The context of internal links

Internal linking should be one of the key focus points in your SEO strategy. It’s my favorite aspect of SEO because it’s so very actionable. The Yoast SEO Premium plugin helps you set up a great internal linking structure very easily. So let me explain the importance of a great internal linking structure. Learn how to get your site indexed by Google AND get a good ranking.

Context is the SEO word of 2018

A lot of information about how Google works comes from patents. Whenever Google comes up with new technology, the next step is often to claim a patent. Studying these patents gives us lots of information about what Google is up to. These days, what keeps coming up is context. Bill Slawski, an SEO veteran, calls context the search term of the year.

In my opinion, Bill is right. Context is what helps Google make sense of the world around us. For instance, Google does not rank a text on the term ‘ballet shoes’ just because you use the word ‘ballet shoes’ in every other sentence. Google is getting better and better at figuring out what a text is about and how to fit it in the grand scheme of things. Google can read texts, so understanding of the context, synonyms, related words and concepts becomes critical. My post about related entities contains some more thoughts on this matter.

The context of internal links is important

The context in which we embed internal links is also becoming increasingly important. Google can determine whether or not links are useful to a reader, on the base of the text in which we’ve embedded these links. Relevant links are helpful for the user. Links that make sense will help with rankings of a post. If a post has lots of good contextual links from other pages, it will have a higher chance of ranking. So the context of a link, for example, the sentence in which we use a link is crucial for Google to establish whether or not a particular page should rank well in the search results pages. Text links within blog posts are, therefore, more valuable than random links in a footer.

Internal linking matters in two ways

Internal linking is imperative for SEO because of two reasons. For one, it is essential to get your site indexed. As Google crawls links, you’ll need links to every post and page on your site to make sure that Google comes around often enough to get your site saved in the index. Two, and more importantly, you need internal links to get your site ranked well. And that’s where the context of the internal links comes in. Links embedded in a meaningful context will help rank your site more than links in the footer of a text.

Internal links are a necessity to get your site indexed. The context of internal links is essential to get your site ranked — and how it gets ranked.

Yoast SEO helps with internal linking

Linking related content can seem daunting, especially if you’ve written a lot of articles. The internal linking tool of Yoast SEO Premium will help you set up an excellent, coherent and contextual internal linking structure. Our internal linking tool analyzes your texts and uses word analysis to determine which blog posts and articles are on similar topics. We show these suggestions to you in the sidebar, making it very easy to add related text links to these articles in your blog post. We have a couple of posts on why you should use it and how to use the internal linking tool.

Get started right away!

Improving your internal linking structure isn’t that hard. You can start enhancing your site today! Yoast SEO Premium will analyze all of your blog posts and makes suggestions for internal links to add to your posts. So, stop making excuses and get to it!

Read more: Site structure: the ultimate guide »

Coming up next!

14 Responses to The context of internal links

  1. Lucia
    Lucia  • 6 years ago

    My question is shall we stick to interlink same niche/theme landing page with each other or we can interlink different theme landing page of the same site?

  2. Ashraf El Attal
    Ashraf El Attal  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for useful information shared by you. Hope this will help me to rank my site better in Google SERP.

  3. Tom Buckland
    Tom Buckland  • 6 years ago

    This article is a good read. It is true that when we do internal linking, it boosts optimization of our pages. And it is very easy to do once an individual learned how to do it.

  4. aptron delhi
    aptron delhi  • 6 years ago

    Great post with extreme helpful information. Thank you for sharing. I will test this .

  5. Hi Tehran Hostel
    Hi Tehran Hostel  • 6 years ago

    Very well written, That’s what i was talking about. When a user sees an informative link that truly matches the context of the content, they are more likely to click on that link. So putting links in footer and sidebar is wrong and have no value.

  6. Kristin Gunn
    Kristin Gunn  • 6 years ago

    Can you do the internal links in a list like “other helpful links” or is it better to incorporate in the body.

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 6 years ago

      Hi Kristin! If you incorporate it in the body, it gives the reader a bit more context so they know if the link is relevant enough for them to click on. So it’s better to incorporate your links in the texts. But you can always add any other interesting articles in a list if you’d like.

  7. rose
    rose  • 6 years ago

    Hi, How much anchor text can be used for each keyword in an internal link?

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 6 years ago

      Hi Rose! I wouldn’t say that there is a set maximum number of words for anchor texts. I would, however, advise to keep it as concise as possible! That allows the reader to easily see what the link is about. Good luck with internal linking!

  8. torrents
    torrents  • 6 years ago

    This article is so good and full of detailed information. Thanks for sharing. I wanna know more bout SEO.

  9. editor22
    editor22  • 6 years ago

    I like the internal linking tool and the content boxes and images that the tool generates a lot; it looks great on desktop. But I design mobile-first and on mobile and tablet, the internal linking boxes are not responsive, are cut off, won’t resize and look terrible. Any solutions in sight?

  10. Kenny
    Kenny  • 6 years ago

    wow, this post is quite revealing and interesting.
    Seo is an ever changing subject and Internal linking of content is an integral part of the whole that can’t be overlooked.
    Lately, I have battled with internal linking issues on and I am so grateful to have read your post today! Now, I have a clearer understanding of what I should or not do.

    Thanks alot for this great piece!

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 6 years ago

      Great to hear Kenny, good luck with your internal linking! :)

  11. Adam Bermingham
    Adam Bermingham  • 6 years ago

    Great post. Thanks.

    Do you think that this applies only to anchor text? or does it apply to the sentence or even the whole paragraph? In the same way that image embed links are valued.