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5 Steps To a Smart Internal Site Structure

Internal linkingWebsite architecture or website inner structure or whatever you prefer to call it is very important both in terms of usability and SEO. There are plenty of theories on it and they can take the whole separate blog to cover. I compiled 5 quick steps which will take you no more than 20 minutes to follow.

1/ A page should not link to itself.
Example: a post title linking to itself on the post page. This link is unnecessary both for users and search engine crawlers.
Tip for bloggers: delete <a href=”<?php the_permalink() ?> in your post.php file.

2/ Avoid several links to one and the same page [from one place].
Example: with blogs we usually see 3 links to a post page:
1. Title:
2. “Read more” link:
3. “Comments” link:

They are good for navigation enabling users to go to the post part they prefer. But for search crawlers these links might be distracting, so it is a wise idea to nofollow them.

3/ Mind your internal link anchor text.
Example: when linking to your older post, don’t use this post– or here-type anchor text. Interlink using your keywords or the post theme.

4/ Use only one type of your blog archives.
Example: with WordPress we have 3 types of archive: by date, by category and by author. I personally prefer the second one. It is useful from users’ perspective as it enables to quickly sort the posts by the topic they are most interested in. It is also good for SEO as it contains your keywords.

5/ Take care that each of your pages has internal outlinks.
Example: people tend to forget to link to other website pages from Contact Us page. And if a crawler gets there, it has nowhere to go then. You can call it an internal dangling link (It is also wise to optimize your 404 page this way). Your visitors also need some alternative beside clicking X.

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  1. 8 Responses to “5 Steps To a Smart Internal Site Structure”

  2. Personally, I think your tips have nothing to do with usability. They might be good to improve your page in terms of search engine optimisation, but since they worsen usabiltiy (2/) it’s not wise to follow them.
    The issues based on search engine algorithms are problems for them and should not have to be considered by website owners.

    After all, Google doesn’t own the world.

    By ray on Dec 14, 2007

  3. Thank you for the comment, Ray. One question: how does point 2 “worsen” usability?

    By Ann Smarty on Dec 14, 2007

  4. For me, #3 is a big issue.

    I sometimes spend a few minutes puzzling over the wording of a link, ensuring the anchor text is all link luv’d up, but still in context.

    I royally despise the “here” / “this post” thing.

    To link is to like is to luv’…

    By Wayne Smallman on Dec 14, 2007

  5. very interesting.
    i’m adding in RSS Reader

    By music on Jan 7, 2008

  6. Ray are you saying that “Skip to main content” or “Skip Navigation” have nothing to do with usability?

    By John S. Britsios (aka Webnauts) on Feb 23, 2009

  7. Just enjoying watching the banter and taking notes/learning by closing my pie hole, opening my eyes.

    By Andrew Mooers on Mar 31, 2009

  8. Nicely written, so have you any other information on that, if yes, then please send it to me, I am hungry to read your next post.

    By Driving Schools in Milton Keynes on Oct 1, 2009

  9. Bullet #5, you should link “people tend to forget to link to other website pages” to the “Linking makes the web go ’round” page ;=).

    Good article. I plan to go modify my few blogs I have in the morning. Thanks for the info Ann.

    Web Your Name®

    By Web Your Name® on May 26, 2010

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