Internal Linking & It’s Importance in SEO

internal linking important seo
Gary Illyes
Gary Illyes

Gary Illyes of Google offers advice on how to use Google's best practices to outrank your rivals. He'll give you pointers on SEO and all things Google Search Algorithm.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Internal Linking:

What is An Internal Link

internal linking for seo how it works

How Internal Linking Works

What Are Internal Links?

The key to designing an efficient site structure is internal linking.

They are directional links on your website that lead from one page to another.

Internal links also provide the advantages of passing link authority, assisting users in navigating between sites, and assisting search engines in comprehending the structure of your website (and the thematic relationship between pages).

Any link that takes users from one page of your website to another is referred to as an internal link. Links are used to navigate your website’s content by both visitors and search engines. Links help your users explore your website and discover the material they’re looking for. Links are another way that search engines navigate your website.

Why Are Internal Links Important for SEO?

Internal links are an important ranking factor since they can improve how Google recognizes and ranks your website. You can give Google a signal on which pages on your site are significant as well as what they are about by providing it with links to follow and informative anchor text. Google emphasize on internal link architecture that ensures that your visitors can navigate and enjoy your site and plays crucial role in Googlebot’s ability to find your site’s content

Add Internal Links to Old Pages

This is how it goes:

Find an old article from at least a year ago on your website to start.

Take a list of all the pages you’ve written since the old article was initially published.

Search the page for areas where you can add an internal link to a new page before you finish.

With just a few minutes of work, we have created a few useful internal links.

Internal Link Report

Using Google Search Console Link Report, you can view how your internal (Inbound) links are indexed

Internal Linking & Site Architecture

Sitemaps, breadcrumbs, URLs, and navigation all aid in search engines comprehending the structure of your website. Customers can find what they’re looking for quickly thanks to intuitive navigation features like a giant menu, filters, and faceted search.

Not only are internal links useful for SEO. Additionally, they assist users in learning more about the website’s content’s subject.

Hub Page | An Important Internal Linking Strategy

Hub Page Example Zapier Remote Work Page

Hub Page Example Zapier Remote Work Page

A hub page is a significant overview page that introduces a broad topic or category and links to subcategories and more focused topics.

Hub pages have a variety of uses.

  • They give a brief summary of the subject.
  • Respond to popular queries that users may have
  • Include links to key subtopics and top products.
  • Are often easier to use than standard category pages.
  • Help you establish your topic authority on a broader topic.

E-Commerce Hub Page

Since category pages frequently already have a tonne of natural link authority, they frequently make excellent hub pages. The secret is to provide more content to your category pages than just a list of posts or items or subcategories. Any relevant, significant pages that will benefit your visitors are always fantastic candidates for links.


Content Silos

Content Silos in SEO

Content Silos in SEO

Hub Pages are excellent at linking topics that are closely related, but the SEO advantages of a content hub can only be achieved when hub pages are combined with content silos.

A content silo is a search engine optimization (SEO) technique that involves organising the content of your website around keyword-based topics.

Basically, when you build a silo structure for your website, you are organising pertinent and related content into separate parts.

Hub pages can be compared to the centre of the universe, but content silos can be compared to rungs on a ladder where hierarchy is crucial.

Contextual Links

Pillar Page Topic Clustering

Pillar Page & Topic Clustering

Internal Linking for pillar-clusters.

A parent page (the pillar) that links to child pages is the pillar-cluster model (the cluster).

The subsequent links between these child sites form a cluster.

This architecture helps consumers find additional pertinent and helpful content by making your internal linking structure more transparent.

Internal links on your website should make it clear to users why the content is connected from the page they are now on and to which piece of information the link will take them.

Cross Linking

Wikipedia Page Example of Internal Linking Related Topics

Wikipedia Page Example of Internal Linking Related Topics

Link website content that are closely connected.

Silos can link across as well as up and down if they are closely related.

This strategy was one of the crucial measures that increased traffic.

Although different SEOs take different approaches to this, it’s typical to link closely linked sites together when they have a similar parent in a silo.

When the items/posts/categories are closely related to one another, this works well.

Note: Realised the differences between this and a silo architecture.

Link to destination landing pages with high authority | Passing Link Juice

After setting up hubs, silos, and cross-links, you should think about linking to your destination pages.


Any page on your website that is crucial for visitors to visit is referred to as a destination page. This might be:


Your homepage should advertise a sales or service page.


a silo structure deep page with a high conversion rate. Any semi-important page that isn’t properly connected generally



Any page with plenty of link equity, a good chance of ranking well, and a lot of traffic is considered a high authority page.

The goal is to move link power (and traffic) from your high authority pages to your vital destination pages that might be under-linked. These can be shortcut links or links that are not part of the navigation and allow you to quickly navigate from a page with high authority to a destination URL.

