August 23, 2022
Updated: December 6, 2022
With the right internal linking strategies, you can get as much as five times more traffic per page. In this webinar, SEO consultant Cyrus Shepard delves into insights like this one from his case study on 23 million internal links and discusses effective strategies and best practices so you can improve crawlability and increase traffic to your pages.
Table of contents
Internal links: What and why
Creating a robust network of internal links can take time and discipline. To help you decide whether it’s a worthwhile tactic (and it almost always is), you must first understand what internal links are, how they’re different from external links, and why they’re important for both SEO and user experience.
What are internal links?
An internal link is a link from a page on your site to another page on your site. Shepard mentioned three elements of an internal link:
01. Href element, which identifies the link for browsers.
02. URL, which tells the browser where you’re linking to.
03. Anchor text, or the clickable part of the link.
Internal links are different from external links in that they point to another page on the same domain (as where external links point to a different domain). While this may be obvious to some, this distinction is important when discussing links for SEO.
Images can also be used to add links (internal or external). While images don’t provide you with the opportunity to add anchor text, the alt text (which is first and foremost used for accessibility reasons), can be used to describe the image so that search engines can get an idea of what the image depicts.
Why are internal links so important?
Links are an official Google ranking factor and one of the most important parts of the search engine’s algorithm (or any search engine’s algorithm, for that matter).
As a ranking factor, internal links can influence rankings in Google search results. However, remember that there are potentially hundreds of ranking factors, and a fixation on any single factor is unlikely to significantly improve your rankings.
Internal links also pass PageRank throughout your site. In a nutshell, Google uses PageRank to understand the importance of a page by measuring the number of links (external and internal) pointing to it. When Page A has a link to Page B, some of Page A’s importance gets transferred to Page B.
In addition, the anchor text applied to a link gives users an idea of where the link will take them and signals relevance for search engines.
Another important benefit is that internal links can help Google (and other search engines) crawl your website. If you create links to your important pages, Google can use that link to discover the page, which can help get it into search results more quickly. Internal links also signal to Google which pages on your site are the most important.
Beyond the search-related benefits, internal links also give visitors a path to follow to browse more of your content, products, etc. This helps keep visitors on your site, giving you more opportunities to familiarize them with your brand or market.
Prioritize diverse anchor text over internal link quantity
Implementing an internal link is easy compared to earning backlinks from external sites. Even so, there are considerations to keep in mind, including anchor text and frequency.
More internal links don’t necessarily mean more clicks from search
“As you added internal links to a page . . . . traffic tended to rise, but only up until a certain point,” Shepard said, referring to the results of a study conducted by his company Zyppy. “After about 40 or 45 internal links to those pages, traffic actually started to decline after that.”
“Then we looked at the anchor text,” he said. Zyppy’s study found that as the anchor text variety increased, the traffic also increased. “This seemed to be the driving factor with traffic,” he said.
"And if there’s one key I want you to walk away with from this webinar, it’s that we should be increasing not necessarily the number of internal links, but increasing our anchor text variations." —Cyrus Shepard
Based on this observed correlation, site owners and SEOs should prioritize anchor text variations instead of simply ensuring that the links are on the page.
Why aren’t more internal links always better?
“We found when you have anything more than 40-50 internal links, those tended to be sitewide navigation links,” Shepard explained.
“Because it’s in your navigation, everybody can see it. But, how many anchor text variations do you have? Well, you have one, because every page has the same link [and anchor text].” —Cyrus Shepard
For larger, established sites, this may be less of an issue because they may have a robust external backlink profile for search engines to factor in.
Small- to medium-sized businesses that haven’t established authority in their niches “tended to do better if they didn't link their important pages in their navigation and linked throughout the text [instead],” Shepard said.
“My best advice is do what's best for the user and use navigation links for navigation when you want people to find your page. But, don't do it for SEO reasons because the data isn't so clear that those navigation links are going to help your SEO—but, if they help the user, go ahead,” he clarified.
5 tactical tips to improve your internal linking
In addition to the guidance above, Cyrus also shared the following tactics to help you get more value from the internal links you’re adding anyway.
01. Audit your anchor text
Use a variety of anchor text for your internal links, as pages with more variations tend to rank better and drive more traffic, according to Shepard’s findings.
Look for a tool that allows you to export your anchor text (such as Screaming Frog) for easier analysis and organization. “Make sure you know, for every page of your site that’s important, your internal anchor text variations going to that page,” Shepard recommended.
02. Remember your alt text
“People forget to fill in their alt text on the image link, but you have to because that counts as the anchor text when you use that image to link,” Shepard said.
Alt text also serves as crucial information for screen readers, enabling you to optimize for both search and visually impaired audiences.
03. Use Internal links to help both pages rank better
Internal links can help increase traffic for both the page being linked to and the one being linked from, according to a study by SearchPilot.
Related content sections offer one way to easily add internal links, Shepard highlighted. Since this does not affect the main content of the page, this tactic may be particularly useful if you’re just looking to add links (and not update the entire page while you’re at it).
04. Link high and tight
“If you’re giving people something to click on and you’re telling them something important, put it front and center so that they know where to click,” Shepard said.
To that end, add your most important links higher up on the page and avoid burying them in your footer. After all, there’s no guarantee that a user will make it to the bottom of the page before they leave your site.
05. Leverage automation
Automation (Shepard recommends tools like inLinks, Twylu, or SiteSeer) can help you find relevant pages to link from at scale, which may be tough to do using manual methods.
Automation can be a real timesaver in this regard because it can help you identify internal linking opportunities on older content, which (if not updated) won’t have links to anything that was published after it.
Transcript: Internal linking strategies for SEO success
Speakers: Cyrus Shepard, Co-Founder, Zyppy Mordy Oberstein, Head of SEO Branding, Wix George Nguyen, Director of SEO Editorial, Wix 00:00 Mordy: Okay, hello everybody! Welcome. My name is Mordy Oberstein, I'm Head of SEO Branding here at Wix and we have an amazing guest for you today, an amazing webinar about internal linking and the success around internal linking for your SEO success and your strategy. Before we get started, let me just say we are recording the session, so please, if you missed something or if you feel you want to go back and listen to something again–you will get a recording via email in the coming days after the webinar, it is being recorded.
