What is a Link Structure

Early websites were created to share information for people who needed it. With time the role of a website has changed from just information kiosks to primary lead source. This remains true for most companies who are looking to grow SAAS or otherwise.

With almost everyone in the populace having access to internet , the sheer number of people searching for product and services online has shot up drastically. Following this trend most successful businesses swear by digital/content marketing to grow their business.

One of the cornerstones of digital marketing is SEO or local seo (for businesses targeting local population) optimization, required so as to drive traffic from existing search engines be it Google, Yahoo, Baidu or anything else prevalent in your country.

Some of the most important factors that affect optimization (for SEO) are mentioned below

  • Content
  • Keyword optimization
  • Internal links
  • Backlinks
  • Business location and information

After content, internal links play “THE” most important role in how high would your pages rank in the search results.

What are internal links?

“Internal links are hyperlinks that point at a page on the same website”

This is an internal link——->“Why is Local SEO important for businesses “, this would lead you to another article in the NowFloats Blog which talks about local SEO.

Internal links allows a user to navigate from one page to another or from one article to another (in case of a blog)

Why is this important?

  1. These help users navigate through the websites
  2. These help in optimizing and distribute search engine juices throughout your pages

Internal links or link structures have the basic use of allowing users to navigate through your website but the most important function of these internal links or link structure is to to distribute or help search engine crawlers to index all the pages on your website and spread SEO juices to all the pages.

Depending on which type of link structure you choose, you can distribute the SEO magic to all pages equally or push higher SEO on to a particular page leading to higher pagerank.

How does Link Structure affect SEO?

Search engines like Google and Yahoo, send out crawlers to read and index millions of pages everyday. When a crawler lands on to a particular page in this case lets call it page “A”, it reads the content, indexes the page and then looks for paths (read internal links) to navigate to other related content in the domain(website).

If the page “A” is connected to lets say to Page “B” and Page “C”, the crawler would go visit these pages , crawl and index it , spread SEO juices and so on. In case where a particular page stands in isolation with no direct link (internal link) to or from any other page, SEO spiders would ignore them completely and in worst case scenario they might never be indexed.

While pages A, B, C, F would be indexed while E and D would be unreachable. For, what cannot be found cannot be ranked.

While building a website it is essential that you consider this fact. There are different types of structures that you can choose from depending what you are trying to achieve. Some of the most common ones are explained below

The Mesh

This is what we call the structure below, all the pages are connected to all the pages in the domain.

Everything con page on the domain, it is bound to connect and index all the other pages within the domain. Thus distributing SEO magic all over the pages equally.

Who should use this?

Smaller websites built usually for personal care services like make up artists , Dentists or any other one man/small team businesses. Since the actual number of  pages is limited to just a few in most small websites, this can help push page ranking of all the pages within the domain.

Ideally, I suggest this for websites no biggers than 10 pages. After that it becomes too complex to handle as a developer. Unless you have tool that can connect every article to another in the domain automatically.

The Tree Hierarchy

This is an old one, there is a head page connected to sub pages which are in turn connected to other pages below it, something like a tree organization structure.

Consider a website- an ecommerce site, where products are grouped into categories  and then sub-categories and then categories under them; This is the hierarchical structure.  A tree hierarchy or hierarchical structure is one of the most commonly used link structures today.

Link structure tree

The main page is connected to all the other pages in the domain with minimum number of connections possible, for one this allows spiders to crawl all connected pages.

It also helps boost page ranking of your main page (if you are an ecommerce company that’s what you want) since a major chunk of SEO magic lands on your main page.

The Hybrid

The Hybrid structure has been in heavy use recently, most well built websites including leading ecommerce and encyclopedia sites use this structure.

A evolved form of hierarchical structure , here like in “Tree Hierarchy” each page is distributed in categories and subcategories with a major change being that each page on the site can show up under multiple categories.

Most websites including Amazon and Wikipedia follow a similar structure. Though Wikipedia follows something called a natural linking mechanism, making it heavily optimized for SEO.

What should you use?

Depending on the type of website you have the link structure you choose would also differ.

Though if you are a business and are selling a product or service , it’s best to go for the Hybrid Structure. This would make sure your homepage gets the SEO magic and the page ranking required, while distributing the rest to all the other pages.

 

Author: NowFloats Team