This is my second article in my series about developing an effective internal linking structure for WordPress. If you’d like to read my first article, checkout the link below:
This time around, I’m going to focus on the NoFollow attribute, your HTML sitemap and using a Tags Page which will help you make the most of your content and plugins. So, lets dig in shall we?
I know a lot of people hate this HTML attribute and that Google is forcing people to use it on their comments or on their sponsors’ links but the simple fact is, you have to use it.
I understand that you may not know what NoFollow means, so I recommend you check out the Wikipedia definition of NoFollow. This may be the first time you’ve used it so you might also like to see a visual representation of NoFollow usage on my and other’s sites. If so, get the Search Status extension for FireFox.
If you don’t use NoFollow on Advertisers or Commenters and Google finds out, you could be in for a nasty surprise. You could lose Page Rank (deterrant to more advertisers) or your site from their index! Just ask John Chow… or not.
If you are selling links with NoFollow on it, at least don’t tell them you’re doing so, with a “Your Link Here!”, underneath a list of suspicious links.
NoFollow Unnecessary Links
Another time and place to use NoFollow is for unnecessary links. If you browse NoFollow links on my site, you may notice that I’ve NoFollowed some links in my blogroll, my RSS feed and my homepage title.
Since some of my friends in my blog roll don’t want to be listed well in Search engines, I added NoFollow to their links.
I added NoFollow to my blog title which links to my homepage because that page already has enough Authority and the sheer size and location of the link makes it the most important link on a page. If it was a regular link, I would be pushing Page Rank to my homepage instead of relevant content in my articles.
Of course I could be wrong, but when is anything in SEO for certain?
Create Your HTML Sitemap
With the Dagon Design HTML Sitemap plugin I invited you to checkout in my previous article, you’re now able to make a browsable Sitemap. Install instructions for this plugin can be found on Dagon Designs site but I thought I’d give you a few guidelines when making your Sitemap.
This is a great navigational tool for not only Search engines but also to users visiting your site - so keep that in mind. Place the Sitemap in two very obvious places. That way, if users get lost they can find it in your footer or in your sidebar. Search Engines should also notice this.
If you haven’t done so already, you need to make yourself familiar with the options inside the Sitemap plugin, under options in WordPress. Inside here, a point to consider is that you should not place too many links on a certain page of your site map. A general rule of thumb I go by is 100 links per page - maximum. That means I shouldn’t have more than 25 or 30 links per page on my sitemap. Also note that if you have too many pages in your sitemap, it defeats the purpose of your sitemap for users and even bots, so find a happy medium.
Develop a Tags Page with Unique Content on it
I’m still not 100 percent sure on whether this is beneficial or not but I see all the big sites doing it and from a linking point of view it makes perfect sense.
The thing about making one of these pages is that search engines hate when people make pages stuffed full of keywords and that’s exactly what a tags page is like.
From a linking standpoint, it’s quite effective in theory. You have relevant pages (like this) with relevant links (all the articles on that page), linking to relevant content (when you browse through to the article)
Regardless of my doubt, I’ve made one anyway and I think you should have a go at doing it too. Since it’s a complex job to perform, I won’t tell you how to make it in this article. Instead I’ll leave that for another day and I’ll update this guide with a link for when I do.
Tagging Made Simple and Effective
Hopefully you decided to install Simple Tags from my last post. With this plugin, you can keep track of all your tags and it makes it easy for you to focus on certain tags. It even has a feature where it suggests tags and shows tags as you type. This will make tagging a simple job and it will increase the effectiveness of your tag links structure.
That concludes my take on NoFollow, HTML sitemaps and tags pages for internal linking in WordPress. Next article I am going to take a look at the role of duplicate content in getting your site indexed and hence it’s effect on getting you higher rank.
Call me out if you see any of my BS. I’d love to hear it.