With that we have an absolute legend with us today, he's an OG from the SEO community. I'm a little disappointed he's not wearing a fedora hat today, but that's okay... he's Cyrus Shepard! Hey, Cyrus! How are you? 0:42 Cyrus: Good morning or good afternoon, wherever you are in the world! Happy to be here. 0:49 Mordy: And joining us, with Cyrus, is our own Head of SEO Editorial, George Nguyen. Hey George, thanks for joining us. 0:55 George: Hey everyone! This is my webinar debut, right? 1:00 Mordy: It is your Wix webinar debut, but it's certainly not your webinar [debut] 1:02 George: Oh, that's true, that's true. It's just an honor to be here with, uh, hundreds of attendees, first and foremost. And of course with Cyrus, I'm really looking forward to learning all I can about internal linking, especially because we have our own publication all about SEO. I want to take all your wisdom and apply it as soon as possible. 1:13 Mordy: George, we're going to quiz you afterwards to make sure that all the practices that Cyrus laid out in the webinar that we're following on the hub 1:19 George: Make it public! Let's make this humiliation, you know, so there's no screenshots, let's just get it out of the way now. 1:25 Mordy: Sounds great, okay, so before we jump into all the internal linking goodness and data and strategy that Cyrus is going to share, let me just quickly explain the format. So as mentioned, Cyrus Shepard the founder of Zippy SEO and absolute SEO legend is going to share some insights, some data, some strategy around internal linking. Which is really one of, I consider, the low-hanging fruits of SEO. It's really a very easy thing you can do in order to give Google some greater understanding about your web pages, about your website, and to boost your rankings. 2:00 Mordy: After Cyrus is done sharing his insights and his data, we'll have a little bit of a discussion between the panel, after which we will have a Q&A session so if you have questions about SEO and internal linking, please feel free to share it. Not in the chat feature but in the Q&A feature inside of the zoom platform. So again, please there will be a Q&A session after the presentation, after a short panel discussion, please feel free to share, we encourage you to share and ask questions. There also will be moderators who may be answering your questions along the way so that we can answer as many questions as possible. Cyrus with that, I'm ready if you're ready. I'm definitely ready. I think we're all ready to learn more about internal linking. 2:42 Cyrus: Alright, thanks Mordy. While I figure out how to share my screen over here, let me just say I'm already a little intimidated. I do a lot of webinars and the Wix team, you and everybody else, has been one of the most professional organizations I've ever worked with–so this should hopefully be pretty good. 3:02 Cyrus: Alright, alright, did that work? Everybody see everything? 3:07 George: Oh, we look good. 3:09 Cyrus: Alright, alright. So today we are talking about internal linking superpowers and this isn't just any presentation on internal linking. This is the internal linking Top Gun Maverick special edition. Now, why did I include Tom Cruise and Top Gun Maverick? Am I just trying to take advantage of one of the top movies of the summer that was reasonably entertaining, but you know not very realistic and kind of cheesy? No, that's not why this is the Top Gun Maverick special edition–it's because of this guy, Joseph Kaczynski, the director, he's like six foot eight, he towers over Tom Cruise. Joseph is actually from my hometown, that is Marshalltown, Iowa. There's not a lot to do in Marshalltown, Iowa. There's a Maid-Rite, a pizza joint, I live on the west coast of the United States, Astoria, Oregon, uh, it's about 1800 miles from Astoria to Marshalltown. That's two hours if you fly an F-18 Tomcat like they did in the movie. So this really has nothing to do with internal links, but if i want to if I want you to walk away with a couple of things from today's presentation, it's that, uh, cool things from Marshalltown, you know eventually, uh, come out of, come out of, that city and also internal links are incredibly important to your internal linking strategy so with that awkward introduction, uh, let's dive in to internal links. Let's go get those internal links. So there are some things in this presentation that are slightly technical, uh, if you have a lot of experience with SEO you're going to be very comfortable, for those that don't do a lot of SEO or aren't very technical, some things may feel a little intimidating, but we're going to try to go slow and we're going to start try to start on the same page and hopefully, uh, you can ask some questions if you're confused afterwards but hopefully you'll come away with some insights. So you probably have heard of internal links, you've probably heard that they move the needle if you do a Google search of internal links SEO or case studies, you see, you see all these screenshots of people showing their SEO success. Charts that go up and to the right, uh, we hear this over and over and over again. We know, as we know, internal links work for helping you improve your traffic and we're going to dive into a little bit why. So what are we talking about, I want to make sure everybody's on the same page. What are we talking about when we talk about the internal link? Uh, an internal link is a link from your site to your site. It links your pages together as opposed to lurking to an external site, somebody else's site or an external site linking to you. There's three elements to an internal link, uh, and this gets this is a little bit technical but we have an a href element this this tells, uh, this tells browsers that this is a link, uh, it has a link to your website, not somebody else's website, and it has anchor text the third element. The anchor text, uh, is the clickable part of the link–the part of the link that you see that you click on, and this is very important for Google, for reasons that we'll get to in just a few moments. So we also have internal image links if you link an image to another page on your website that also counts as an internal link and here we have, you know, a couple of important distinctions. We have the source of the image but also the alt text. The alt text is, uh, put in for accessibility reasons. It describes the image, in case of the image link you don't have the text that you can click on, but the alt text counts, uh, for search engines in a way that again we'll talk about a little further on in the presentation. But just remember that the alt text is important for the internal image link. So why are internal links so important? Well first of all we know that links are an official Google ranking factor. It's rare that Google talks about what their ranking factors actually are. They like to hide them from us, so we have, so SEOs don't manipulate them, so they have some integrity. But links are included in the original Google PageRank patent. Google has been talking about them, uh, since you know, the early 2000s. Uh, it's one of the most important parts of Google's algorithm. So we know that the links are important from a Google point of view. Uh now, Google uses links in two different ways and this sort of, this sort of, gets into the weeds a little bit but there is popularity and relevance when Google sees a lot of links coming to your website or a particular page on your website that indicates a signal of popularity. Google says, "oh, there's a lot of links coming in. This must be a popular page. It's probably trusted. It's probably an authoritative source. We're going to rank that page." That's known as page rank. Uh, the other signal that Google looks at with internal links is relevance. And that's where the anchor text comes in. The clickable part of the link, Google will look at those words and see what the link is about and that's the hint as to what your page is about. So if you run a page about Goose from Top Gun and people are linking to you with the words "goose", that's the anchor text signal. And Google might say, "oh, this is relevant to this particular topic. So those are the two signals that we want to focus on; popularity, page rank, and relevance anchor text. So internal links aren't just about popularity and relevance. They also help Google crawl your website when you have a bunch of links on your homepage oftentimes the first links that Google are going to crawl are the pages that you link to from your site. So if you provide Google with pages throughout your website linking to other important pages on your site that help Google find, crawl, and discover your pages, it also tells Google what pages on your site are most important. So that's another important way that, that's why we want to pay attention to internal links for any other reason.It