One of the fixed rules in SEO is that Google constantly updates its algorithms and guides. It was some time ago that the Coati algorithm replaced the Panda algorithm. Recently, Google has updated the link-building guide for SEO.
If you want to get to know the latest internal linking rules that should be used in 2023 and standardize the internal linking of your site; do not miss this article.
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Internal linking guide (2023)
SEO site in 2023 has many changes ahead. Google is preparing to evaluate content produced with artificial intelligence. Also, it tries to reduce poor-quality content and black-hat SEO. All those changes are made to improve the user experience of interacting with Google. For Google, the most important issue is that users find the best content on Google and get answers to their questions quickly and easily.
In the following, we review the most important points announced in the best practices for Google links.
1. Use title attribute instead of anchor text
In the latest published guide on internal linking, Google points out that in the structure of the <a> tag, the title attribute can be considered equal to the anchor text.
For example, Google uses the title attribute in the <a> tag below as an anchor cast:
Typical structure of the <a> tag with anchor text:
- <a href=”https://www.example.com/”>Example Anchor Text</a>
New structure with anchor text with title attribute:
- <a href=”https://www.example.com/” title=”Example Anchor Text”></a>
In the example above, Google recognizes the title attribute as anchor text.
Title attribute features in HTML structure
In general, the purpose of adding the Title attribute in the structure of the <a> tag is to provide the same information as the anchor text information to Google crawlers.
It is interesting to know that the title attribute is not only for the <a> tag. Rather, this property applies to all HTML elements. That is, the title attribute can be applied to the <p> tag, the italic <i> tag, or even the H1 tag.
If you use this feature in the other tags we mentioned, a description page will appear for the user when the mouse pointer is placed on that term. For example, you merge the title attribute with H1 or H2. In this case, when the user moves the mouse over the page headings, a description page will appear next to the page containing the words in the title attribute.
2. Shorten the anchor text
Google’s new guide on internal linking explains that long anchor texts are given a negative score in Google reviews. Of course, this is not a strange thing. Because according to W3c (World Wide Web Consortium) description, anchor text is just a phrase to describe the subject of the link.
The purpose of anchor text is to explain the target page of the link using descriptive text before viewing the content of the linked page.
Since the URI is usually not descriptive enough, anchor text allows the user to distinguish this hyperlink from other links on the page and decide whether or not to visit that page.
Of course, the correct execution of HTML codes makes Google recognize them correctly. This issue shows the importance of the correct implementation of the HTML structure and its validity in the eyes of Google. If the site codes are approved and the tags and elements of the programming language are used appropriately and correctly; Probably, Google also considers the appropriate points for the website by checking them.
If you have doubts about HTML implementation, visit Mozilla Developer.
3. Choose text-matching phrases for anchor text
The use of natural language and fluent text in writing the article is very important in optimizing the content for Google. Every new algorithm that Google publishes emphasizes the use of natural text without repeatedly using keywords or using unrelated phrases for anchor text.
This shows that if you want to write an anchor text related to the subject of the link, the sentence or paragraph must match the anchor text phrase.
Google’s new guidelines recommend:
Write the keyword and anchor text fluently as much as possible and resist adding the keyword of the target page to the anchor text.
In addition to this, repeated use of keywords or keyword stuffing is a violation of Google’s spam policy. In choosing the anchor text, ask yourself if the user needs these phrases to understand the next page or not.
Before Google introduced the BERT algorithm, using keywords in anchor text was useful for SEO. But since Google uses BERT technology to understand the meaning of sentences, this is not practical. Again, we emphasize that you should use natural phrases that describe the topic of the linked page.
What is BERT?
If you have a question about what BERT is, we must say that BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. It is a deep learning model based on transformer networks that Google introduced in 2018. This model was able to get a very good score in many natural language processing competitions and programs. Brett can simultaneously look at all the words in a sentence or paragraph and understand their meaning.
Of course, you may have wondered what BERT has to do with Google’s understanding of the text of articles. This technology shows that Google recognizes fluent and natural text from a text full of keywords. Google’s 2019 announcement of the Brett algorithm further highlighted the importance of fluent text and natural language.
Somewhere in the announcement, it was stated that especially for searching for longer phrases or phrases where prepositions such as “for” and “to” are very important in determining its meaning, the search engine can recognize your text and meaning, so every user can, as He talks, or rather, he searches his question naturally.
4. The number of internal links on the page should not be too high
One of the common thinking in SEO is that the more internal links we give on an article page to other pages, the better. On this basis, many SEO site experts put a line between internal links to other pages and practically make the text of the article and its description unusable.
If the links are placed one after the other, this issue is not acceptable in two ways. The first issue is the user experience, which practically destroys the user’s focus in reading the content. The next issue is the inadequacy of anchor texts. That is, when you use internal links for each word in a row, the anchor texts do not have enough credibility in terms of fully explaining the target pages and the destination of the link, and this issue damages internal linking.
Google’s new guide explains that:
Avoid linking back to back. Because it’s harder for readers to distinguish between links, and with each additional link, they lose focus on the surrounding content.