Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Make Your Internal Links Consistent

Mark Jackson has a good article in Search Engine Watch about making sure your internal links are consistent. While there’s enough good stuff there to make it worth your while to read the entire article, of particular importance is his discussion of links to your home page. We find many (perhaps most) of our clients commit this easily fixed mistake.

Keepin’ Your Internal Linking “Real”

Now let’s look at the home page of your site. I would consider your home page to be located at http://www.example.com/, not at http://www.example.com/index.html or http://www.example.com/default.aspx. Even though the index.html or the default.aspx file is your site’s home page, the real home page is http://www.example.com because that’s the page everyone tends to link to when they link to your Web site.

So, why should your internal navigation link to the index.html file instead? Your Web site’s “home” link in your navigation should link to your real home page (i.e., http://www.example.com/). If you aren’t being consistent when you link internally on your site, something you have complete control over, then you’re losing out on better search engine rankings.

It’s quite possible that your internal linking inconsistency isn’t passing “link credit” around your site properly. The home page is the most important page on your site. Why pass some of your “link credit” to one URL (http://www.example.com/index.html) while other “link credit” is being passed to another URL (http://www.example.com/)? It’s important to fix the internal links to your home page, and consistently link to what I call your “real” home page.

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