also improves engagement signals. Now, I can do an entire webinar on Google engagement signals. But consider this, consider this piece of text here, with no links on it, and your user finds this link. What are they going to do when they land on this page, they see this page. Well, they're not going to do anything they might read it, hopefully, they read it. But there's nothing to click on. There's nothing for the user to engage with on this page–to click on other pages of your website, consider another page. And these are, these are, from my own website where I have a bunch of links; internal links, external links. What's a user going to do when they land on this page? Well, hopefully, they'll read it again, but now we've given them an option to click on other pages, explore pages on our website, and engage further. What's this going to do, this is going to increase the amount of time that users spend on my site, it's going to increase the number of pages that they visit on my site, it's going to lower my bounce rate–not a Google ranking signal, but an important signal nonetheless. And the more users engage with my site, you'll, we'll see over time, and we've done studies on this, it's usually correlated with higher Google rankings and more traffic so even if it isn't, you're still giving your users more satisfaction because they're viewing more pages, they're reading your top content, and you're giving, you're giving them things to do and engage on. People love clicking on links but you have to give them to them in order to make that happen. First, here's my favorite thing about links. Now, I work in the SEO world and it's often our job to build links because it's an official Google ranking signal. But building links is one of the hardest jobs in SEO and I've sent out emails. I'm sure you've gotten emails, "hey you, want to look at my content"–it's a, it's a terrible, hard, agonizing approach to building links. Uh, and when you ask for links from another website you usually get a terrible response rate. "Will you link to me?" No, we've all had that experience. So why, why is nobody linking to my content? Now, internal links probably don't carry the same weight as external links but the cool thing is you get a hundred percent of the links that you ask for. Yes, when Tom Cruise asks Tom Cruise for a link he gets that link and so do you. You have the same internal link building powers as Tom Cruise because you get 100 percent of the links that you ask for. They're easy, they're sitting there, waiting in the basket just for you to pick up and grab and take and most, most webmasters aren't taking advantage of those internal links that they can give to themselves. So that's why internal links are important. So I know what you're saying, at this point you've done SEO, you're a marketer, you're saying, "Cyrus, my links are optimized. Whenever I write new content, I make sure to link from four or five pages on my site. Uh, we have a process for our writers to do this, I do it myself". I'm here to tell you no, your internal links are not optimized. I know because we've looked at the data and we have the receipts. So, here's a uh, here's a study done by in-links. It's a great uh, internal linking optimization tool that I've used in the past. They did their own study using their own methodology and what they did was they looked for uh, related pages on individual websites. Now if pages are related they should be linking to each other, uh, to help you know, those contextual, relevant signals that we're talking about with anchor text. And in their own methodology, they found that people were missing 82 percent of the important link opportunities. Now, that's a lot. That means four out of five links are internal links are being missed. Now you could argue with their methodology uh, and, and some is perfectly valid. So we ran our own study uh, at my company, Zippy, we looked at 1800 websites and 23 million internal links. Now a caveat, 23 million links sounds like a lot uh, but in the scope of the internet with billions and trillions of links, it's just a tiny bit. But this gave us some clues as to how people were actually internally linking and this, these, this was a cross section of sites across the globe. uh, we looked at everything, and we wanted to find out how often people were linking to their own content internally. And what we found was shocking, depressing, but not too surprising. Most pages had one internal link on the far, far left side of the column and this does not even include pages that were orphaned pages that had zero internal links. Uh, in fact 53 of all the pages we looked at only had three or fewer internal links. Uh, and that's not very many. Three or fewer, that might help your crawling but we're going to get into the number that you should have. In just a minute, uh, in fact only 24 had more than 10 internal links so this verifies that In-link study that we looked at that 82 percent of internal link opportunities were probably being missed even among people who think they're doing a good job of internal linking. So if you're smart, or maybe not so smart like me, you might be asking, "well, l how many internal links do I need, Cyrus? If three isn't enough, uh, what's a good number? Are you saying 10? Are you saying seven? How many internal links should I have?". There's no one definitive answer to that. But we do have some clues. So that study I just told you about was kind of neat because not only did we look at 1800 websites, 20 some odd million links, we were also able to look at the traffic for each of those pages. and to my knowledge this was the first study of its kind where we could actually correlate actual Google traffic to internal link signals. Uh, most studies, you know, use third party data whatever–we actually had first party Google search console data so we could look at the actual traffic and try to dissect some signals, and this is what we found. We pulled everything together uh, now the bottom, the bottom number is the number of internal links to the url, uh, we went up to 100 for this chart, and the left is Google search clicks, uh, 0 to 10. Those don't sound like very high numbers but just keep in mind that most pages on the internet get very little traffic so these are averages. Uh, some pages get hundreds of thousands of clicks so what we found was this interesting trend that actually the more clicks, the more links that you had, actually kind of trended down. But- but- the chart was kind of weird, uh, as you added internal links to a page, you know, "click here, click here, click here", and you're adding links–traffic tended to rise, but only up into a certain point after about 40 or 45 links. Internal links to those pages' traffic actually started to decline after that and that was kind of weird. Why did, why does traffic start to increase but then we see that, dramatically in fact, but then we see traffic start to decrease. So this was a mystery, this was a mystery to us. What- what's happening here? Why do, why does adding more internal links seem to work to a point, but then the effect kind of wears off after that? Then we looked at the anchor text because remember there are two signals with a link that are two big signals. There's popularity, the number of links, uh, you could think of it, but there's also relevance which is the anchor text. And so we looked at the number of different types of anchor text to each link because links can have different anchor text, you can link using different anchor text each time or you can use the same anchor text. So what we did, I'm getting in the weeds a little bit, but we looked at the number of different anchor texts going to URLs. Holy cow. And this is what we found as the anchor text variety increased, the traffic increased dramatically. And we ran this data three different times. We cleaned it, we threw out outliers, no matter what we did, there was a dramatic increase in traffic with anchor text variations–not just the number of links. But the number of different anchor texts, the number of different phrases, and the way you said things, this seemed to be the driving factor with traffic and, sorry, got ahead of myself there. As we get in, as we get increased, uh, the traffic kept going up is a little bit less reliable data. So this is what we want to focus on. And if there's one key I want you to walk away from in this webinar, it's that we should be increasing, not necessarily, the number of internal links, but increasing our anchor text variations. And we're going to go into a few techniques on how to do that. How do I increase my anchor text variety? We want to pass this test. So what are we talking about when we talk about anchor text variety? We're talking about all those different words that we can link to this page. So let's say this is our, this is our page, uh, on recipes–Pinch