Updated: December 26, 2012 Google, Bing and Yahoo cracked down…
I am a search engine optimization consultant and the SEO director at a marketing advertising agency in Atlanta. I received this question from a client after he reviewed an SEO recommendation for a particular webpage on his website. For his privacy, I’ve omitted anything that would identify the client.
Search Engine Optimization consulting question:
On the [webpage being optimized], in the 4th paragraph beginning …
Only you know if it’s a good time …
You wanted us to make the remainder beginning “commit to …” a link to [a related webpage]. That portion that’s the link becomes a different size than the first part, and as it is now looks “clunky.” Since you asked us to do that, we also added the right-hand column with the 4 buttons. The top button goes to the same destination.
Question – can we then remove that portion of Para #3 that’s a link and let the added button suffice?
Do the spiders find the links behind the buttons?
Search Engine Optimization consulting answer:
It would be ideal for SEO to keep the link. We can provide the HTML code for style so it looks the way you want.
Here is the explanation for why…
Why Keyword Text Links Help SEO
Spiders do find the links behind the buttons, however, there is added value creating links using the words within paragraphs. When those words link to another page, it tells the search engine what that page is about. So when you make a text link that includes the keyword “business development” to your Registration page, it sends the signal to Google that your Registration page is about “business development”…and should rank when people search for that term. The reason it is important to use links within paragraphs, is that the other words surrounding the link also are read by Google and it teaches Google that those nearby words are also related to the page where the link goes. This helps you rank for a wider variety of keywords.
On another level, it also tells Google there is a connection between the two pages. In this way, the optimization and content on one page adds a little more depth and optimization to the other page. If we know that a group of pages on your website are related, we want to create a web work of links between those related pages. This shows Google that you not only have one page relevant to a keyword search, but a group of pages, which makes you a better resource on the subject matter of that keyword, and therefore a better website to list in the rankings for that keyword.
SEO Means Helping Google Create a Better Experience
Google knows that if it sends a visitor to a webpage where there are links to related pages, if that visitor does not see what he wants right away, he is more likely to read and click around to find what he wants, compared to if Google sends that visitor to one page with very few links, if he doesn’t see what he wants, he’s more likely decide he is unsatisfied with where Google sent him and hit the back button – resulting in a dissatisfied Google experience. In this way, interlinking within related pages, especially using links right in the main content area where people read, makes you more desirable for Google to rank in search results.