Saturday, 4 February 2012

Linking Your Pages Together

Before we continue, it is time to introduce the concept of Google PageRank (PR).
PageRank is discussed in more detail later, but is introduced here in order to
understand why it matters how you link pages on your website together.

PageRank is a numeric value that Google places on how important a page is on the
Web. PageRank is determined by how many incoming links there are that point to a
page. Incoming links are links that point to a page from another page. Such links
may be located on pages on the same website (internal links) or on pages on
different websites (external links). External links are valued more than internal links.

Google figures that when one page links to another page, it is in effect “casting a
vote” for the other page. The more incoming links (votes) there are for a page, the
more important the page is to Google.

Note: Some obsess over the importance of PageRank to the near exclusion of
everything else. As such, PageRank and its importance is truly over-hyped.

Proper linking between pages of your website, if done right, will help retain the total
PageRank of your site and will also distribute your site’s overall PageRank value to
your most important pages. Your site’s total “PR” value is simply the sum of the PR
values of all the individual web pages. But keep in mind that PR is calculated and
usually referred to on a per-page basis.

Internal links serve to share or distribute PageRank among all pages of your site.
Links on your site that point to other websites can decrease PR from those pages
that contain outbound links (and hence your site’s total available PR), while links
from other sites can increase your site’s total PageRank.

The more internal links there are between pages of your site, the more evenly
distributed the PageRank becomes in your site. Let’s see why this is important.

Structuring Your Internal Links

There are two main types of internal linking – hierarchical and mesh.

Hierarchical linking
Hierarchical linking is where one or more pages on your site (such as the home
page) are considered more important than other pages. Important pages are linked

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