of Yum, pretty cool little recipe website and we want to link to our recipe page. Well, there are different ways that we could do that. We could, we could simply say, "recipes", every time we write a link to this page. Or we can mix it up a little bit on this page. We say recipes from, from another page, we link to it saying, "tasty dishes, top rated recipes, click here", not very helpful but certainly that's an option. We might use the URL, this is called a naked URL, "pinchofyum.com.recipes", where we don't actually use any words i.e. "our favorite is", etc...etc...etc. So what I'm suggesting is mixing it up like this is a much better tactic than simply linking to it the same way every single time. In fact, we've sort of always known this in SEO but our data shows that the effect is dramatic. That you really want to mix it up every time, and that the number of these variations is what you really want to be looking at instead of the raw number of links, which is the traditional SEO way to do it. So one way to think about this is think about your links in your navigation, uh, and how that impacts anchor text variety. So, traditionally you put, you have an important page–you put it in your navigation, but think about how that works when you put a link in your navigation. You have lots of links throughout your site. Every page on your site links to the same page. Because it's in your navigation, everybody can see it. But how many anchor text variations do you have? Then, well, you have one–because every page has the same link. In this example, it's "How it Works". Every page links to the "How it Works" page with one anchor text. So you have lots of links, lots of popularity, but not, not a lot of relevant signals, not a lot of variation. Now, let's contrast this with a link we put in the body, the body of the text in cold outreach strategy. This is in the blog post, this is a link that Amanda, our friend Amanda Sparturo put in cold outreach strategy. Fewer links you have to manually place them, put them in your blog, but you have an infinite anchor text variety because every page can link differently. You can increase your anchor text variation that way, but this is a complex strategy. Should you link in the navigation? Should you link in the body? What we found in the data, uh, going back to the study. Remember when the chart went down? Uh, with more internal links, we found when you have anything more than 40-50 internal links those tended to be site-wide navigation links. And they didn't perform as well as when the links were in the body. Getting lots of text navigation, uh, lots of anchor text variation so these, these URLs at the top of chart that we saw less traffic, these tended to be pages that were linked to in the top navigation. And there are certainly, there are certainly variations, uh, the data had spikes in it for popular sites and what we tend to see uh, was sites that had lots of authority like Home Depot, lots of popularity. They could get away with big navigation, uh, because lots of other sites are linking to them from all over the internet–for, and so it varies. So you're asking yourself, "should I put a link in the navigation or a link in my body?". If you're a big site like Home Depot, our data suggested–go ahead and put it in. Go ahead and put it in your navigation because it doesn't really matter because they have so much authority but smaller sites in our data so, uh, smaller businesses, mom and pops, medium-sized businesses that aren't Home Depot, they tended to do better if they didn't link their important pages in their navigation and linked throughout, throughout the text. Our friend Backlinko, popular SEO, Brian Dean, um, hugely successful site. This was his, this is his navigation, uh. There's just four links in the whole thing, uh, as a user I sometimes found it frustrating to navigate Backlinko's site because I could never find anything in the navigation. But as SEO was extremely well by limiting his navigation in the top. Uh, he was able to do infinite anchor text variations in the body adding those links himself and there may have been other reasons that he did this but this is something to consider when you're formulating your internal linking strategy. Navigation links or in body links? My best advice is do what's best for the user and use navigation links for navigation when you want people to find your page. But don't do it for SEO reasons because the data isn't so clear that those navigation links are going to help you SEO, but if they help the user go ahead. So here's a question for you, and this kind of gets into some SEO geekery. Excuse me, what happens when you link twice on the same page to, to one of your pages. For example you have a link in your navigation that goes somewhere but you also link to it down in your body. Here's an example, uh, from one of the posts I wrote for Moz back when I used to work for them. We have this popular page, Free SEO Tools. Well I wanted to write a post on Free SEO Tools so I linked to it in the body of the post. Here's a question that SEOs have been asking themselves for 20 years, "which link does Google use? Do they use both links equally? The link in the navigation and the link in the body?" Well traditionally, uh, early in the days of SEO we had this thing called first link priority–that means that Google is going to treat those links differently. The and, here's how, here's how first link priority works with Google. Google will count the first link more than the second link. Specifically, the first link, they'll get both signals page rank and anchor text, popularity and relevance. But if they find a second link to the same page, on the page they don't count the anchor text, they only count the page rank, the popularity. So I'm going fast here, but let's keep this in mind, what we care about is the anchor text and what we're saying with first link priority is, traditionally, Google only counts the anchor text for the first link on the page. So this was 15 years ago, we want to find out with this new data, is this still true in 2022. Is Google only counting those first links for anchor text–which is what we care about? So I ran an experiment, I ran an experiment updated for 2022 where I added a bunch of different links all going to the same page from different pages. And then, I wanted to see how Google measures those links. Uh, set up. The setup was kind of complicated. But the important thing to know is, uh, a bunch of different links were all on the same page going to the same page. I want to see the anchor text that Google counted because anchor text and those variations are what we care about. And I was able to do this, using Google Search Console. Uh, if you don't use Google Search Console–it's a wonderful tool with lots of data and it's free. They have a report in there called links and you can see your top linking text. I was able to set up a sample site so I could isolate the data. For, for the most part, Google Search Console isn't very good for the link report. But in this case, it did help me. Uh, we'll go over some tools here in just a bit. So a page looked like this. It was just an example page and I did various scenarios. So here's the first test. Here's the first test. I have a page and I have an image link linking to a page. And below it, I have a text link linking to the same page. Remember, an image link–we're going to use the alt text for the anchor text. And the second link, it's the clickable part. So, I ran the test. I waited a few weeks and then I saw which anchor text Google recorded. Uh, what do you guess happened when we ran this test? Which links do you think Google counted? Both of them. Both of them. So, this is good to know. This matches with traditional signals. Uh, if, if you have an image link and a text link, Google seems to count both the anchor texts. Okay, good. This is great for when you, when you're selling products and you, have an image of the product and a text link below it that you can vary up your anchor text. This gives you a chance–instead of using the same anchor text both times, you can use different anchor text. Alright, so that was that test. Next test is a little more complicated. I have a text link going to the page. I have a second text link with different anchor text going to the page. And I have a third image link with different alt text going to the page. What do you think happened in this instance? Oh! Google didn't index the second anchor text. This also goes with what, uh, the traditional signals, but very surprising, Google did pick up the image. So it seems if you have at least one image, uh, Google will generally pick that up no matter where it is on the page. But, they'll still only pick up the first text anchor text. Um, and suppo-, and presumably, if we had another image link, they would only take the first