Cross Linking

Google Bot Internal Linking

Google Bot & Internal Linking

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Link key pages with high authority

Find the best performing pages using tools like SEM Rush or Ahrefs.

You must add numerous connections to this material if you want Google to understand that it is your most significant content.

There are many places from which you can link to your pillar page or cornerstone content.

Using Ahref to Find Best Performing Pages

Using Ahref to Find Best Performing Pages

Attributing Authority to Key Pages

Ahref Link Profile of Where Product Pages Has High Authoritaty Backlink

Ahref Link Profile of Where Product Pages Has High Authoritaty Backlink

There are cases where product pages gets much more authoritative backlinks compared to the category pages, and even outranking for the same keywords.

It would then be important to include internal linking in product pages to reference back to categories page.

Search For Internal Linking Opportunities

Screaming Frog Custom Search Anchor Text Internal Linking Opportunities

Screaming Frog Custom Search Anchor Text Internal Linking Opportunities

Screaming Frog use

A window called “Custom Search” can be found under Configuration > Custom > Search.

You can request that Screaming Frog highlight any pages that contain the phrase “gaming laptop” here.

Screaming Frog will examine each page’s source code. It will log the page under the Custom tab after it locates this precise word in the code.

This creates opportunities for internal linking not just from product listings but also from media, blogs, and product reference pages that can contain related keywords.


Next Move. 
You’ve found few results for “gaming laptops,” but be sure none of these pages are already connecting to the page you want. 
Make sure they are pertinent as well.


Export your URLs and eliminate any that are irrelevant or otherwise pointless.


Next, select “List Mode” under Mode List for your crawler. 
You can do this to upload list of URLs to check out.


Go back to Configuration Custom Search and remove your “gaming laptop” search word before beginning this crawl. 
This time, we want to search every page for button leading to the section for gaming laptops. 
Therefore, enter the relative URL, in this case /gaming-laptop.


Then, substitute “Does Not Contain” for “Contains.”
This command will now only expose pages that mention “gaming laptop” and don’t link to the Gaming Laptop category page after commencing the crawl. (Instead of using Screaming Frog, you could easily search the source code by hand with a short list.)

Link New Content to Old

Linking New Content to Old Helps Internal Linking

Linking New Content to Old Helps Internal Linking

Try to link to numerous of your older pieces of content if they are pertinent and useful whenever you post new content.

Your site benefits in a variety of ways when you link to older content from newer content as part of your architecture.

automatically strengthens and builds your content hubs.
creates topical connections between newly created pages and existing pages
boosts the authority and freshness of older pages.

Speed Up Indexation of New Content

Google Blog Features New Content

Google Blog Features New Content

You publish a new article or product, but nothing happens. No traffic, no ranks, and no visibility.

The fact that Google does not yet have any signals to evaluate your fresh content presents a hurdle.

Google simply lacks sufficient signals to evaluate it at this time, regardless of your efforts to ping Google, add it to your sitemap, or distribute it on social media.

One simple option is to simply place links to your fresh content more prominently, frequently near the top of your website’s homepage and other key pages.

Best SEO Practices | Internal Linking Audit

Link to Important Pages

Link to Important Pages

To discover fresh connection opportunities, a link audit should be carried out often.

Find an old article from at least a year ago on your website to start.

Take a list of all the pages you’ve written since the old article was initially published.

Search the page for areas where you can add an internal link to a new page before you finish.

Results: A few minutes of work yielded a few useful internal links.


How do you pick which pages to link to and from when adding links?

There are numerous approaches:

You can view the raw internal link counts for your top 1000 URLs in the Google Search Console Internal Links Report. (Pro Tip: For extra data and finer detail, create separate Search Console attributes at the directory level if your site has more than 1000 URLs.)

Reducing Link Bloat

Google Search Console Link Report

Google Search Console Link Report

The secret is to direct your authority (PageRank) to your most crucial pages while avoiding wasting it on less crucial pages.


When it comes to crawling those URLs, Google must prioritise, which may not always be what you want.


Controlling Google’s crawling and prioritisation is crucial since it tells the search engine how essential and relevant your URLs are.


For instance, if you link to everything in your header (posts, shipping information, about us, social networks, today’s weather, etc.), less authority will be available for your most crucial connections below.


It’s considerably more crucial to link to topically relevant pages that are immediately helpful to user needs rather than referring to every imaginable page on your website.
To reduce the number of inactive links, one strategy is to leverage analytics data or even heatmap tools like HotJar to determine where people are actually clicking.

Footer Links | Internal Linking Opportunities

Footer Links Are Often to Blame for Link Bloat

A document’s (webpage’s) PageRank score is determined by the number and calibre of links pointing at it.

