Google's John Mueller: internal linking helps us to find your important pages
Google's John Mueller said in a webmaster hangout on YouTube that Google checks the click-depth of pages to find the most important pages on a website:
"To give a sense of importance within your website you'd need to do that more with regards to internal linking. So less less with just purely the sitemap and more kind of making it easy for Google to recognize when we crawl your site which of the pages you care about.
The most usually that's like we would start with your homepage, depending on the website but in many cases we start with the home page and things that are linked from the home page we would see as being more important than things which are just like i don't know five or six steps distance from the home page."
Pages that are closer to your home page are more important than other pages.
How to check the click-depth of your pages
The website audit tool in SEOprofiler does exactly what John Mueller describes above: it starts with the home page of your website and then it follows the links on the home page. The audit report shows the exact number of clicks it takes to get to a particular page on your website.
The internal links on your website have an impact on the position of your web pages in Google's search results. Good internal links make it easier for your pages to be indexed and ranked by Google.
How to reduce the click-depth of a page
Reduce the number of clicks that are needed to get to important pages on your website. For example, you can do to reduce the click-depth:
- Increase the number of high-level categories on your website. The more high-level categories your website has, the quicker people will find particular pages.
- Increase the number of related links on your pages. For example, you could increase the number of linked similar products on a product page.
How to improve your rankings for particular topics
Improved internal links can also help you to improve the authority of pages that deal with a particular topic. Create hub pages on your website that link to all pages that are related to a particular topic.
The page that covers the main topic should be linked from the home page of your website. That page should be an authoritative page that covers the main topic from an expert view. Then link to the related pages from the main page.
The related pages should also link to each other to reinforce the relationship between these pages. Use anchor texts that are related to the topic in your links. By creating these content hubs, you increase the ranking chances of the individual pages.
Google: it's the quality of the links that point to your website, not the quantity
Google's John Mueller confirmed in a video on YouTube that the quality of the links that point to your website is important. A single good link from a relevant website can be more impactful than thousands of low quality links. This article shows you how to get these good links.
Google tries to understand what is relevant for a website
A website owner asked in a webmaster hangout if the total number of linking domains was more important than the total number of links. John Mueller answered that Google took a different approach:
"I don’t think we differentiate like that in our systems. From my point of view, I would tend not to focus on the total number of links to your site, or the total number of domain links to your website, because we look at links in a very different way. [...]
We try to understand what is relevant for a website, how much should we weigh these individual links, and the total number of links doesn’t matter at all. Because you could go off and create millions of links across millions of websites if you wanted to, and we could just ignore them all.
Or there could be one really good link from one website out there that is, for us, a really important sign that we should treat this website as something that is relevant because it has that one link. I don’t know, maybe from like a big news site’s home page, for example. So the total number essentially is completely irrelevant."
How to get good links that have an impact on your rankings
If you want to get good links, you must target the right websites. Only links from the right websites will have a positive impact on your rankings on Google and other search engines. A link from another website should be useful to website visitors. For that reason, it is important that the links to your website come from websites that are related to your site.
Starter Guide on How to optimize your website
If you do the right things in the right order, you will save a lot of time and money. Do the following things to get high rankings in Google's regular results as quickly as possible:
Step 1: understand how SEO works
Learn how search engine optimization (SEO) will help you to increase your sales. You will save a lot of time if you understand the basic concept of search engine optimization before you start.
For example, it is important to know that a single spam element on your website can destroy all of your other activities.
Step 2: choose your keywords carefully
Take some time to find the right keywords for your website. The most obvious keywords usually aren't the best keywords for SEO.
It is not important that your website is ranked for popular keyword that many people search for. It is important that your website is ranked for keywords that attract targeted visitors who will buy something on your website.
Step 3: optimize your web pages
Optimizing your web pages is important if you want to get high rankings on Google and other search engines. Links are important, but the content of your web pages is the foundation of your rankings.
Step 4: get good links from other websites
If more than one page is relevant to a keyword, the page with the best links will get the highest ranking. Links are an important ranking signal in the algorithm of Google, Bing and other search engines.
