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FREE online SEO course: Technical SEO course with Bastian Grimm 

Seasonality, link hubs, multiple linking, nofollow

34 lessonsNov 1, 2018


Keeping Up with Seasonality — the Art of Highlighting the Right Pages at the Right Time

Another interesting aspect of internal linking is how to deal with seasonality. This is particularly true for e-commerce, say, if you sell products around Christmas. This category is special: during the year there is almost no search demand for Christmas products. But you can't just delete it from your internal linking because all the factors that Google has stored for that URL would eventually be lost.

You need a mechanism that somehow allows you to move this category into the domain, keeping it linked from secondary or third-level pages or categories. Then, when the season comes back, say like 3-4 months before the big day, you increase your internal linking efforts to the category page again, maybe linking to it from the homepage as well as adding additional cross-links.

The same is true for product launches. When you know that, say, a new Iphone is going to be released, it will not be enough to launch a category page or a product page 1-2 weeks beforehand. You need to create that page early on and make sure it has all the internal links it needs to be as strong as possible.

Contextual relevance and semantically linking at a product level is also a big help: If you have 1 product of a series, say, make a link from item 1 in that series to items 2,3 and 4. But you could go even further - say if you are selling women's shoes, you can also crosslink them with matching dresses. Hard to get this right on a larger scale – but helpful for users and search engine crawlers alike.

Another very powerful approach that helps with internal linking is using what we call link hubs. Link hubs are subpages on a domain that contain a good amount of quality inbound, external links.

First, you have to identify which pages are the ones that have the most external inbound links - for example by using the SEMrush backlink audit tool.

Then you take those URLs and add additional internal links – for example by simply implementing an additional element to your template only to be used for those sites. Since they're linked heavily, Google will crawl them more frequently. Pages linked from those link hubs will therefore be found and indexed way quicker.

Another common problem to watch out for is multiple linking to the same page or URL. If you have an URL and that URL is linking twice to another URL and the difference is only in the anchor text, Google will only count the first anchor text being used.

For example, you have a gallery of Joop men's shoes and this gallery is linked from the main navigation using 'Joop Men Shoes' as anchortext. You also have another link somewhere further down the page, that says 'buy cheap Joop fashionable men's shoes', this link and it's anchor text are being discounted, so Google will only take 'Joop Men Shoes' as the main target keyword and rank this destination page respectively.

You'd be missing on keywords such as 'buy' or 'fashionable' in this case. You should generally make sure that you have as few redundant links as possible, they are literally black holes.

Also in this case please do not use link level rel nofollow for the first link to try telling Google that it's supposed to use the 2nd one - this is not how it is going to work. Google still will take the 1st one.

Internally nofollow'ing links is pretty a bad idea. Do not rely on nofollow. Instead make sure that you just control your links properly and only have the ones that you really need. Internally nofollow‘ing literally means 'I do not trust my own links', so what do you think Google is going to do with it? It is clearly not a good sign if you don't trust your own links.

Now some people might argue that you can just use Javascript to hide those links for Googlebot and only show them to your users – but nowadays Google is getting better and smarter, so if your internal linking is built on top of hiding things for example by using Javascript, that clearly is not the right approach either. Don't do it.

Important Aspects of Internal Linking: Lesson Summary

To make sure you don't use nofollow on your internal links unintentionally, you might want to refer to the «Nofollow attributes in the outgoing internal links» check from the SEMrush Internal Linking report, which I already mentioned in one of my previous lessons.