How to SEO Web Links Joomla! Site
Today, I'm focusing on how to properly format and optimize links in Joomla for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Linking is one of the most fundamental parts of any website and I'm going to show you how to optimize these links in Joomla!, but the formats hold true for any CMS or Blog platform.
There are two main types of links that are used on a website
External Links - Links that point to another domain (or subdomain). In essence, these links point outside of the website that you are creating the link in.
Internal Links - Links that point to other parts of the originating website, be it images, articles, videos or anything else under the same domain or subdomain and provided it's a part of the same site.
External Link SEO
As I said above, external links that point (or 'target') any other domain than the one the link has originated from ('source'). So if another website is linking to yours, this is considered their external link. If you setup a link on your website to Amazon.com, this is also an external link.
<a href="/http://www.external-domain-example.com/" title="Keyword Text">Anchor Text</a>
Tip: Using Keywords that accurately desctribe the link in the anchor text improves link SEO.
External links are extremely important source of ranking, coming in right after your Tile and Description SEO. External links by default pass 'link juice' differently than an internal link does, because search engines use them to establish relevancy to the page/site topic. It is unknown whether the title attribute is used for ranking purposes, but I still put them in there because when you hover over a link, you'll get the litte descriptive box that pops up with your title text.
The important thing to remember is that it has to come from a separate domain, not a subdomain or subfolder of the link's originating ('source') domain to have more weight.
Many Search Enging Optimization gurus believe that external linking is the most important ranking factor as it is the hardest for a site owner to control. In the past, Google gave a lot of weight to external links, and they probably still do, but there are other factors involved in creating your page rank, so don't base your whole SEO strategy on this alone.
- Some of the factors that do go into ranking are:
- The popularity of the page linking to your site
- how relavant the content of the linking page is to your page
- The anchor text that appears as the link
- The trustworthyness of the source domain
- The age of the source domain
- The amount of links to the target page across multiple sources
- The number of variations in the anchor text across the domains
- The ownership relationship between source and target domains
The importance of these external links can be broken down into to major factors:
How popular is your link? How popular is the source page? It's easy for the search engines to see the clickthroughs. When combined with other relevancy factors, this is a very powerful metric for determining your site's rank.
Links are only part of the view search engines have. They also look at how relevant the source site is to yours, and also drill down to how relevant the source page is to yours.
While you cannot completely control external incoming links, quality content, a good inbound marketing strategy and attention to SEO details will build quality links over time.
Internal Link SEO
Internal links are simply links on a site where the source and target are on the same domain. For example if I had a blog post on domain.com/blog-post-1 and I linked to another blog post, domain.com/blog-post/2 this would be considered an internal link because the source and target are both 'domain.com'.
<a href="/http://samedomain.com/another-page-on-the-site" title="Keyword Text">Keyword Text</a>
Essentially, its a link that points to another page on the same website.
Internal links are most often seen in forms of a menu or site navigation, but are also found in content. Wikipedia is the top example of internal links, where major keywords are all linked to other pages on Wikipedia.
Internal links are essential as the search bots will only be able to crawl site links to other pages. If you don't link to a page, chances are that a search engine would not pick it up, or if they do, rank the page extremely low, thinking that there is no relevancy since it's not linked from anywhere.
In SEO terms, you want to organize your links by their respective categories, using keywords in the categories. You also want the articles that you link to within the same category, which should be a variant of the menu link category keyword.