In a recent discussion with a new business start-up in Germany, Google’s John Mueller suggested that internal linking can be a much more important SEO service than previously thought.
Specifically, his comments indicated that strategic internal linking can be used to show Google which of your pages are most important and which its algorithm should focus on.
He said that SEOs and webmasters should use smart internal linking to guide Google’s crawlers through a site’s highest-quality pages with the greatest value to the visitor; doing so will gradually see the site earn trust in the eyes of Google, prompting its algorithm to probe deeper into the site and ultimately indexing more of its pages over time.
This is the question asked by the German start-up, which came just over 18 minutes into the conversation:
“We are a very young start-up that just started here in Germany, and basically what we do is that we crawl leading real estate platforms and we try and assess which realtor is actually achieving higher prices, which realtor is achieving fast sales durations.”
“And so, we have for each postal code in Germany we have one specific page for that possibility, which includes or like which calculates to 28,000 pages, which is not that huge for other websites.”
“But we’re facing challenges in indexing those sites. So our goal is that someone that typing in [realtor Munich] that our page with the ranking of the best agents in that region will pop up. But currently, we see that 90% of our pages are excluded from the index.”
To which, John Mueller provided the following response:
“One of the strategies I try to encourage people or tell people to think about is, on the one hand, you can decide what kind of pages you think are important within your website and which ones you want Google to focus on through internal linking.”
“And kind of working to make sure that like if you say 90 is currently not indexed and 10 are indexed, that you make sure that at least the 10 that are indexed are really good pages and really important pages for you.”
“So that like you get a mass of people already going to these pages and saying this is a fantastic content, maybe they recommend it to other people, maybe to link to it from other places. But at least that 10% that you start with is something that you can kind of grow with.”
“And then over time what you’ll see is Google crawls more and more of your website as it recognizes that it’s really good and important, and that can then result in, on the one hand, crawling more frequently the existing pages, and on the other hand crawling deeper within your website so kind of like more layers within the internal linking and digging in a little bit deeper.”
“So it’s almost like you have to create a more funnelled web structure in the beginning and then over time as you see that Google is doing more and more on your website then expand that and expand that step by step until you’ve reached kind of your end situation where Google is actually actively indexing all of the content on your website.”
If so, this would suggest that it is possible for your SEO agency to manipulate the way Google’s crawlers view your site and index your pages, purely on the basis of strategic internal linking.
Here is the video of the full conversation, if you would like to check out the rest of Mueller’s comments