The internal link structure of a website is a search engine optimization factor that is often overlooked by webmasters.

Why does the link structure of your website has an effect on your rankings?

The internal link structure of your site allows you to spread the link power of your home page to the individual pages of your site.

For example, if 1000 other websites link to your home page, then your home page has a certain link power that can be spread to the other pages of your site. If you link to 50 pages on your home page then each page will get 1/50 of the link power. If you link to only 10 pages, then each page will get much more link power passed to it (1/10).

The more link power a page receives, the more likely it is that the page will get high rankings on search engines. Your internal link structure allows you to direct search engines to your most important pages.

How to improve the internal link structure of your website

There are several things that you can do to improve the rankings of special pages on your website:

  1. Make sure that the most important pages on your site can be reached with as few clicks as possible from your home page. The fewer clicks you need to get to a web page, the more important it looks to search engines.

  2. Link to the pages for which you want to have high rankings from all pages of your website that are related to that page. The easiest way to get related links to a web page is to link from your own website.

  3. Use your targeted keywords in the links to these pages. Make sure that you use keywords that are highly relevant and targeted.

    Show search engines for which keywords your web pages are relevant.

  4. Make the links on your website absolute. Do not link to mypage.htm but to www.yoursite.com/mypage.htm. If other people scrape your web page contents, you'll get backlinks from these sites.

  5. Add a nofollow attribute to all links that aren't important for your search engine rankings. For example, your privacy policy page or the web page with your terms and conditions probably needn't be listed in search engines.

    The fewer links you have on a page, the more important is the single link to the other pages on your site. If possible, remove unnecessary links from your web pages.

  6. Use your robots.txt file or the robots meta tag to exclude duplicate or irrelevant pages from indexing. This is very similar to tip 5. If search engines don't have to parse your unimportant pages they can take a close look at the pages for which you want to be ranked.

  7. Check your website for 404 not found errors and redirect these old links to the most appropriate pages. You might want to use the link checker that you can access in the new IBP 10 beta.

link powerBy optimizing the structure of how your web pages pass their link power, you can influence how search engines treat the content of your website.

Once you have optimized the link structure of your website, you should try to get more links from other websites.

It's hard to beat a website with a great internal and external link structure.

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February 2008 search engine articles