Google’s John Mueller shared his thoughts on internal linking, including if it matters if the links are in the header, footer, or content. His response was quick and to-the-point, with no room for uncertainty.
To begin with, let’s talk about internal linking.
Links are essential for your content to rank. When your posts and pages are linked to from anywhere on the internet, Google finds them easier. Internal links connect your content and offer Google a sense of your website’s structure. They can help you create a site ladder, allowing you to give the most important pages and posts greater link value than the less significant ones. As a result, having a good internal linking strategy can help your SEO!
What are internal links, and how do they work?
Any link on your website that connects one page to another is known as an internal link. Links are used by both your users and search engines to find content on your website. Users use links to browse through your site and discover the information they’re looking for. Links are also used by search engines to navigate your site. If there are no links to a page, they will not see it.
Is the value of internal links affected by the page’s location?
The person who asked the query wanted to know if the position of a link on a web page affected its “value,” which probably refers to SEO efficacy.
The question of whether a link’s value increases or decreases depending on where it appears on a web page is a relevant one.
Google’s Martin Splitt made it clear that Google divides a web page into sections and that the main section where the important content exists is called the Centerpiece Annotation.
Martin said that the different sections are “weighted” differently.
“And then there’s this other thing here, which seems to be like links to related products but it’s not really part of the centerpiece. It’s not really the main content here.
This seems to be the additional stuff.
And then there’s like a bunch of boilerplate or, “Hey, we figured out that the menu looks pretty much the same on all these pages and lists.
This looks pretty much like that menu that we have on all the other pages of this domain,” for instance, or we’ve seen this before. We don’t even actually go by domain or like, “Oh, this looks like a menu.”
We figure out what looks like boilerplate and then, that gets weighted differently as well.”
There are older Google patents and declarations from Google employees that confirm that the placement of content on a page matters.
As a result, the individual asking the inquiry has a compelling reason to ask John Mueller this exact question.
Value of a Link
The query is about the “value” of a link.
But what does “value” even mean?
Does value mean effectiveness for communicating information or does it mean SEO value as a ranking-related factor?
- Google sometimes uses information in order to understand what content is about.
For example, structured data communicates specific information about web page content. Google can’t rank what it doesn’t understand, so clarity is important. Structured data is not a ranking factor yet it nonetheless can help Google better understand the web page and promote the content to a prominent spot in the search results.
- Google uses certain information as a ranking factor.
The anchor text of a link is said to be a ranking factor. It both communicates what the meaning of a web page is and also serves as ranking related factor.
The difference between a bit of information that tells what a page is about and a bit of information that is a ranking factor can become quite blurred.
Source – Search engine journal
The question asked of John Mueller is straightforward:
“Today I’m going to ask if the value of internal links are similar.
For example, is there a difference… of the value of internal links in header, footer or in content?”
John Mueller answered:
“It’s pretty similar.
I don’t think there is anything quantifiably different about internal links in different parts of the page.
I think it’s different when it comes to the content in different parts of the page, where we try to figure out what is unique to a page.
But with regards to links, I don’t think that’s anything.”
Here’s the complete video –English Google SEO office hours from January 21, 2022