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Why and how to use Yoast SEO’s text link counter‎

In Yoast SEO you’ll find a text link counter, counting the number of internal text links in and to your post. It sounds really simple, but it’s extremely useful and actionable. These counters can be a huge help in improving the structure of your site. Here, I’ll explain why and how to use our new text link counter.

What does the text link counter do?

The text link counter counts the internal text links in your posts. It consists of two counters: The first counter counts the number of links in your post and the second counter counts the number of links to your post.

Why should I use Yoast’s text link counter?

The structure of a site is a crucial aspect of SEO. After all, Google follows links. The result of Google following links is that the internal linking structure of your site determines how Google crawls your site. Posts and pages that are linked to more often, are crawled more frequently than post and pages with few (internal) links. Same goes for visitors: pages and posts that have many links referring to them, get more visitors. If you forget to link to a specific blog post, nobody (Google included) will find it.

A well-crafted internal linking structure is therefore crucial for SEO. That’s why you’ll find some nice features in Yoast SEO Premium that’ll help you to keep your site’s structure up to scratch: the internal linking functionality and the cornerstone content checks.

The text link counter, available for everyone in the free version of Yoast SEO, is another great feature that’ll help you to improve your site’s structure.

Where do I find the text link counter?

You can find the Yoast SEO text link counter in your post overview. In this overview, you’ll see two additional columns. The first column shows the first counter – internal links in your post – and the second one shows the second counter – internal links to your post:

yoast seo 5.0 text link counter

Look a bit closer:

text links counter

This functionality is very actionable. If you want to improve your site structure and your SEO, the text link counter will help you do that.

What can I do with it?

Find and resolve: ‘Orphaned articles’

Some articles don’t get any links from other posts; we often refer to them as ‘orphaned articles.’ These pages are hard to find, both by Google as well as the user. With the help of our text link counter, these articles are easy to detect. Just click on the “orphaned articles” link on top of your post overview.

You’ll see the articles that get no links at all from other posts. Go through the list: Is it a page you don’t find useful anymore? Just delete and redirect it to another relevant page. If you do think it’s still a valid page on your site, figure out which other posts could link to it.

Our internal linking tool (only for Yoast SEO premium) could help you to figure out which posts are linking candidates. Go to those similar post and insert links from these posts to your ‘orphaned’ post. That strategy could very well result in a small boost in your rankings.

The next step is to go through those posts or pages with few links. If you want to check which articles don’t receive many links, you can sort the articles by the number of links in the second link counter column. Start checking the posts with the least links and decide what to do with each post, following the same method as above.

Improve site structure by adding links

The other counter – the first column – counts the number of text links to other posts and pages on your website. You’ll want your post to link to other posts and pages with similar content, as it helps your readers to figure out other posts to read. If you link to similar content, the time people spend on your website will go up.

To find blog posts with few links to other posts, order the posts by the number of links. The posts with the fewest links will appear on top of your list. Adding links is incredibly easy with our internal linking tool. In our internal linking tool, we’ll suggest which post to link to based on similar content. You can add the suggestions, and you’re ready to go to the next blog post with few links.

Improve those cornerstone articles

An excellent way to use the text link counter is to use it for the cornerstone content articles. These are your most important articles. You’ll need to have your other posts linking to these particular relevant posts.

To check whether you’re linking sufficiently to these cornerstones, you should select your cornerstone articles in your post overview. You can indicate which posts are your cornerstones in the Yoast SEO meta box (just beneath the snippet preview). If one of your cornerstones has few links, you’ll have work to do! Our internal linking tool will help you to figure out which articles to start linking to.

Use Yoast’s text link counter!

The text link counter is a beneficial tool to improve your site’s structure actively. It’ll show you which posts need linking. If you combine this text link counter with our internal linking tool and the cornerstone content check, you’ll be able to bring your site’s structure to the next level. That will instantly increase the time people spend on your page and eventually will result in higher rankings in Google.

Read more: Site structure: the ultimate guide »

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30 Responses to Why and how to use Yoast SEO’s text link counter‎

  1. Ron
    Ron  • 3 years ago

    How do you install or turn the link counter on? This article does not explain that. I have Premium, and went through the Dashboard and looked in posts, but I do not see anything that allows me to enable this feature.
    Can someone direct me?


    • Paul
      Paul  • 3 years ago

      From your Dashboard – General
      Text link counter

      it will count all your internal links

  2. Paul
    Paul  • 3 years ago

    Looks interesting. But what if you have a WP blog integrated into your website. I mean, when the blog is only a part of the total project. I noted it calculates blog links only, but if you link another page of the website, I think for Googlebot it’s an internal link too.


  3. ChrisK
    ChrisK  • 3 years ago

    Is it only for posts and not for pages?
    I see the counters displayed in the Posts list but not in the Pages list.

    • ChrisK
      ChrisK  • 3 years ago

      Replying to myself. I found what it was.
      I use the Admin columns Pro plugin.
      I needed to add the two (In and Out number of link) columns in the definition of the Admin Column Pro view used to display the Pages list.
      In Admin Column Pro, the other Yoast columns/fields are located under the “Yoast” section in the list of the fields you can select to add to the Pages view, and captioned like “SEO Score”, “Readability score” etc.”. The 2 new columns/fields are listed under the “Default” section and are captioned differently: “#link in post” and “# internal links to”.
      Maybe would it be better to have them displaying all together under the “Yoast” section?
      I found the “#link in post” and “# internal links to” columns in the Pages view very interesting. I can already see some correlations between pages ranking better than other and the number of “# internal links to”, significantly higher for these pages.

