Improving Linking Confidence

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I am starting an “SEO Classics” category on SEO by the Sea for papers by Search Engineers or focusing on Information Retrieval or SEO practices. I have a category tag for some older posts. I will write newer posts for this category since I have come across documents that should become considered SEO Classics or cover Classic SEO topics.

One of my all-time favorite posts about Improving Linking Confidence between pages on the Web is a User Experience (UX) Classic from UIE.com called Getting Confidence From Lincoln.

This article tells us that visitors look for confidence about the anchor text in a link and how close that anchor text matches the content found on the other side of the association. Google does refer to confidence about facts and information on the Web, but it gets used a little differently here.

Confidence here means the likelihood that visitors will continue to follow links on a site as long as they have confidence in the topic found on the other side of that link. The word “confidence” appears in newer semantic content on the Web. It is something I focused on a lot in the post: Looking at Related Documents Titles and Anchor Text when Collecting Facts about an Entity. That post isn’t about Improving Linking Confidence directly. That post is about the confidence that those facts applied to a specific entity.

Building this kind of confidence into links or facts and entities and the connections between pages of a site can be an essential part of the structure of a page. They can determine how deeply a visitor might travel, which is crucial for improving linking confidence.

There is a list of SEO Classics and I will hopefully publish more of them soon.

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11 thoughts on “Improving Linking Confidence”

  1. Thank you for sharing. This is an excellent lesson for anyone, especially when building an internal linking strategy, sometimes the temptation to say each page needs 5-10 internal links instead of making sure the links offer the specific results the user is looking for.

    Losing your user’s confidence will do far more harm in the long term than not including the required quota you have decided for internal linking.

  2. Nice introduction. Came here via a link by Search Herald πŸ˜€

    I’d like to hear more about this with as many real life references as possible.

    Showing the difference with internal and external links, if any, would be good as well as what and not to do – i.e. getting back to basics. Hopefully gives you some ideas.

  3. Thanks, I’ll have to dig in to this Tag. I met Jared Spool about 10 years ago at one of his his conferences in Boston. Super smart & very giving (like you) and love everything he writes. One of my favorite papers is Designing for the scent of information. It changed my whole thinking of site optimization. It’s also a classic.

  4. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article.Very useful post.

  5. Great post! Do you have any examples on real websites? As a beginner, it’d be awesome to see the difference of what to do vs. what not to do. Thanks again.

  6. Hi Michael,

    I incorporated this approach into customer sites that I was doing site audits on – with a section that looked at top level navigation on those sites, and then how well the anchor text for internal links described the text on the pages link to. It didn’t often result in many changes, but being able to check whether or not it should lead to changes mad the sites I was auditioning more effective. You can try that with your own site – see how well your internal links match up with the content that they link to on your pages. It’s a nice little audit project.

  7. Hi Jon,

    Building confidence in the visitors you your site keeps them around longer, and can lead to people buying goods and services, which is ideal.

  8. Hi Anthony,

    I am trying to build up some more actionable posts in this SEO Classics category It feels good to do so far. I do have some ideas for other posts too.

  9. I have been following your website for a while. Found interesting your old posts. This one is useful for SEO’s. πŸ™‚

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