Internal Links as a Ranking Factor
Internal links as a ranking factor are commonly discussed in a way that seems more like a never-ending game of telephone than the actual source, search engines.
Internal link myths have been passed down through the ranks of SEO practitioners for centuries. As a result, it can be challenging to distinguish between facts and myths.
Because there are still a lot of internal links questions to be answered, here are all the facts to get you started.
Is the number of internal links a ranking factor?
In their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide, Google affirms that internal links are a ranking factor. In addition, internal links are also a ranking component, according to Google’s “How Search Engines Work.” This is also why the “Top linked pages” data in the Google Search Console exists.
Is it true that having internal links from high-traffic pages helps your website rank higher?
Since Bill Slawski published his research of Google’s Reasonable Surfer patent, there has been debate in the SEO industry over whether pages with or without traffic impact internal link ranking signals.
A link’s position on a page is discussed in the patent. Essentially, it’s about providing greater weight to links that it thinks people would click, such as links positioned in higher-up locations on the page.
Matt Cutts confirmed this at PubCon in 2010. The patent makes no mention of traffic.
Is internal link anchor text a ranking factor?
If the internal link anchor text is a ranking element, the SEO Starter Guide has clarified the situation. In a Google Webmaster Hangout in 2019, Mueller expanded on how internal links help your results.
Long anchor text in internal links, on the other hand, is purely speculation at this time. Unfortunately, search engines have not validated this myth.
In your site architecture, are internal links used as a ranking signal?
Internal links have both beneficial and harmful consequences:
- With their internal link structure, NinjaOutreach raised their site traffic by 50% in three months.
- Because of its poor internal linking, the Daily Mail was unable to outrank its competitors.
The patent on Ranking documents based on user behavior or feature data from Google delves deeper into site architecture.
What happens if you have broken internal links?
Internal links that are broken make it difficult for search engines to index your pages and users to traverse your website. As a result, broken links indicate a low-quality site and may impact your rankings.
Is it possible to have too many internal links?
Matt Cutts indicated in 2009 that there was a restriction of 100 internal links per page.
The assumption that the links will distribute your PageRank made sense because Google did not download more than 100k of a single page (this is no longer the case).
Matt Cutts reversed this comment in 2013, suggesting that “a fair amount” should be used instead. As a result, the rule of 100 internal links is no longer applicable.