one. So we're only getting two anchor text varieties on this page even though we have three anchor texts going to the same page. So let's make the test more complicated: text link, text link, image link, text link. So four potential anchor text on this page, all linking to the same page. What's Google going to index? Well, here's what we would predict. Here's what we would predict, uh, based on our previous test we would predict that Google counts the first anchor text, ignores the second, counts the third because it's an image link and ignores the fourth because it's a text link. This is what we predict. Now, I am withholding some information from you which may influence how you would predict this. I cheated. I cheated on this test because I wanted to see if I could get around Google's, uh, restrictions because anchor text is what we're going for and Google isn't counting some of those anchor text variations. And here's how I cheated. Instead of linking to the page, I use what's called a hash link. Where I just, example.com, I use the same URL. I just added a hash to the end of the link and it could be anything. Any random word. Anything. These are sometimes known as "anchor links". If there's an anchor on the page but you don't need it, you can just add a hash link. Because, I heard a rumor that you know 10-15 years ago, Google was counting these anchor texts if you use a hash link because they see it somewhat as a different page but they consolidate the anchor text signals. So I did this to every link on the page. That's how I cheated, because I want more anchor text. Because that's important for ranking and this is the result. By cheating, by using those hash links, I was able to get Google to index every anchor text on that page, and this is important, if you have a lot of things in your navigation that you're linking to but you want to increase your anchor text variety, beneath it you can simply use a hash link to get Google to count more of those links. So that got a little technical, a little in the weeds. Thank you for keeping up with me on that and I can answer some questions on that if you want, but the SEO geek in me was really excited by this. Alright, so you listen to me get into the geekery. I want to give you six quick tactical tips to improve your internal linking. Uh, make this a little bit more actionable. And please don't share these tips outside this webinar except with your team or your clients. Alright, first of all, you want to audit your anchor text. There's a lot of, there's a lot of tools out there that let you audit your links, but what you really want to be doing is auditing your anchor text because every anchor text counts as a link. That's what you use. There's a lot of good tools out there, but whatever, I'm not going to recommend a very specific tool just be sure that whatever tool you're using lets you look at your anchor text. Uh, I use Screaming Frog in this example because it's a popular SEO, uh, software that a lot of people use. It's free for the first 500 URLs of your site so if you have a smaller site, uh, it's, it's a pretty good solution. They have an- a, you just run a report they have an anchor text export that's very useful. You can turn it into pivot tables–things like that. But make sure you know for every page of your site that it's important your internal anchor text variations going to that page. Keep in mind that even unoptimized anchor text can help, uh, Google. We talked about those naked URls, URLs that when you, when you link to something and it doesn't have any keywords it just says, "Hey, click here at example.com". Google says don't use anchor text like that, but in our data, we found that pages that use those naked URLs actually ranked a little bit better than pages that didn't. And the reason is they generally had more anchor text variations they had more different types of anchor text. Uh, so even unoptimized anchor text can help but keywords in your anchor text help a lot more. Uh, in another part of our data we looked at pages. When you- pages who linked to another page using the exact keywords you were trying to rank for. Those pages had five times more traffic than pages that didn't have optimized anchor text. Again, you don't want to overdo it. You don't want to make every link to internal have exact match anchor text because you want the variety. Uh, but including those keywords, those exact keyword phrases you're trying to rank for–that's a pretty good strategy. Okay, second actual tip: don't miss your alt text anchors. You have images, you have to include those alt text when you're linking internally. Uh, in our data set, five percent of our links had no anchor text at all and the vast majority of those were image links. People forget to fill in their alt text on the image link but you have to because that counts as the anchor text when you're- when you use that image to link. Don't sleep. It's an easy, no-brainer, low hanging fruit thing that everybody can do. Alright, so we often think when we link to a page, that helps that page rank. That the source page you're linking to a target page. But weirdly, and a lot of SEO studies have validated this, the internal link can help both pages to rank. And we have a few examples of this and you'll understand a little bit better as I talk about it. So here's a study that SearchPilot did, uh, great SEO split testing platform. They added a bunch of internal links, uh, on their category pages; this- the left side is the before, the right side is the after–where they added popular categories. The theory was that these popular categories, that they're linking to, would rise in traffic and the result was a 20 percent increase in traffic. Okay, that's great. That's wonderful. They increased traffic 20 percent by adding these internal links but here is the surprising part: it wasn't just the category pages that rose in traffic. The pages being linked from also rose in traffic. Uh, both pages rose in traffic by adding the internal links and in my career this is something we've seen over, and over, and over again... it's just not the page you're linking to, it's the page you're linking from that is rising in, in traffic. Overall, doesn't happen every time. Uh, and we see- and I think the reason for this is those engagement signals that we talked about and the relevant signals. Uh, so this is a this is- this is a post, uh, October 27, 2010, on canonical tags written by our friend Lindsay Wassell, this was a post on Moz that was pretty old but relevant, but we saw its engagement metrics were really in the toilet. Possibly because it's so old–people saw the- the date. All we did to this page was add links in the top of the page; internal links to other sections that give people something to click on. You often see related links at the bottom of the page, we put the related links at the top of the page and what we saw was this increase engagement; people were clicking on the links, we had a better time on site. And so not only did those pages do well but this page, 12 years old, also improved in ranking simply by adding those internal links and this was a strategy we used over and over again, uh, to help this page and the page we're linking to. So that brings me to my fourth point. When you're adding internal links, you'll want to link high and tight. You don't want to bury those links in your footer at the bottom of the page. You want to make them prominent. If you're giving people something to click and you're telling them important–put it front and center so that they know where to click. We- we always did this on the, on the Mo- Moz posts, your most important internal links should go at the top of your post because you're looking for, you want people to click them, you want Google to see that these are important links and you want to increase your engagement. So this is a typical Moz post; we put our most important links at the top, we're an SEO company, our, our important links to Moz. At the bottom we'll link to our competitors Ahrefs, Semrush and neilpatel, if necessary. That's kind of an inside SEO joke, uh, but that's okay. Alright, five tip, number, tip number five. Avoid the first link priority. Uh, this is what we talked about with our experiments. If you have links in your navigation and your body, uh, you might wanna, and you wanna get both anchor texts to count from Google–you might want to use, uh, hash links, index. I wrote this entire post just for this link at the top of the post but I wanted it to count so I used the hash link and if you go, you can inspect it. Uh, is it is indeed a hash link. Does it work? That's when I wrote the blog post and this is the page I linked to. The target page I- I can't say there's a definite correlation between adding that link, and this traffic, uh, to our free SEO tools page. But I think maybe there was. I think