10 Internal Linking Mistakes That Will Negatively Impact Your Content Strategy (2023)

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Internal linking consists in adding links to the content of a webpage.Usually, those links appear as colorful, clickable, and bold words thatredirect the user onto another page of the same website.

Web owners and content creators use theseinternal linksto suggest articles from their site and thus encouraging users to spend more time on it. So, internal links seem to be quite significant for an online business, a blog, or a news page. Nonetheless, most creators make a lot of mistakes regarding internal linking, which negatively impact their websites. In this article, we’ll analyze ten internal linking errors that set websites back.

Internal Linking: An SEO Pillar

Before we list theerrors, let’s define internal linking better. We briefly illustrated the waylinking works: you choose a link to match a word or a phrase of the articleyou’ll be posting. More specifically, an internal link is the address of a pageon the same site. So, internal linking is a relatively easy process that mostcontent creators follow to boost their articles.

But why is it soimportant?

You may think thatjust because the link never leaves your website, it may have no impact on yourtraffic, rankings, or search results. Well, studies show that it’s quite theopposite.

According toPaperwritingpro, Google uses links as one of the primary criteria to rank pages and suggest them to the users. In fact, when a Google user types in a query, the engine proceeds to:

  1. Find all existing websites (crawling).The engine verifies external links, URLs, andother elements to match the query.
  2. Learn the content of the web pages (indexing).The engine looks inside of the web pages tomatch the query. Here’s where internal links come into play as well askeywords.
  3. Rank the pages.Based on the last two steps, the engine placesall the website links, with their titles and meta descriptions, on the resultspage for the user to choose.

So, as shown, internallinking is part of the success of a website. However, this isn’t anything new.SEO experts, content creators, and web owners leverage linking so much thatthey invest hundreds of dollars.

In a study by AIRA, nearly half of web owners spend more than $10,000 on links. Meanwhile, a consistent 22% invest about $2000 on link building. Of course, not all that capital goes to internal linking. Still, it’s impressive to see how much money is invested in this method.

Consequently, notusing internal linking correctly has a terrible impact on your website’ssuccess and budget. Hence, we’re dedicating an article correcting thosemistakes or making sure that they never happen. After all, why waste money onincorrect link usage when you could use it to develop your webpage andbusiness?

Furthermore, the firstmistake of web marketers is to think that external linking (links from a siteto another) is all that’s relevant for a website. These links, also known asoutbounds, are important. Nonetheless, they can’t cover all the SEO needs of awell-functioning site. The same goes for inbound links (backlinks), meaningincoming links from other pages and websites.

With a properdefinition out of the way, here’s the list.

1. Using SEO Too Much

If you’re reading thisarticle, you’re probably interested in SEO practices that help your websitedevelop from a marketing stance point. Nevertheless, SEO methods aren’t alwaysthe answer, especially when it comes to the actual content of your website.More specifically, SEO strategies are not a formula or cheat code. SEO toolsneed to be used with caution. Otherwise, you might end up with the opposite ofwhat you wished.

One of the firstmistakes of content creators is selecting the internal links and SEO keywordsbefore even developing their content. This method might seem smart; however,it’s incredibly damaging to your content quality and time.

Firstly, because ofthe imposed keywords and links, you might have trouble connecting the variouselements of your article. As a result, the content may be low-quality and seemlike you forced your keywords and links. Moreover, you might spend a lot oftime making those keywords sound natural even though you have no clue where thearticle is going.

So, don’t try toover-use SEO techniques before actually creating content.

2. Not Using SEO Enough

Another crucialmistake is neglecting your SEO opportunities. For instance, writing a blog postwithout having a clue of what internal links you may add. Here, we’re on theother side of the spectrum: under-using SEO methods.

A remedy to that issuemay be coming up with a high-quality content idea. Do some research about thetrending demands of your audience and start from there. Then, you might checkyour stats and see what SEO elements you’re missing on your website. Lastly,consider a few keywords that might work for your article and the possibleinternal links to add.

After writing yourpost, you completed half of your work because you knew the useful keywords. Theonly thing left is to edit it and SEO-proof it.

You may like: Reasons Why Wordpress Is Preferable For SEO

3. Wrong Nofollow Tag Use

The nofollow tag is anHTML command that you can add to your links. You can find it in the HTML set upin the form of:


This tag stops botsfrom following the link to the source. It helps prevent the user from accessingforms or other addresses. However, in building a page with internal links, thenofollow tag is useless and damaging.

For instance, ifyou’re trying to suggest another product or article on your site through aninternal link, the nofollow tag will essentially make it useless. Not tomention that it’s counter-productive: you’re stopping the extra traffic on yoursite and potential sales. In addition, your page may start to rank lowerbecause of all the useless nofollow tags.