  4. Corrado
    Corrado  • 3 years ago

    Please take out the function from the list view or at least give possibility to deactivate.

  5. Andreas
    Andreas  • 3 years ago

    Try to use the Text Link Counter option now for days but either the counter does not start (“Text 0 of xxx processed) or its stuck at one text forever.
    How long does it generally take to run the counter?

  6. Mock
    Mock  • 3 years ago

    The new update interferes with Admin Columns Pro. I get a huge MYSQL Error on my product page in the backend. Looking the tables up in phpmyadmin it shows that they are not there or at least I don’t see them. When adding them (like you suppose) phpmyadmin says they are already there. I have no clue how to solve this problem.

  7. muhammet
    muhammet  • 3 years ago

    How to cancel Yoast SEO Text Link Counter

  8. Cathy
    Cathy  • 3 years ago

    I’m wondering whether some people would thing that text links are distracting for the viewer- that it makes the viewer lose focus? This is a question we get sometimes, from clients.
    The answer is… text links are a positive bonus. Remember- the viewer has the choice whether to click on those links or not. If they click out from your page, and that original page was a good one- they’ll be back!
    This is a great tool. It makes life much easier.

  9. kevin brunt
    kevin brunt  • 3 years ago

    Great article..I think i have been doing something similar to my website, both this article have giving me clear view about text link counter…thanks

  10. Camilo
    Camilo  • 3 years ago

    I recently update my plugin. However, i do not use anchor text links in my posts. I use a plugin called: Content Views, which allows me to create links to other blogs while using an image.
    I manage a service company website, Air Conditioning. In my blog posts, when i am talking about, ex: why air ducts are leaking money. Instead of linking text, i will generate a short code, using the Content Views plugin, from my “Why air ducts are leaking money” blog, and paste that link to a new blog. Now the new blog links to the air duct blog. However, your update is not counting this as a link to display under your new link count. Here is an example of a blog post without anchor text links, but it does have 3 links to 3 blogs.

    • Marieke
      Marieke  • 3 years ago

      Hi Camilo, Yoast SEO just counts the links in the text, as they are most valuable for SEO – and we do have some practical implementation reasons for that too :-). The links you create with Content Views are valuable for sure, but don’t forget to add text links too. They’re the best!

  11. Lb
    Lb  • 3 years ago

    Do we have the two counters when Yoast is in French ?

  12. chris
    chris  • 3 years ago

    Awesome function! But I only see one text link counter. The second one is now showing up in the backend. Any suggestions?

    • Ramon Bauza
      Ramon Bauza  • 3 years ago

      Hi Chris! If you only see one text link counter, please run the function “Count links in your texts” under SEO > Dashboard > General. More info in this KB article: I don’t see internal link counts

  13. Mitch Rezman
    Mitch Rezman  • 3 years ago

    I have 10 internal links in this post – (premium user) – the yoast count is zero – screen shot->

    Using html editor

    • Ramon Bauza
      Ramon Bauza  • 3 years ago

      Hi Mitch! The first time you’ll need to run the function “Count links in your texts” under SEO > Dashboard > General so that all your links are counted. More info here: I don’t see internal link counts

  14. John-Pierre Cornelissen
    John-Pierre Cornelissen  • 3 years ago

    It’s a great tool if it would work all the way. I installed it on all my sites and overall there are 3 problems. The biggest of all is that it doesn’t count links on websites created with page builders. I submitted a ticket with details here:

    • Joost de Valk
      Joost de Valk  • 3 years ago

      Hi John-Pierre,

      we always have issues with content that’s hidden in page builder blocks. It’s up to the different page builder plugins to integrate with us, some do, some don’t.

  15. Farcas Gelu Danut
    Farcas Gelu Danut  • 3 years ago

    Thanks for this post! I use in all my websites Yoast plugin, Genesis Framework child themes, ShortPixel (for images optimization), LiteSpeed Cache) and Accelerated mobile Pages and all my websites is very good!

  16. Basit Ansari
    Basit Ansari  • 3 years ago

    Amazing article, I request you please check my website and If you see any problem so please tell yor give me some suggestions.

  17. Michael Kohlfürst
    Michael Kohlfürst  • 3 years ago

    Please let people know that they have to force the Yoast Text Link Counter to count the Links by a click. It took me some time flicking through WordPress settings.

    • Joost de Valk
      Joost de Valk  • 3 years ago

      Hi Michael, we do let people know: there’s a notification that says that that pops up when you update the plugin. Did you not see that notification?

  18. David
    David  • 3 years ago

    Thanks for this wonderful feature!
    I’d have 2 questions though… I have a link to my homepage in my footer (theme feature). Consequently, every page of my site links to my homepage. But the counter says only 1 internal link points to my homepage. So I was wondering…
    1. Why doesn’t the Yoast counter take those links into account?
    2. Does Google take those link into account?
    Thank you for your answers and thanks again for the plugin!