maybe there was, and I wrote that entire post for that one internal link. I spent two weeks for one internal link. Uh, but this was the result. I like to think, I like to think that was a million dollar post but that's the power of internal links, um, when- when- when done effectively. Uh, sixth tip in SEO. I like to think that most things can be done by a human. Most things can be done with spreadsheets and free simple tools. Internal linking is one of those rare things where I actually do encourage automation because automation can help you find relevant pages to link from at scale that are really hard to find using traditional methods. Uh, three of my favorite tools are in-Links uh, twylu, I don't actually know how to pronounce it, I've used them several times, I need to reach out. And siteseer, which is my formal- former company, used to be Zippy. Uh, all have great automated internal link uh, recommendations. Some of these have free tiers that you can use. Crawl your sites and they look for topically relevant pages that you can add internal links from, not just the number of links, which a lot of tools do. But they're looking at your anchor text, your topicality, all that good stuff. Um, alright, so to summarize. Maverick six rules of internal linking, Maverick is so good at everything he can fly F-18 Tomcats. He is also a master of internal linking because of course, Tom Cruise, audit your anchor text. Keep in mind your anchor text variations are your number one things that you're going for when internal linking. Don't sleep on your image alts. Uh, make sure all your image alts are tucked away; tight link for both pages, the source page. If you want to improve the ranking on this page add internal links from that page to other relevant pages because it might improve your engagement. You might see your- your- your Google traffic go up. Link high and tight. Keep those important links high on your page. Avoid link first priority if you're linking from your navigation and your body, and leverage automation. Alright, some helpful resources, this will be available in the deck afterwards and hey, thank you for internal linking. I hope you enjoyed this webinar. We're, uh, we're going to take some questions now. Whoo!" 36:55 George: What a ride, Cyrus. Thank you. 37:00 Cyrus: Thank you. 37:01 George: Mordy you're on mute, buddy. 37:03 Mordy: I'm on mute. I was gonna say–thank you, Cyrus. You have that smooth radio voice. I don't have any voice so my mic was off! Um, one of the things, you know, I'm glad, George, you're here as well. Cyrus dribbling on the SEO side, George the content editorial side, one of the things that strikes me is how do you balance that, you know, your- your internal linking there's definitely the SEO benefit to it how- how hard do you push the issue?" 37:26 Cyrus: I push it pretty hard. Uh, one thing I don't like, I think people push it hard in the wrong direction. Uh, they use internal linking solutions, uh, that go through and they just find- you're reading a blog- maybe Forbes is a good example. I don't want to pick on Forbes, and they just overlink everywhere with exact match anchor text for things that aren't quite relevant. Uh, the thing you want to do is when you're adding an internal link make sure the user knows why it's important. Why this is related to the topic of the page. This is a learn more about this. Don't just link to your tire page because you use the word tire on this page that's not very helpful. But, uh, so I think, I think people should be pushing it a lot harder but also with more care and a little, a little less automatic exact match anchor text. But think, keep the user in mind and add those links. Because people are, this is like Google's related questions. When- when somebody searches something they don't have one question they have six questions and if you're not giving them all those other resources on your website, you're doing a disservice to your reader. So add those internal links. Find those, don't make them do a Google search for it. Give them to them up in front. 38:44 George: I can just hop in here. Internal linking is something like there's- there's so many approaches here and one of the approaches that has been presented to me is the exact match method–that I'm sure you're familiar with. I know right, um? 38:56 Cyrus: [Wretches] This is why it's bad. There's so many, I read so many blog posts that do exact match and it's great once. It's the other five, the other 10 links you want variation. And that's why I don't think it's a very good solution. The data doesn't support it. 39:08 George: Yeah like, contextually I've always challenged the um, the efficacy of that because like, yeah, you're sending those signals and it's good for SEO but the user has to, like, it has to make sense for the user. And so, I've not implemented any of those recommendations and my- my approach to this is just kind of been, well, contextually what is most relevant? If I'm talking about a GDP part article, we're talking local SEO here. Do I really need to link to something about redirects here just because it's an exact match? I don't find, like, you have to really contextualize that for your user. I think, I mean this is early days for the Wix SEO learning hub. We're only about four months into publishing, so we'll see how it goes. But everything's promising so far and I think, like, really going with a user first approach will help simplify things uh, in addition to a lot of the, uh, the little things. There was one thing, Mordy, before we move on here, there's a question about the, um, hashtag URLs–you're referring to jump links, right?" 40:06 Cyrus: Right. They can be jump links if you have the a-anchors on the page. If you don't have the a-anchors on the page, they just go to your top level page and the user doesn't notice any difference. Uh, but if you, you can use them as jump links to jump to very specific parts on the page and you, you see that with a table of content links and things like that. My- my own testing so far is that, uh, Google doesn't do a great job of indexing table of content links. Um although they may still be important, we haven't really tested that, but yeah, they- so they long complicated answer to a simple question: they can be jump links but you don't need to use them that way. 40:49 George: Yeah, so in the chat for those of you who sort of had a reaction there, you don't really know how to get those jump links on Wix. Um, just add a link like you normally would and in the interface you can instead of, instead of going to a different site outside you click to link to a section and then you'll get a link to a section as I put in the, um, the chat for you to see. And then you can reverse engineer what that URL is and put it into your internal links. 41:06 Cyrus: Great. Great tip. Great technical tip. 41:15 Mordy: Nice, George. Thank you so much. Okay, so one last thing I wanted to bring up and I was kind of curious how you would approach this. So you- you have the link of the navigation. So again, if you're not familiar, the term that you have the menu of your site, the top menu, that's the navigation of your website and there are links to other pages. And for mentioning from an internal linking perspective, we're going to have the same link in the navigation and the same link in the actual body of the page, go with the body of the page. And again from a user point of view, you mentioned that, yeah, you know, you need to be careful with that–because you do need the user to be able to navigate the website. From an SEO point of view then, you know, the internal linking is more beneficial in the actual body itself. Yeah, I'm just kind of curious what your method is like, when do you know, like, when do you go too far with, I've gone too far by stripping the navigation down. When have I not? 42:03 So I- I shared the, I shared the uh, Home Depot example. A site that I think everybody can learn from that does a great job with this and thank you for that question, Mordy, is Ikea. Go to Ikea. They do not have a monster navigation, they have five or six links in their navigation and it simplifies the user choices. The studies have shown that humans can only handle about seven choices on a page, uh, so you- when you look- when you're doing linking and your navigation, you provide users with 100 links–they're not going to read all those. They're looking for one of seven things. Seven. So, go to Ikea. They hop- they'll have very few, uh, navigation links. Then you click on that page and then you have seven more choices, then you have seven more choices, and they lead you into the funnel until you can finally find that bedroom dresser that you're looking for. So that's a great example don't overwhelm the user. Uh, limit your, I suggest limiting your navigation links to your most important and then expand on the, on the next page and bring them into the funnel. And it's good for the user. It's good for search engines–works really well. 43:03 Mordy: Makes a lot of sense. Again, if you're thinking about, like, "How do I do that?" You think, your- most importantly your- yeah, it's an ecommerce site. You sell, I don't know, clothes. Your most important election pages, you know, those might be something you have the navigation. Particular product pages, you really don't need to have them in there, the user will find them. Okay, I'll go through the boys collection or the adult collection and I'll- I'll go through there and find you know shirts or pants or whatever. It doesn't need to have that in the actual navigation itself. So... okay! Okay, you have a lot of questions. I'm not sure where to start. There's been a bunch of questions around buttons. Do buttons count as internal links?" 