Building a website gives you a lot of options when it comes to how to set up your internal linking structure. Different areas of your site or web pages may require different linking strategies, but regardless on what kind of internal linking strategy you implement, you want to make sure that it helps you achieve your search engine optimization goals.

I'm going to break internal linking into three categories: The search friendly, search un-friendly and search meh-friendly link.

Search Unfriendly Links

Any link that search engines can't follow is going to be a problem. Not for your visitors, but for your on-site optimization efforts. Putting aside deliberate strategies where you don't want the search engines to follow specific links, many times these kinds of links are put in place out of ignorance. The webmaster in question simply didn't know or doesn't understand the effect that such links will have on the performance of the site as a whole. The link was probably created because they thought that was the best way to serve the visitor, unaware that entire portions of the website are block from being indexed by the search engines.

link-unfriendly.jpg

<href="javascript:plnav('H09264','pl','image')">
Franklin Rocker</a>

In the example above when you mouse over one of the product links, down in the bottom right corner of the browser you see the JavaScript. This link is unreadable by the search engines. Anytime you use this kind of JavaScript link you are essentially hiding the destination pages from the search engines. Unless, of course, that you have an alternate path to that destination that is search engine friendly.

But without that alternate path, implemented with search engine friendly links, entire sections of your site may be unavailable to searchers scanning through search results. When products are your lifeblood, this kind of linking strategy can cause thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of loss.

Search Meh-Friendly Links

If you're not familiar with your urban vernacular, Meh is a term used to mean "indifference". Search meh-friendly links are those that the search engines can follow but only if they are smart enough or care enough to do so. Here's an example:

link-mehfriendly.jpg

<a href="JavaScript:window.open
('http://www.smartfuniture.com/product/5670/',
'newWindow')">Bus Stop Chairs</a>

In this case the actual link starts with a JavaScript, much like the unfriendly link noted above. The difference between the two is that within this JavaScript there is an actual URL that the search engines can read. I'm pretty sure that Google and the other majors have figured this out, but this is another case where you are relying on the search engines to think a bit more than perhaps you want them to. They could get it right, but then again, maybe they won't.

Other examples of meh-friendly links would be links built into flash files. Again, engines have gotten to the point there they can "read" flash, but it's another area that, personally, I'm not confident they will do so effectively. Bloated links would also count as meh-friendly, as in links with far too many parameters where the search engines might hit it and just move on.

An example of a bloated link might look like this:

<a href="http://www.site.com/webapp/wcs/stores/
servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&
catalogId=10053&productId=100522320&N=526378+
90401">Product</a>

Search Friendly Links

So how do you go about creating a pure search engine friendly link? It's simple enough by creating a link using pure HTML.

link-friendly.jpg

<a href="http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden
...product.html">Comfortable Massage Chair</a>

You can see how the link above displays in the bottom browser corner. This is because the link uses proper HTML. While it lacks any fancy stuff that you can do with JavaScripts or flash, etc. This is the simplest way to create a link and ensure that it is going to be search engine friendly. Good search friendly links ensure that that engines can follow and spider the pages being linked to, putting more pages into the search engine indexes which, in turn, provides more opportunities for your site to appear in related search results.


June 10, 2008





Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.





Comments(1)

Related searches are important in link building.Thanks for backing up this advice.

Comments closed after 30 days to combat spam.


Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > Search Friendly, Unfriendly and Meh-Friendly Links