Google’s John Mueller: internal links help us to find your important pages

Google’s John Mueller said in a webmaster hangout on YouTube that Google checks the click-depth of pages to find the most important pages on a website:

“To give a sense of importance within your website you’d need to do that more with regards to internal linking. So less less with just purely the sitemap and more kind of making it easy for Google to recognize when we crawl your site which of the pages you care about.

The most usually that’s like we would start with your homepage, depending on the website but in many cases we start with the home page and things that are linked from the home page we would see as being more important than things which are just like i don’t know five or six steps distance from the home page.”

Pages that are closer to your home page are more important than other pages.

How to check the click-depth of your pages

The website audit tool in SEOprofiler does exactly what John Mueller describes above: it starts with the home page of your website and then it follows the links on the home page. The audit report shows the exact number of clicks it takes to get to a particular page on your website.

Check the click depth on your web pages.

The internal links on your website have an impact on the position of your web pages in Google’s search results. Good internal links make it easier for your pages to be indexed and ranked by Google.

How to reduce the click-depth of a page

Reduce the number of clicks that are needed to get to important pages on your website. For example, you can do to reduce the click-depth:

  • Increase the number of high-level categories on your website. The more high-level categories your website has, the quicker people will find particular pages.
  • Increase the number of related links on your pages. For example, you could increase the number of linked similar products on a product page.

How to improve your rankings for particular topics

Improved internal links can also help you to improve the authority of pages that deal with a particular topic. Create hub pages on your website that link to all pages that are related to a particular topic.

The page that covers the main topic should be linked from the home page of your website. That page should be an authoritative page that covers the main topic from an expert view. Then link to the related pages from the main page.

The related pages should also link to each other to reinforce the relationship between these pages. Use anchor texts that are related to the topic in your links. By creating these content hubs, you increase the ranking chances of the individual pages.

These SEO tools can help you to optimize your links

With the right internal links, you can increase the authority of your website for your subject. You can also improve your Google rankings through rankings factors like click-depth and page importance. The tools in SEOprofiler will help you with that:

Optimize your links

Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "http://blog.seoprofiler.com".