43:32 Cyrus: Yes, they do! And uh, a couple things you want to be careful. I- I'm not that familiar with how Wix works with buttons and what the options are but generally, the text of the button, uh, not is- is, counts as the anchor text if it's, if it's actual live text. If you're using an image for a button, you have to make sure there's some text behind it in the html or otherwise. But yeah, the text of the button counts as a link and if you're using "click here", "buy now"–not the best anchor text. Uh, so you might want to be more- more descriptive. But yes, buttons count as links. 44:15 Mordy: That's exactly how it works inside of Wix. Um, to that why- there have been questions around context and anchor text. Why don't things like a naked link or you know a "click here" / "buy now", why are those not as good as a more contextual anchor text. 44:28 Cyrus: Yeah, so I want to be- I want to be clear, they're not bad per se and in fact our data, as I alluded to, shows that even bad anchor text helps. Uh, such as the naked URLs and the "click here". But you're missing, you're missing keyword opportunities with "click here". Uh, again those relevant signals. Your page isn't, you're not trying to rank for the words "click here" or "buy now". Yet, that's never going to happen. You want, what are you- you're trying to rank for a certain brand of men's t-shirts or a particular type of art. Uh, Google actually has a patent, uh, one of their original PageRank patents that if they find a generic anchor text; like "click here", or you know, "buy now", that they might just ignore the- they might ignore the link or they might assign it a lower weight. Uh, there's not a lot of evidence that they do that but they're probably not going to count those links as much as if you use something descriptive and exciting and entices people to click–that describes where they're going to go. Great question." 45:30 George: I wonder if contextually there's a case here in terms of accessibility. Sometimes, I mean every site, every button, all your links are going to be different but you also have to factor in your user experience. And I just want to say that if you're using nebulous terminology, like "click here" "buy now", for people who rely on screen readers–is that meaning coming across? Or are you missing that conversion potentially because of your ambiguous anchor text. So think about that as well. 45:54 Cyrus: Interesting, yeah. 45:59 Mordy: You're just, you wanna- you're the entire, well not the entire. About one of the points of internal linking–so you're giving Google context like, you know, if you write about a topic over and over again, you're an authority on this topic. You're showing Google that connection that, yeah, you know, whatever topic I speak about–I am an authority on that topic. And by having the anchor text being descriptive you're giving them a stronger signal of the contextual content they're going to find there–it's, you're creating a stronger cluster of content around that particular topic. Thereby increasing your relevancy and authority around that topic so give them that signal, why not." 46:28 Cyrus: Yep. The relevance and popularity. Yep. 46:34 Mordy: Um... second. How far down the page does Google read? Will they see the internal links they have all the way at the bottom of the page? 46:40 Cyrus: Yeah, they will. This is kind of this, again, gets into the technical, uh, weeds. Google will index very large pages and all the links on the page. But uh, there's- there's so many different consi- a very large page maybe slow. It may be, Google may not be able to render the whole thing. Uh, there's also the original Google patent called something- called Reasonable Surfer. Google assigns value to links based on how likely people are to click them and with Chrome–used by, you know, a billion people in the world, they actually know what links people are clicking. So links that are higher up on the page generally get more clicks. And there, I heard Matt Cutts say, Matt Cutts was an old Google representative. Not old–he was a Google representative of years gone by. Uh, he no longer directly works with the algorithm or the company, great guy. But years ago, I heard him say, "pay attention to that first link on the page. Pay very close attention to that first link on the page". Uh, and so yeah, the Google will index links further down on the page but just keep in mind they will have less weight than links higher up 47:56 Mordy: Which behaves almost like content. Like the content that's higher up on the page is usually more relevant more contextual to what the page is about and that, you know, the very last paragraph you're running in your blog post is generally not the most contextual, most important part of the page. Just the way the reader would, it's kind of what Google's doing in a way. 48:08 Cyrus: Yeah, and I'm not opposed to putting, I'm not opposed to putting links at the bottom of the page especially to cover your bases. Like, hey, we- these are the important things up here, but, hey, just for the few people who have made it all the way to the bottom–here are some additional resources for you to read. And that- that covers your bases too because at least you got the link on the page. 48:30 Mordy: Yeah, and I've definitely seen a case where that footer link–it definitely helps Google somewhat and I'll say definitely, but it can help Google crawl your site more efficiently because that link is still there even though for the reader. But for Google they see the link at the further page okay next page, we understand the link structure here, it's good to have. Um, okay on this how do you know the links that Google has indexed? 48:49 Cyrus: That is, that's a really good question. I was able to set that, set it up on that test using a very controlled environment. Um, it's to be honest when you're looking at internal links it's really hard because Google's reporting on this is not very good. Um, generally yeah, there's no, the- the short answer is there's for most websites, there's no good way to know which links and anchor text Google have has indexed because their anchor text reporting is honestly not that robust. You can tell the pages that Google indexed, uh, and there are various ways of doing this. You know, Google Search Console or just Google the page, you can Google an article on how to do it, but short answer is there's no good way to know what anchor text and links Google has indexed." 49:41 Mordy: Yep, I like this question. Um, can you link internally to a page too often? 49:47 Cyrus: So there is this idea of over optimization. Uh, that is somewhat controversial in the SEO world. Can you uh, but I believe it's true. We've seen lots of evidence of it. I don't think you can link to an internal page too often at all. I think it's fine to have a gazillion links to the same page and you can't overdo it. What you can overdo is anchor text and that's using your exact match keyword. You have a page on men's jeans and then you just say, "men's jeans", "men's jeans", "men's jeans" over and over again. Google's gonna think well, this guy's trying to manipulate the algorithm he doesn't–maybe the site doesn't have a lot of authority. Uh, we're not going to let it rank for men's jeans. Instead larger sites can get away with it because they have all this authority. They have all this variety. So, I think you want to be careful about varying your anchor text a lot and if you're doing a–if you're linking over and over and over again, don't be scared of naked URLs. Don't be scared of the generic ones that we said. Don't- don't worry about because they increase your variety and they make you less likely to get hit by an over optimization filter."
George: I'm gonna- I'm gonna hop in on this here and, uh, just bring this to something pretty topical. Uh, for those of you who are really into SEO. The helpful content update is rolling out–some any minute now, right? I think that's any minute now, right?
