Is the placement of internal links on a page important for SEO and Google search?
Google’s John Mueller said that the location of internal links, links you place on your website to other parts of that same website, doesn’t necessarily matter if they’re in content. body, footer, header, or other sections of the page. The content, the anchor text, of these links helps Google understand what the page is about, but the links aren’t really used more than to crawl your site.
This may be different for external links, where Google may rate external links differently depending on where those external links are placed. But it seems that with internal linking, location isn’t considered so much in terms of the value of that link.
John said it at 2:51 in this video saying that for internal linking “we use it to understand the context better, so things like anchor text help us”. He said “another very important part is really being able to crawl your website” and he said for that, “it doesn’t matter where that link is on a page to kind of crawl the rest of the website.”
John then reiterated that “the difference we take in terms of different parts of the page and for links, it’s usually more to understand the context of the pages and to be able to crawl the website and for that we don’t we don’t really need to differentiate between different parts of the page.”
Here’s how Glenn Gabe summed it up on Twitter:
Does the placement of internal links matter? Going through @johnmu: Google uses internal links to understand context and for exploration. For those, it doesn’t matter where the link is. Location is more important for content where G wants to focus on main content: https://t.co/W1WjEUB8X4 pic.twitter.com/OLyOpwhsZx
—Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) January 30, 2022
Here is the embedded video beginning with the question:
Here is the transcript of the question:
What about internal linking, if you have internal linking from respective anchor text or card from header or in content or in footer. Does the placement of links in the footer, header, body content matter?
Here is the transcript of the response:
I think for internal linking, on the one hand, we use it to better understand the context, so things like anchor text help us. But another very important part is really being able to crawl your website. And for that, it doesn’t matter where that link is on a page to kind of explore the rest of the website. Sometimes things are in the footer, sometimes in the headers, sometimes in a split menu or in a sidebar or in a body of content. All of these types of connected places are all very good from our point of view.
Usually what we differentiate more when it comes to placement on a page is the content itself, to try to figure out what’s really relevant to that particular page. And for that sometimes it really makes sense to focus on the central part of the page, the main piece of content that changes from page to page and not so much on the headers and sidebars and footers of page or things like that. Because these are part of the website itself, but they are not the main reason why this page exists and the main reason why we rank this page.
So that’s kind of the difference we take in terms of the different parts of the page and for the links it’s usually more about understanding the context of the pages and being able to crawl the website and for that we we don’t really need to differentiate between the different parts of the page.
Here are a few other articles written here about link location on a page, but they’re really not specific to internal links versus external links:
Discussion forum on Twitter.