SEO Page Links

Inline content linking can have a beneficial impact on Search Engine Ranking but only if used properly. The most common pitfalls include "using click" here or "read more..." links. Using full URLs for internal site links is also problematic. XHTML Strict also plays a role because of the removal of the target attribute.

Click Here Links

Search Engines will typically give greater importance to words used within the hyperlink <a> tag so using "Click Here" links is not beneficial unless you sell "Click Heres". 

A bad case of hyperlinking to our Services is to tell the reader to click here

It is much better to link to our Graphic Design Service like this since "Graphic Design Services" are the important keywords.

Using Read More Links

Using "Read More..." links causes the same problem. They can still be used so long as there is another link with a title or keyword link before it. The heading above has a link using good keywords so it is OK to use a read more link at the end of this paragraph. It might be useful for the reader to have another link at the end if the content is very long and there is a large separation between the beginning and end of this text. So if you want you can tell them to read more...

Full URLs for internal links

It is always better to use a relative paths in URL links for two reasons. The primary reason is for site portability. A full URL, which includes the site domain, such as <a href="http://www.codamoda.com/portfolio"> forces a fixed location to the content whereas a relative URL <a href="portfolio"> will still work if the site is moved or the domain is changed. This issue occurs quite often if content is added to a development site and then the site goes live using a different domain. All of a sudden the links stop working and must be updated.

The second reason affects Search Engine Ranking because internal relative links make it easier for search engines to determine the amount of content a site has. Some Search Engines will treat Full URLs as external links which will reduce the overall amount of content the site appears to have.

Link Target bad for XHTML Strict

The <a target="_blank"> attribute is very popular amongst web site builders because it forces the reader's browser to open the linked page in a new window or tab. The intended effect is to keep the reader on the original site so that when they close the new browser window/tab they will again see the original site page. To much chagrin the target attribute has been deprecated in HTML Strict.

It is questionable whether this technique had any merit in the first place so its probably wise that it is removed.  Most readers intuitively use the Back button rather than closing windows/tabs. In fact most users will click back on the new window/tab, then realize they cannot go back, and finally close the window/tab to get back to the original site. In this case we are making extra work for our readers which is never a good thing.

If this functionality is required then it is best to use the <a rel="external"> attribute together with JavaScript to trigger the same behaviour. But again its not recommended.

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