Step 5: check your results
When you have done all of the above, you can Monitor to find out how search engines rank your website. Note that it is not important that your website has high rankings for all possible keywords. Your website must have high rankings for the right keywords that lead to sales.
Search engine optimization is not about getting high rankings for popular keywords. Search engine optimization is about getting high rankings for keywords that deliver buyers to your website.
SEO for Google Images
John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google, dives into how images work on Google, using images to achieve your site's goals, and SEO and optimization best practices for images.
Google Ranks Pages But Overall Site Greatly Influences The Ranking Pages
Does Google rank pages as individual web pages or does Google rank websites as a whole? The answer is really both. Google evaluates your site's quality overall and that can impact your site during broad core updates, in Google Discover, whether Rich Results are shown for your site, and whether individual pages of your site rank.
Google of course has many algorithms, I do not pretend to know what or how each of those algorithms work. But on a simplistic level, from being outside of Google, I'll try to explain how I believe this works.
Those algorithms can assign scores of some sorts to each URL within a website. So you have many scores assigned to many web pages across a single site. Those scores include BOTH individual web page scores and overall site level scores. And the truth is, sometimes one URL on a website may even have an individual score for that URL but the next URL on that same website might use a site level score for that URL. Let me give some examples...
Let's look at maybe page speed, Google might have metrics about web page A on your site because it has enough data from its various sources to assign an individual score to that URL for ranking purposes. But then you publish a new page and that page does not have enough metrics for Google to score the page in terms of page speed. So Google looks at the overall score of the whole site in terms of page speed and maybe it assigns that overall site score to that new individual URL. That is one example.
But there are other examples where each URL on a site may be assigned scores or metrics at the overall site level. I mean, we see it all the time with core updates, where a core update roll out, virtually it hits in a negative or positive way the whole site, each and every web page across the whole site. It is obvious to anyone who was impacted by a core update that Google does rank web pages based off of overall site metrics. But I do believe that overall site metric is assigned on a URL by URL, a page by page, basis of a site. But with some quality metrics, like core updates, those are such highly weighted ranking signals or scores that the whole site, every page on that site, is impacted.
That is how I understand it based on my history covering everything Google has said about algorithms and their lawn chairs since 2003.
I like the Twitter thread over here that kicks off one of the many debates around this topic this week. It is from Cyrus:
Google launches 'About this search result' feature
When you search for information on Google, you probably often come across results from sources that you’re familiar with: major retailer websites, national news sites and more.
But there’s also a ton of great information on and services available from sites that you may not have come across before. And while you can always use Google to do some additional research about those sites, we’re working on a new way for you to find helpful info without having to do another search.
Starting today, next to most results on Google, you’ll begin to see a menu icon that you can tap to learn more about the result or feature and where the information is coming from. With this additional context, you can make a more informed decision about the sites you may want to visit and what results will be most useful for you.
When available, you’ll see a description of the website from Wikipedia, which provides free, reliable information about tens of millions of sites on the web. Based on Wikipedia’s open editing model, which relies on thousands of global volunteers to add content, these descriptions will provide the most up-to-date verified and sourced information available on Wikipedia about the site. If it’s a site you haven’t heard of before, that additional information can give you context or peace of mind, especially if you’re looking for something important, like health or financial information.
If a website doesn’t have a Wikipedia description, we’ll show you additional context that may be available, such as when Google first indexed the site.
For the features Google provides to organize different types of information, like job listings or local business listings, you’ll see a description about how Google sources that information from sites on the web, or from businesses themselves, and presents it in a helpful format.
You’ll also be able to quickly see if your connection to the site is secure based on its use of the HTTPS protocol, which encrypts all data between the website and the browser you’re using, to help you stay safe as you browse the web.
And if you need quick access to your privacy settings, or just want to learn a bit more about how Google Search works, links to resources are just a tap or click away.
We’ll begin rolling out this feature today in English in the U.S. on desktop, mobile web and the Google App on Android. We hope this makes it easier to learn about the results you see on Google and find the most helpful information for you.