Removing internal links on pages

BisnarChase

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Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
18
Hello all, I am the marketing director for Bisnar Chase and new here :) I was curious if others are noticing in their niche that the top 5 sites ranking in Google all seem to be removing basically all their internal links on the pages except the "contact us" or "see case results" links. Just weeks ago we saw competitors having 4,5 even 6 links per page and now it seems the ones that are ranking at the top are all doing the same thing -- almost no links in the body of their pages. I don't know if its a coincidence or if they know something that's working that I don't. These same competitors typically had links from their car accident page pointing to their spinal cord injury pages, truck accident pages, etc but all of those links are gone and they're are ranking great.

We've never had a lot of links on our pages, maybe one or two pointing elsewhere along with a brand link or a contact us link but now I am thinking of removing most from a section to see what happens. Anyone else noticing this pattern?
 

djbaxter

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Jun 28, 2012
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2,825
I wanted to clarify my previous brief post:

Something else that various Google spokesmen and others have been saying repeatedly for years is, "Build websites for people, not for search engines".

This is important when you're talking about internal linking. The purpose is to help visitors to your website find important relevant information on other pages of your site. If you do that well, you'll help your visitors and you'll also help search engines and spiders find that information.

But don't go crazy filling those links with spammy key-word-stuffed anchor text. Just keep it straightforward and use informative anchor text, like "contact us for a quote" or "see this other post about keyword stuffing".

Spamming up your internal linking is probably the one thing that can hurt you so a site that was filled with those and removed them might well see some improvement in ranking. If you aren't doing that now, you should have nothing to worry about.
 

BisnarChase

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
18
Thanks for the feedback. It was very odd. Both websites (different and not related law firms) have always had internal linking on their pages and suddenly on the same day I visited both, they had zero links on almost all their pages and just a few "contact us" links. What was odd is both were ranking #1 for almost every keyword. Checking the backlinks, there was nothing amazing to make up for that and in fact, we had more high authority links than they did. I was scratching my head for 2 days wondering how on earth they ranked so high and then this morning going through the pages again, the links were back, although still sparingly. I can share the sites with you privately Joy if you'd like. By the way, Colan did an excellent job on our audit so thank you!
 

djbaxter

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Google Navigation Removal Tricking Google Rankings Algorithm?
by Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Roundtable
April 18, 2019

An SEO, I believe his name is Alexander, asked John Mueller of Google in this morning's video hangout if Google is aware of a trick some sites are using to combat any negative impact from the August 1st medic update. John was unaware and confused by the strategy, saying he would only see a downside to removing a site's navigation in terms of how it would hurt the site's ranking in Google.

The question came up 31 seconds into the video. He basically asked if Google was aware of this navigation removal trick some SEOs were using. It sounds to me that they are doing this to preserve PageRank and link weight on specific pages. In fact, he said the only way to navigate some of these sites is to click from page to page, one at a time, creating a horrible user experience.

I never heard of this either - but it doesn't mean this is not floating around.

John said he will investigate this if he would share more details but based on everything he knows, removing navigation, even if you have an XML Sitemap can cause huge issues for ranking in Google.


Read more...
 

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