Like most other drive-by webpreneurs, I’ve known that links from Big Boys gets you El Sabor de Amor from Google, etc. However, I didn’t think that the search engines really paid attention to links that you have inside your site/blog/whatever, since that would, to me, appear to offer gray/blackhat types the opportunity to game the rankings by turning every single word in their no-doubt scraped content into a link to every other page in their crapware referral sites.
Well, I blog corrected. Check out this bit from Search Engine Guide, with nut grafs excerpted below:
Your website’s text content is filled with opportunities to potentially
pass link juice to other pages of your site and to help users find
their end destination. To start improving your internal linking
strategy, go through your site section by section, page by page, and
see where it would make sense (from a user’s point of view), and insert
some contextual links to other pages that you want to rank better.
Be sure to use the keywords/phrases (in the anchor text) that you would
like the destination pages to rank for. In your links to these pages
throughout the site, vary it up and don’t use the exact same phrases in
anchor text, or it will look artificial to both search engines and
users. As you are doing this, make sure that the target keyphrases show
up on the destination page in some form. Links are more effective if
the terms in the link anchor text also show up on the page. One area
where this is useful is to help a site rank for both plural and
singular versions of a word.
Great advice here to use Yahoo Site Explorer and Google Webmaster Tools to see which pages of your site are getting the most link love. In newspaper terms, that means that it’s a good idea for the webmaster(s) to periodically check out their sites to make sure where the links are going internally. A good example of this might be to make sure that the front section pages (i.e. the web equivalent of Pg. 1 of the Sports Section, say) are getting a lot of links from the stories of the section, so that the front page shows up high in the search results when a user types in “Gotham sports” into his Bat-browser.
Or, if a paper has produced a special report that they’re all proud of, having links from other areas on the site (the Community and Opinion pages come to mind) directing traffic to said report would help make sure that the report pops up in future searches. This is important to me, since I worry a lot about the future of investigative/enterprise reporting. Anything that helps direct traffic in the direction of an investigative piece that an I-team has slaved over for months is a good thing, especially since investigative reporting is, by its very nature, somewhat “evergreen” and could really benefit from having high search rankings for years, since original stuff like that is a great research tool for the hordes of bloggers, academics, local cranks&cretins that come lumbering after anyone who produces something that’s actually original…