Linking vs Not Linking Internal Content

Having pages with similar yet distinctly unique content – Will Google associate the two without them being linked?
Articles are foldered seperately.

After noticing the trend of preferring less links among top ranking sites in my area, do pages still really need to be linked with the “preferred pages” fed the “juice” - associated from other well-established articles? (especially on sites having multiple main themes)

This questions most recent trends not any posts from the past here.

It seems to me that fresh content combined with good link structure will rank best. It also seems that Google has increasingly been trying to determine articles that are likely to be read, versus just typical SEO signals. It is therefore likely a combination of social signals, possibly time spent on your site, and patterns your content seems to follow that are similar to other well read articles would be all things to consider.

Please see the questions. This is off topic to the theme of the post, which is about internal linking.

It is always important to inner-link your pages and posts on your website.

Here are the reasons behind that:

  1. You will get more link juice flowing around your pages and posts.

  2. Linking related articles and pages together improves your user experience.

  3. When you link your pages properly together, you would be decreasing the bounce rate as higher time will be spent on your site when users click and view similar topics.

  4. Proven to be a crucial factor after the latest Google’s Updates.

    How to inter-link properly:

  5. Make sure your out bound link (OBL) along with your internal links does not exceed 100 on a single page.

  6. Keep things logical and as user friendly as possible.

  7. Keep your navigational links clear in both the header menu and the footer depending on the nature of your website.

  8. Link naturally and within the context of the post to improve the link juice that is floating around your site.

  9. Keep your users in mind while doing any linking. Don’t put a link if it is not going to help the users.

Hope this helps!


Hear what you are saying but I’ve noticed pages #1 that have less than 10 links per page, using them extremely selectively. Perhaps either they have enough inbound links to achieve rankings and they can do whatever they want or … the on-page links are gaining much more weight as a result, or combination thereof.

There are lots of metrics that Google’s takes for ranking. Theoretically, more than a 100 is an absolute link farm. Even at the range of 50 is not really a safe practice unless you have an authority website which would be another story.

Keep in mind that to rank for competitive keywords (not long tail words), you need ALL of the following:

  1. Perfect on-page optimization (that covers inner-linking at one of its factors) - Unique Content is encapsulated here as well.
  2. Social Signals and Engagement.
  3. Off-Page Optimization > High Quality and Relevant Backlinks (quality not quantity that matters).

Google’s metrics are changing everyday! After Penguin 2.1 update, there is more emphasis on the social signals. By social signals, i don’t mean buying thousands of likes and shares… but rather increasing the user engagement.

Returning back to the main topic of this thread as i don’t want to get carried away:

Inter-linking is important as any on-page factor. Link logically, keep your users in mind and don’t over do it. Without mentioning it, there is no reason for your website to contain spun articles or not original content. Everything must be 100% original and unique. If it wasn’t for Google’s rankings, it would be for your own visitors.

I am not a white hat optimizer though, but it is good for beginners on here to grasp the good concepts of Google’s metrics and policies.

Happy Optimizing~
All the Best!


These are characteristics of general metrics. But what it really takes to understand high rankings are key element(s) beneficial to the visitor that are embedded naturally within the content, besides the inbound links - which I’ve observed to be most important by far.

Social is overvalued (social outlets) but visitor time spent on page is very important.

While internal linking is becoming less of a factor, the fewer the links on a page, especially with broad subject matter sites, probable the better.

But as per my original post: I’m still looking for whether Google will associate seperate articles with similar themes without them being linked? Again, articles that are foldered seperately . Sometimes giving G a greater sense of discovery/ownership has its advantages.

“While internal linking is becoming less of a factor, the fewer the links on a page, especially with broad subject matter sites, probable the better.”

Sorry for saying that, but i kinda disagree with your statement above. Internal linking is a major factor for exploding the power of your backlinks. I am not going to argue on here but we are ranking 20+ websites around the net while serving more than 15+ new clients every month. In my opinion, just do what is working for you. There is no point to impose a certain theorem for you to implement if what you are doing is working out.

For us, internal-linking was responsible for many successes when used wisely - the number of internal links depends on the nature of the post. Anyway, since things are working for you, there is no point to discuss about that.

Returning back to your original question, Yes, Google does associate articles together even if they are not linked provided that they are on the same site. In the sense that Google can detect the entire theme of your posts to generate an idea of what you’re talking about. We use inner-linking though to boost the power of backlinking much more than to help Google associate our content together. Using your webmaster tools, you can see how Google understands your content which gives a rough sketch about that. “Associating” is not an accurate term though, even when you inner-link your posts together that does not mean Google can associate them in a full fashion. All you need to do is to focus on the post itself and the nature of your content. There is not much of benefit if you are trying to guess the degree of association that Google takes into account between articles who are linked and those who are not.

As a general rule, link articles when it is logical to do so. Don’t dive into tiny details while leaving the big matters behind.

If you are ranking websites already for high competitive keywords, then try to focus more on your newly published content to keep your authority level as high as possible.

I hope I managed to provide you with some value today.

All the Best!

Please keep responses limited to the original post - which is essentially about internal linking - without broad suggestions or ideas on optimization or semantics.

Since there are two different members who have taken the thread down a different path, perhaps the OP wasn’t clear. What exactly are you asking? If you’re not looking at it from an optimization standpoint, what are you looking at it from? Perhaps a more detailed question/example would drive the thread in a direction more towards your liking.

Not sure how this could be misconstrued, but respectfully requesting that this be limited to the original post - I’m asking point blank if (a) G associates simliar enough content within a site (without them being linked internally) and (b) whether pages still need to be fed ‘juice’ from other internal pages.

This isn’t a question about techniques or how-to’s for internal linking, but only whether G actually still takes internal linking into account as I’ve started to notice otherwise on some sites appearing at the top of results.

So I guess this is really a question about the decline in the importance of internal linking. Whether it is really taking place on many other sites in addition to my limited observations…

I am not so sure if you read my reply properly before posting that. On any rate, your questions have already been answered in my previous posts.

All the best with your optimization and sites.

Of course all posts have been read, that’s a given

And lets keep it constructive otherwise why do it?

  • Looking for some more activity on this thread to gain input from others here.

Awesome post Kronomia, thanks for the info.

Man this site is a treasure trove of information!

I am glad that you found my posts useful. You’re Welcome!

Yes, indeed SitePoint is a leading website around the net!

Anything constructive? - Much appreciate some input from real Sitepoint veterans here.

I’m still not sure I’ve understood your question, so please bear with me (no pun intended) while I try to clarify things.

Are you saying that you have a site with several different directories, each with a page on - say - fishmongers. You want to know whether Google will pick up on the fact that you have multiple pages on fishmongers, and give you “credit” for this in the SERPs, even though those pages are not linked to each other in any way? And if so, would your results be affected - for better or worse - if you did link the pages internally?

Have I grasped the issue correctly?