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Internal vs External Links: Is there (still) a difference?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by xinga, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. xinga

    xinga Regular Member

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    I just stumbled over a nice quote in a different thread and it really brought back a long-held suspicion I'd love to discuss. What if Google didn't differentiate between internal and external links.

    Here is the quote that made me think about it (again).
    You know the routine. First, do on-page SEO, then buy the backlinks. There's probably a million guides out there, free or not, telling you the same.

    If you dig a bit deeper, you will discover discussions about LSIs and tiered posting. Stuff a lot of LSIs into one big pillar article and then write an article about each of these LSIs interlinking to your big post.

    Does it work? Hard to proof, I only know that I have been ranking posts with this method I should ( believing all the standard crap about DA, PA, TF etc) not be able to rank. It certainly would explain why the big sites are able to rank new kws so consistently

    But here's one crazy suggestion? What if google didn't differentiate between internal and external links (anymore). What if they treated each and every link the same...as a sign of trust and context.

    Now you might shout that an external backlink is vital in the way bots work...or is that used to work? Ever since the advent of sending xml-sitemaps through google search console..is that still a viable assumption?

    Wouldn't it make google's indexing so much easier, if they treated it the same?

    And what exactly would be the disadvantage? A way to exploit it would be writing a LOOOOT about the topic and interlinking it. But that's hardly something negative.

    Usually, this falls under the buzzword 'context relevancy'. To me, it always sounded a bit like chasing ghosts.


    There is one caveat: pagerank would be, by design, ignoring any internal links. But how much has happened since December 2007? And i got no clue how, in this system, pagerank would be defined, as I certainly wouldn't say each link is alike. Only an internal link of similar strenght is equal to an external link.

    So what do you think?
     
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  2. Zosavvy

    Zosavvy Newbie

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    If I think I understand what you're saying then I suppose my argument would be that Google will always treat external links as preferential ranking factors due to their very nature.

    An internal link is under your control - you can point as many links as you like (without appearing spammy) to a page which you want the bots to view as important to you. An external link is another website's way of passing trust to you which Google acknowledges (providing you don't buy links, of course).

    Managing to secure a back-link from a site which has already secured its position within the SERPs (DA, DR etc.) is no easy feat so, when you do manage to have a website link back to you naturally, Google's way of saying 'well done' is to treat that as an extremely powerful ranking factor.

    I think, in a sense, both internal links and external links should carry the same importance to the SEO as a balanced link-profile is critical. But, in Google's eyes, I think external links come out on top.
     
  3. aidenhera

    aidenhera Elite Member

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    Hehe thank you :p

    That works.


    I don't think internal and external links are the same. Internal links on new domain without external backlinks are weak even with 100 pages of content. Mix these methods. Bring strong backlinks to inner pages and then interlink the new pages - you will see the difference.

    Anyway I do not think they are the same simply because internal links are almost instant. When you create a new page on parasite it will rank pretty good for a no-backlinks property. Both because of domain authority and internal linking (in most cases when theres allowed user-generated content its put into category or subcategory that is there for ages, magazined great internal power and will surely give some juice to new inner pages).
     
  4. xinga

    xinga Regular Member

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    yeah, but I didn't suggest all backlings are the same. Just that a strong internal backlink is just as good as an equally strong external link.

    In a way, i just got a problem with the way most SEO theories handle context. It just feels like adding too many dimensions / querries to be efficent.
     
  5. NoDice

    NoDice Newbie

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    Juice does flow through internal links and an internal link can be of higher value that an external link depending on where that link is coming from.

    Link 1: High Value topic relevant link from an Authority domain To the hope page of your Site. Then an internal link from the homepage of your site to Page A.
    Link 2: Low Authority domain link straight to Page A

    Link 1, passes it's relevance and value (juice) to Page A via the internal link, but the value is split between all links on the original target. So 10 internal links, the link value is split 10 times.

    This is Pagerank 101, but these days it's much harder to quantify that juice value.
     
  6. NoDice

    NoDice Newbie

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    Also, as you pointed out, the proof is on large sites with no external links going to an internal page, but they rank higher than all competition due to the link juice flowing to the homepage then passing to internal pages.
     
  7. rafark

    rafark Regular Member

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    Is that xena the warrior? Omg
     
  8. rafark

    rafark Regular Member

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    Regarding links, of course there's a massive difference between internal and external links. External links are signs from third parties, whereas internal links will always be biased to some extent.

    They play different roles and will never ever by any means and under any circumstance, known or unknown be the same. Big authority websites who play with internal link juice have their power based In External links.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  9. Cshark

    Cshark Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Awesome post.

     
  10. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I tend to agree with op. Of course if a page has higher metrics / more quality links pointing to it, it will be more powerful but that aside I think google will differentiate less between sites and will treat one page and a link just like any other.

    Sure in theory an external website linking to you is a sign that a third party is endorsing your content but what if you are a giant, with hundreds of sites spanning different niches and covering half the net, you are open and transparent and google knows all properties are owned by a single entity, do they value links between those sites as less important than truest external links? Probably not.

    Summary - I think internal linking is extremely important. And you should treat each link like any other backlink.
     
  11. Tove

    Tove Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Of course there is a difference, internal links provide authority and topical relevance, and can pass juice IF they have external links pointing to them, hence some people use silo structure or whatever structure for interlinking contextually.
    It is a great way to rank faster and easier, build supporting content.
     
  12. dennis11209

    dennis11209 Junior Member

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    Google definitely has to value external links more because it is all about that third party thumbs up. Distributing incoming juice through a site and as many inner pages as possible or desired is the proper way to maximize the power of the external links.