Another reasonwebmasters abuse nofollow tags is that they try to prevent users from going tosketchy parts of the website, like spam comments. This highlights an importantissue: why does the website have untrusted links or pages? The answer might bein the structure of the website and the quality that needs some improvement.

Nevertheless, to avoidaffecting page ranking, you should use the tag for paid links. An even betteralternative is deleting all the unsafe links altogether.

4. Wrong Use Of Redirects

Internal links havethe purpose of directing the user towards another page of the same website.However, some web owners make mistakes when it comes to these redirectinglinks. If not linked correctly, redirects can form a dangerous and endlesscycle that confuses the search engine, the user, and you, the webmaster whohouse-keeps the site. Moreover, your rankings may drop along with userexperience.

This is an issue thatusually concerns outbound and inbound links, so links from outside yourwebsite. Nonetheless, if you need to redirect pages, keep the number ofredirects at a minimum and set the destination as close to the final page aspossible. So, if you can’t link the exact page, link the closes one.

A good question couldbe, “How do I know if my website has loopy redirect links?”. The most faultyand repetitive redirects come from your website’s early days and, as stated,the external links. So, try to check the early pages, the old parts of yourwebsite, and the ones with many ads, sponsored links, and so forth.

Moreso, you may beindecisive about using permanent or temporary links. The user doesn’tunderstand the difference because the user experience is the same in bothcases. For the search-bot, the difference is substantial.

The temporary linkstell the bot to keep the original and temporary page versions indexed. Thepermanent only has one version. Obviously, the temporary link indicates theneed to return to a permanent version.

Therefore, permanentlinks seem to be a good idea. But the issue is that the redirect links consumethe crawling budget of your website, which is the maximum “attention” or“exposure” that Google can give you regarding the search results protocol. So,try to avoid redirects to preserve your website’s crawling budget, ranking, andfuture fluidity.

5. Excess Links And Keywords

Previously, wementioned excessive SEO practices. Here’s another one: too many links andkeywords on the same page.

If you add too manykeywords and links on the same page, you’ll create a spam-like look for yourwebsite. As a result, both your rankings and user experience drop.

So, try to avoid usingtoo many sub-keywords, long-tail keywords, and other sub-categories. The Googlesearch engine likes simple pages with one keyword that’s well-distributed.

Links should be placedwell, with a two or three paragraphs distance between, depending on the lengthof your post. Try to think like the user and ask yourself, “What would I liketo access after reading this bit?”. For instance, if you talk about summergardening tips, maybe your users would love to learn about gardeningessentials.

Lastly, here’s extraadvice: try to stay away from sites that use these excessive spam-likepractices because those links may affect your website’s reputation and yourrankings. Find properly edited websites, as they will ensure a betterreputation and prevent you from losing your inbounds because of the Googlestrike algorithm.

6. Using Irrelevant Links And Low-Quality Guests

In the past, even theshortest articles could get reliable links. Today, however, content creatorsand web admins need to put in the work.

Famous websites,such as Ninjaessays,that have the power to promote your webpage status look for two things: high-quality and coherency. So, having good content is the key to a website’s success, as this is the only way to get links from authority sites. Also, when it comes to internal links, coherency is still a concept to keep in mind. Don’t try to link irrelevant pages that have nothing to do with your article. The theme and quality need to match.

For example, if youwrote a well-made article about the newest high-tech gadgets, don’t link an oldpage from your early days about something that wasn’t relevant then and evenless now. Moreso, don’t link an article about Instagram posing tricks, whichdon’t match the theme.

You may like: 6 Crucial SEO Tool Types to Get a Higher Ranking in Search Engines

In addition, if youplan on adding guest posts, proofread and try to stay away from sketchywebpages. Make sure that the content your guest presents is top quality,in-depth, original, and coherent to your site. Then, insist on internal linksthat connect best with the post.

7. Orphaned Pages

Orphan pages are thepages on your site that have no internal inbounds. This means that there are nolinks to this page on other pages. Unfortunately, when it happens, the pagetends to end at the bottom of your articles because, with time, everyoneforgets about it, and no link suggests it. But why does that happen? Here aresome reasons why your page may be orphaned (and how to fix it):

  • Not enough content.In this case, the content is not enough tomake it worth linking. You probably thought it was not worth your crawlingbudget. So, start by developing it more using maybe new sources.
  • Not high-quality content.Here, the quality of the post didn’t convinceyou to spend crawling budget on it. So, you may need to revise it. Maybe youcan correct the incoherencies and the superficial paragraphs, the wordingissues, and so on.
  • Irrelevant subject.In this case, you need to spice it up orsimply change the subject.
  • The subject doesn’t mix well with otherarticles.Here you might needto change the whole article because it just doesn’t mix with other content.It’s probably out of the central theme of your website, so you have no hook toit.
  • You simply forgot to add internal links.Here you just need to add the links andperhaps revamp it.
  • You added its temporary or defective link onother pages.In this case, youneed to fix the URL or make it permanent.
  • You used the nofollow tag when linking it onother pages.As we said previously,avoid nofollow tags, specifically for internal links, and delete the tag whereyou already have it.

