Correct Link Management – Internal And External Link 2020

For 2020, external links (backlinks) are still one of the two most important ranking factors for Google when evaluating a website. But the internal linking of a website also contributes to a good information structure and is essential for a website.

The interest in the right link management continues. The trend query on the terms backlinks and internal linking confirm this.

Google Trends curve to the term “backlinks.”

Google Trends curve for the term “internal linking.”

Interest in both search terms has gradually decreased in recent years, but the curves have settled to an average over time. However, an internal trend has been visible since 2016.

The basics and procedure for meaningful link management for internal linking has already been described in detail. We have also written an extensive article on backlinks. I would, therefore, like to use today’s blog post to address current questions from customers and the network community over the past few weeks.

How important is the internal and external linking of a website?

Both are equally important!

Internal linking

If a document is not indexed by Google, it should at least be accessible to users and crawlers via internal links.

The internal link is:

  • is a powerful tool for a webmaster to guide users and search engines into the depths of the website
  • to quickly make important content accessible to the user
  • Suitable for search engines so that they can find their way around the page better and can better understand the thematic context of subpages

External Linking

Since backlinks are an important part of the ranking algorithm, they are very important. External links that are thematically appropriate and come from well-linked websites help to strengthen or at least support the ranking position.

External links are:

  • one of the most important ranking factors
  • A good backlink architecture ensures that:
    • important page get more links
    • there are short click paths

Can a page rank well even without external links?

External links are a very important part and a crucial part of the Google algorithm for the ranking of a page. But for large websites (e.g., databases, newspapers, large online shops), it is almost impossible to set an external link on each of the hundreds/thousands of subpages. In practice, however, pages without external links can also generate the top 10 rankings on Google. This is easier to achieve in the longtail area, but this is possible through internal links that match the context of the page (of course, the links must come from strongly linked subpages of the website) and good content.

Nevertheless, external links create trust in the domain on Google!

How important is the anchor text (link text) for internal and external links?

Anchor texts help the user and search engines to recognize content better and to establish a connection with the target page. Wikipedia appears in almost every search query, at least in the top 5 search queries. What is Wikipedia doing, right?

In addition to (good) content, all links in the articles are linked straight to the right keyword for the target page. If the article talks about washing machines, the keyword “washing machine” links to further articles. Anchor texts are crucial for good link management. General anchor texts like “read more” or “click here” do not help the user or the search engine. The anchor text should always explain the content of the target page and should not appear twice in the text.

In the German Google Webmaster Hangouts with John Mueller, Google Switzerland, questions about links are a constant topic. The following is a summary of the most interesting questions and answers:

Are 5 internal or 5 external links more important for a blog article?

John Mueller, Google Switzerland, said: When linking an article, it is primarily about the user experience. Links, whether internal or external, are intended to provide further information on the topic of the article. Links in the article can only help Google if the article could not be reached on the website without the links. An article without links is not good or bad. However, links are important for the user experience and further information acquisition, so Google also rates links as important and recommends them. Good information architecture is important for a website through which users and search engines get from content to content on the page.

Should a link be removed from a page that is not indexed by Google?

Google cannot index all URLs, so it may well be that pages are not indexed. Here the link should be looked at carefully, whether it fits thematically well to the page and makes sense. If not, the link could be removed.

Are outbound links relevant to SEO, and do they have an advantage?

Outgoing links to good sites have no automatic positive effect on SEO. For the user experience, however, they make sense because they offer further interesting content.

How are incoming links treated that have 302 instead of 301 redirects?

Both are treated the same, and a URL receives all signals with every forwarding. It always depends on the topic of the page and not what forwarding has been set.

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