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.
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.
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.
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:
'newWindow')">Bus Stop Chairs</a>
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:
So how do you go about creating a pure search engine friendly link? It's simple enough by creating a link using pure HTML.
...product.html">Comfortable Massage Chair</a>
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.
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