51:11 Cyrus: Everybody who's not on this webinar is paying attention to the helpful content update. 51:16 George: Right, and part of that is making sure that your content isn't spun up using automated tools and things like that. And you have to think about what Google has said in terms of using automated tools and automatically generated content, GPT 3 type stuff. If you're approaching it with, um, an exact match mindset–in which you're just programming what to replace with what for internal linking. That's kind of a shortcut and it sort of goes against the editorial recommendations that everything has to be reviewed by a human. Now, I'm not saying that this is how Google approaches it at all, but these lines of thinking align. If you're using your brain to just keep going and- and link for the user, add value, your anchor text is going to have permutations. It's going to look different, right, but if you're doing it just with excel and replacing that kind of might be a little bit more sketchy. Something for you to think about, for you to decide on your own. 52:08 Cyrus: Great points, yeah. 52:14 Mordy: Okay, George, I'm going to ask you this one. I never know when adding a link to have the link open in a new window or not. As someone who adds many links to many pages, George, what's your general practice? 52:27 George: Okay, so in terms of how we have things set up on the Wix SEO learning hub for internal things, um, and this is not like- my understanding here is not a hundred percent. But I have links that open internally, for all my internal links, I have them just set to open in the same window. That's my rule of thumb and that's how I've worked at it in a lot of publications. And perhaps, Cyrus, you can shed a little bit more context here on why we do this. But for external links they always open in a different window and that, for me, has to do with the metrics that we're recording. Um, what about you, Cyrus? 52:57 Cyrus: Yeah, so this is- I'm always a little conflicted. I've read a lot of accessibility studies that say you shouldn't open links in a new window and I don't recall all the reasons why. But for people using screen readers and such, apparently it's not as great an experience. But yeah, I generally, I used to religiously open everything in a new window. Uh, but for internal links, especially, I do open them in the same window. Uh, it- i don't think there's one right answer to that. Uh, I think whatever you choose is going to be fine. Um, yeah. 53:34 George: Best practice has not been- there's no consensus on best practice here. 53:40 Cyrus: Yeah, that's an excellent way to put it. No consensus. 53:45 Mordy: You know, just keep in mind, if it is an external link–you are taking the user to a different website. Are they going to come back to your site? To the page? Your web page? I generally find if your content is compelling they will come back. But again, this is something to keep- keep that in mind. Speaking of external links, I know we're talking about internal links, but is there a benefit to linking out externally on your page?" 54:10 Yes! Yes, there is. Uh, this is something we covered extensively, uh, during my years at Moz. That every study we looked at, we talked about internal links today, but every study we looked at where you add external links to relevant pages it seems to help your own SEO. And again, this could be because of engagement signals or relevance, uh, signals that we don't quite understand what Google is doing here. But it seems to work really well. And think of it this way, if someone's going to- if you can't provide the answer, you don't want people going back to Google to do a search because Google's- Google's looking at your website and how users are interacting with it. You would rather have someone land on your site and visit an external page than have to go back to Google the thing. You don't want to do in SEO is have people hit the back button. You want your site to be the place for resources–even if it includes external links, because Google can learn, "hey, people are going to this site and they're not leaving. This is a good site". Even if you're sending people away to external sites, The New York Times, uh, Marshall Simmons uh, who led the SEO there, did- was one of the first to experiment this, where they started linking- followed links to other sites and they saw their pages rise in New York Times. This was years ago and nothing has changed. Don't be scared to link to other sites. Keep in mind you might want to link to yourself first if you have that resource. 55:30 George: And another thing here, very easy to understand–reason to link. Cite your sources. That makes you more authoritative. Like just bottom line, if I, and for everybody, all 669 of you here. Google says that engagement like bounce rate and stuff; those back- those aren't search ranking factors. Google has said that a lot of people write that in their content but they don't substantiate it. A lot of people will say that and then they'll say, "but Google has said otherwise", and then they'll put the citation there. Cite your sources it automatically makes you more authoritative which is always good for visibility. 56:02 Cyrus: Yes, yeah. If you want to practice you can cite zippy.com, uh, just an example site I'm throwing out there. But for your first blog post. 56:11 George: You had to go for it. 56:17 Cyrus: But if I made it funny I thought I could get away with it. 56:20 Mordy: No, that's good. Make sure it's a no follow everybody! 56:24 Cyrus: Oh, no no no no no. 56:30 Mordy: I'll tell you later! As an old teacher, the way I think about linking is almost like, as a way of supporting your content. It's a way of building up or scaffolding understanding. If i don't have that resource internally on my own site, if i want to make sure the user understands exactly the point I'm trying to make, then I'll link to an external resource to make sure that that knowledge is built in a scaffolded way that makes a, a lot of sense for the user. So again, think of it as almost like pedagogically when you link out. Okay, I think we have time for one last question–it involves naked URLs. You're not using any anchor text whatsoever, does it ever make sense to do that." 56:58 Cyrus: Yeah, it- it does uh, uh, it does. But I can't think of any great use cases. I, what I'm saying is, uh, you can use them especially if you're looking. If you just need more anchor text variety they're not the most helpful in the world. Uh, but sometimes you know, I- I've received, I've received emails and sometimes people just need to copy and paste a link. There are rare situations where the naked URL is important. Uh, like an activation link for cable or something like that, you know. I need to type in this URL. I need to share this URL. Things like that, so it does make sense in some instances. I- I wouldn't be scared of naked URLs. I would use something better, but the data says–if you got to use them don't be scared of them. 57:45 Mordy: I gotta go in, okay fine. If you put like- if you want to show the difference between the http and https and the URL that you have a whole- whole post about the difference in the URL structure. Like the difference, the added "s", right, so you want to show the URL structure. You're going to show the naked link there. I found a case! 58:05 Cyrus: Yeah, I- I wouldn't go seeking them out. But don't be scared. I think that's it. 58:12 Mordy: Cyrus, thank you so much! Yeah, thank you, that was amazing and wonderful. And we're honored to have you here and we appreciate the knowledge that you shared. 58:17 Cyrus: Hey, thanks to the Wix team! This has been a great webinar and I've enjoyed working with you. Props to Wix. 58:26 Mordy: Awesome. Um, don't forget. This has been recorded and you will receive the recording. You can find more SEO resources and expand your SEO learning on Wix dot com slash SEO slash learn. That's for SEO learning. We're back next month with a fantastic webinar; myself, Crystal Carter, SEO legends Lily Ray and Glenn Gabe will be here as we talk about what it means to write good content for Google. Thank you so much everybody, of course thank you, George, as well for joining. Bye bye!
Meet your webinar hosts
Cyrus Shepard, Co-Founder, Zyppy
Cyrus’ SEO research and insights have made him one of the most trusted voices in search today. Having started in SEO in 2009, he formerly led SEO and Audience Development at Moz and currently serves as Co-Founder of the US-based SEO consultancy Zyppy. Twitter | Linkedin
Mordy Oberstein, Head of SEO Branding, Wix
In addition to leading SEO Branding at Wix, Mordy also serves as a communications advisor for Semrush. Dedicated to SEO education, Mordy is one of the organizers of SEOchat and a popular industry author and speaker. He also hosts the SEO Rant Podcast and Edge of the Web’s news podcast.
George Nguyen, Director of SEO Editorial, Wix
As Director of SEO Editorial at Wix, George creates content to help users and marketers better understand how search works. Formerly a search news journalist, he has spoken at industry events and endeavors to improve the general public’s knowledge of search engines. Twitter | Linkedin