8. Dead Pages

Alongside orphanedpages, dead pages are also a serious mistake that web admins make.

Imagine being aninternet user reading an article. At some point, you wish to access thehyperlink that you found in the text, but it’s not working, or it leads you toa dead page. You’d probably get a little confused and think that the site isn’ttaken care of properly.

Dead pages and brokenlinks are a terrible party breaker, and they decrease your user experiencelevel and ranking. It’s not just the user getting a little disappointed; it’sthe algorithm too. But what can you do to correct it?

The key to fixing deadpages and broken URLs is constant website maintenance. You might want toperiodically check every page and ensure that it successfully leads the userwhere you want. It’s an quick job that anyone can do. If you don’t have timefor this activity, you can ask friends and family to help you by checking yoursite out, then clicking on every hyperlink to see if it works. Lastly, they cannote the ones that don’t work. This tip is efficient in many cases. It allowsyou to receive direct feedback from your close ones about their user experiencesince webmasters can have trouble switching perspectives.

9. User Experience Errors

User experience, asnoted, is quintessential for the success of your website. Users need to feelattracted to your pages and topics, both intellectually and aesthetically. Theywant to feel like the page is trying to help them in the navigation of thewebsite. Moreover, they love a website that makes them feel safe whilebrowsing.

On the other hand,potential clients hate when the site pressures them with ads, pop-ups, andother invasive marketing strategies. It makes them feel like they’re pushedinto a scam. So, try to avoid flashy publicity and intrusive ads.

Specifically, don’tpoint hyperlinks to ads or other intense marketing pages. Remember to use a fewmeaningful internal links that are coherent to the article’s subject.

Another vital userexperience improvement that you can work on is load time. When it takes way toolong to load a page or redirect, the user slowly loses interest, just like thealgorithm. So, make sure that your links are easy and quick to access, thusfocusing on improving the loading time.

Pay close attention tothe loading time as it can indicate deeper problems within your website’sfoundation, such as:

  • Complicatedwebsite structure.
  • Loops andchains of redirects.
  • Brokenlinks and excessive nofollow tags.
  • Dead ororphaned pages.
  • All of theabove issues combined.

10. Lazy Linking

Last but not least,another linking mistake could be lazy linking. More specifically, for internallinking, it’s important to switch things up. This means that you should avoidusing the same articles as links for your hypertext.

For example, you havea cooking blog and always add your top 10 cooking essentials as an internallink. Even if it’s coherent, you should try to add other links to your pages,so you increase traffic in all areas of your website. The result is betterranking and user experience.

Also, generally avoidrepetitive methods like:

  • Using thesame external links again and again.
  • Havingalways the same companies and guests over.
  • Placingthe links in the same spots and the same number.
  • Talkingabout the same issues over and over.
  • Using thesame formatting and image placement.

Final Thoughts

With the help of correct internal linking, you might see significantimprovements in your SEO score, Google rankings, and user traffic. Justremember to avoid nofollow tags, dead and broken pages. Use redirects wiselyand don’t abuse keywords and internal links. Also, keep your contenthigh-quality and coherent to your website’s theme.

10 Internal Linking Mistakes That Will Negatively Impact Your Content Strategy (1)

Namaste UI (Author)

An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
For any types of queries, contact us oninfo[at]namasteui.com.


What is an example of internal linking? ›

Internal link is a link from one page to another page on the same domain. Example are website navigation.

What is the impact of internal links? ›

Internal links tell search engines which pages on your site are important and which they should stand up and take notice of. The more internal links pointing to a particular page, the more important it will appear to the search engines.

What is the impact of internal linking in SEO? ›

Why Are Internal Links Important for SEO? Internal links help Google find, index and understand all of the pages on your site. If you use them strategically, internal links can send page authority (also known as PageRank) to important pages.

Are too many internal links bad for SEO? ›

There's really no limit to how many links a page can feature. Some pages may require more links than others. But using too many links may prove harmful to your SEO efforts. For most pages, try to avoid using more than a few hundred links.


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