Links in the footer may immediately lose value to search engines.

The first link to a URL on a page is frequently not found in the footer.

Low CTR is received by footer links.

Best Practice for Footer Links

Bad Good Example of Footer Links

Bad & Good Example of Footer Links

►Bad (Top): Footer links that are not useful to users, but only to Google Bots

►Good (Bottom): Well Structure & organized


Footer links are important as part of the user experience. Since it is at the bottom of the web page, it is the last ditch effort for a website to retain the user, and for a user to find the next actionable event, rather than to exit and bounce off the website.

Make sure:

►Make the links relevant and useful

Dynamic Footer for SEO


►Consider customized or dynamic footer, i.e. different sections of website with differing footer  – just before the footer you will find internal links to all related products such as queen size beds, king size beds, etc.


►Now when you click on any of the links, say King Size Beds ( you will see internal links to deeper beds pages such as beds by type, beds by colour, and beds by size.


►Similarly, when you navigate to any other section, say Sofas (, you will find a very different internal linking structure focused only for Sofas.

►Make your footers look good and function well for users

Keyword & Anchor Text Best Practice

Using Keyword Rich Anchor Text in Internal Linking

Using Keyword-Rich Anchor Text in Internal Linking

Anchor text makes it clear to users and Google that the page you’re linking to is on a particular subject.

There should be a variety of anchor texts used, not just one that is an exact match.

Using Follow Link As Internal Link

What is Follow No Follow Link

What is No Follow Link

Utilize Follow Links

Use regular do-follow links if you wish to distribute PageRank throughout your website using internal connections.
Furthermore, no-indexing internal links may actually make it harder for other pages to be indexed.

Home Page | The Most Authoritative Page to Internal Link

Strategically Use Links From Your Homepage

The most important page on your website is the home page.

Therefore, it’s crucial to strategically connect to pages that require some authority from your homepage.

Avoid Orphan Page

What are orphan pages in SEO?

Orphan pages are those on your website that have no links pointing to them from any other pages or parts of your site.

This means that without knowing the direct URL, a person cannot view the page.

Additionally, search engine crawlers cannot follow these pages from another page, therefore search engines seldom index them.

Avoid Doorway Pages

Doorway Page Misled Users to Page With Intent Poor Content

Doorway Page Misled Users to Page With Intent-Poor Content

A landing page improves the user experience by making it simpler for clients to find the goods or services they need.

What are doorway pages

A doorway page makes consumers search for the material they were promised, which has a negative impact on the user experience.

Why are doorway pages bad for SEO?


Instead of genuinely providing a purpose on the website, certain pages are only made to direct visitors to the site’s actionable sections.

Despite having very particular content, pages that have been designed to rank for general phrases

Pages that use material from other parts of the site in duplication just to increase search traffic

Pages that have been designed solely for search engines and are not integrated into the rest of the site

Pages that have been established to provide value and answer user queries rather than attracting traffic for affiliates – Island pages

Internal Linking Discrepencies | Mobile VS Web

Mobile VS Web

Mobile VS Web

Internal linking components present in desktop versions may be challenging to incorporate in mobile versions due to the significantly reduced visual real estate available.

According to Google, it’s acceptable to have a different internal link structure for your website’s desktop and mobile editions.

Nevertheless, it is advised to keep both versions as identical as possible.

First Link Priority | Anchor Text for Internal Linking

First Link Priority in Google

First Link Priority in Google

Priority for First Link

In order to determine what would topically represent the page, Google uses the anchor text of the first links it crawled on the domain.

Your navigation link anchor text is crucial because of this.
Your navigation not only generates a LOT of links, but it may also take precedence over other anchor text on your page.


Which link’s anchor text on the page should be used first? 
Due to the lack of recent data and study on the first link priority rule, this is an intriguing and somewhat contentious subject. 
So, in our opinion, webmasters ought to follow the conventional wisdom.

Therefore, user is more likely to click the first link in the text when they visit page and see multiple links to the same URL. 
Google will undoubtedly follow suit as well. 
The top link receives the greatest attention and weight from the search engine.

As a result, Google will disregard the remaining links and use this anchor for ranking. By the way, the responses to this post clarified something crucial: we are not referring to how the link appears on the page, but rather to where it is located in the code.

The first link priority criterion can be disregarded if required, however it makes sense to add the link with the most significant anchor first in most circumstances. As a general rule, they include:

Hooks for promotion that contain a keyword phrase

commercial anchors

business anchors

Contextual, navigational, footer, and image links are the four categories of internal links you need to be aware of.

Any link that takes users from one page of your website to another is referred to as an internal link. Links are used to navigate your website’s content by both visitors and search engines. Links help your users explore your website and discover the material they’re looking for. Links are another way that search engines navigate your website.

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