Christina Ehrensberger encourages SEOs to use internal linking API to power the logic behind the internal linking modules within your site in 2023.
Christina says: “This API recommends internal links either at random or based on relevance/recency. It’s easy to integrate and you can ensure that traffic is recirculated throughout the site.
Creating an API of this nature will position you for the best SEO outcome possible. We often encounter sites with suboptimal internal linking strategies. They might have pages with numerous internal links and some that have none. For example, on some pages, 20% of URLs get 80% of all internal links and on other pages, 80% of URLs get 20% of all links. This API helps us resolve a lot of issues on sites.”
Will the API select a link and then that link will be permanent on the page or is it a case of rotating the links on the pages?
“It rotates them.”
Is that a concern from Google’s perspective, if they see links being there one moment and not there the next?
“No. The API does this intelligently and the links are constantly being refined and optimised. The links that are returned by the API have feedback loops and check data from Google Search Console as clicks and impressions. They estimate where the links will be most effective. The links don’t constantly rotate, but it’s an intelligent way of placing the links.”
If links point to a page and that page isn’t ranking, might the API decide that there’s another page that’s more likely to rank for that particular keyword phrase and select that page instead?
“Yes. We see that some pages, for example, have a limited number of internal links. This can be problematic because it can affect the discoverability of pages for users, and also for your buck. We know that Google navigates the site and finds the content with the links and navigates it. An effective API can help ensure that all pages within a site have an equal number of inbound links so that the overall equity and traffic flow is passed to all pages of the site in an equal fashion.”
When automating things like this, is one of the challenges the position and contextual nature of the links of the page?
“Yes. These links are not put in the body text. These are different modules that can be put at the bottom of the site or in the site navigation. You can place them wherever you want. The design can also be more than just text, and it can have thumbnail images in place. For example, if it’s articles you can place similar articles and different links, and then interlink the content.”
Regarding the size of a website, what would be the minimum number of pages that would make this approach worthwhile?
“We recommend you have at least 100 pages because, otherwise, it won’t be worth it. If anyone is interested in using this particular API, you can contact the Graphite agency and get a subscription. It depends on if the site has less than 1,000 URLs, has a specific budget, etc.”
Is this more relevant for certain languages or can it be used in any country around the world?
“We just launched a multi-lingual API. It can be implemented in different languages, though Graphite is actually from San Francisco.”
How do you measure the ROI of spending money on link building? Are you able to measure things like the increased amount of traffic through the API and conversions you’re getting as a result of the links being built?
“Yes. Usually, we generate an impact report and you can measure the success very well. For example, we check URL clicks or impressions, average position, CTR, and various other metrics. We check what has changed since the API was implemented in a specific section. We have seen magnificent results from a client who we implemented eight APIs for. They went on to experience continuous growth in the sections the APIs were implemented. They received a 95% increase in URL clicks where the API was active, and had another section that jumped 105% in URL clicks.”
Is there any limit to the number of calls that an API can make with Google Search Console, for example, to get the data that it requires?
“Yes. We do have a limit request.”
Are there any other sources that you take data from to deliver the optimum quality of links on an automated basis?
“Yes, we can. For example, we can interlink specific silos. This can be done with category pages that have similar topics. There are several different ways to implement the API.”
Is it possible to do this on a manual basis instead, so you can select everything yourself and get better quality results?
“There’s no way you could realistically do this manually. With the presence of AI and these kinds of APIs, we can automate it and do lots of things we weren’t able to do before. This will improve web pages so that they will be crawled faster and more frequently. There are lots of benefits that will improve page rankings.
The internal links are relevant to the content the page has and will also drive better on-page engagement. Maybe someone could be analysing this manually and doing it themselves, but doing things in an automated way is much easier and faster.”
It’s important to ensure that search engines don’t perceive this as automated internal link generation. Do you want to ensure that content provides as good of a user experience as possible and retains highly relevant links to the users visiting each page?
“This API actually helps you to give a better user experience in many ways. For example, it helps you avoid orphan pages or sites that might not be linking to any crawl points. These are usually sites that get a high amount of traffic, like a home page. When a page is not internally linked correctly to these crawl points, or just overall, it will be a missed opportunity.
We’re not inventing new links or performing any negative link building actions, we’re just resurfacing existing information and making it easier for search engines and users to discover those pages. We focus a lot on the user experience - providing the data and endpoints to clients and incorporating images, thumbnails, and more to ensure that the user experience is preserved. It’s just that the links are smart.”
What shouldn’t SEOs be doing in 2023? What’s seductive in terms of time, but ultimately counterproductive?
“Everyone who does SEO should focus on the user and the user experience. Many clients today are asking about optimising for robots and SEO. Many perceive SEO as a one-time thing and move forward, but SEO never stops. It constantly changes and SEO is all about the user. If you don’t understand this, you won’t have much success in 2023.”
Christina Ehrensberger is Growth Leader at Graphite and you can find her over at consultina.com.mx.
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