Is an internal linking strategy paying off for Mail Online?

Is an internal linking strategy paying off for Mail Online?

July 8, 2016 2:04 pm

Combining hub pages for key subjects with nicely-deliberate inner linking could be a very efficient technique to safe constant search rankings for goal key phrases. 

It’s grow to be an important tactic for publishers and others, particularly if you end up regularlycreating content material round a specific matter.

The danger of manufacturing a number of content material across the similar matter is that you’ll be able to find yourself with a number of pages which have comparable key phrases which compete towards one another in Google for a similar search phrases.

For instance, USA Today has ten totally different articles rating for the time period ‘Kylie Jenner’ throughout a six month interval final yr. As every new one comes alongside, it battles with the prevailing article, with the top outcome being a really inconsistent search efficiency.


The reply to this drawback is to determine on a web page that you really want your website to rank for a given key phrase or phrase, and focus on that. This hub, class or touchdown web page (nevertheless you need to describe it) can then be the web page that ranks for the time period.

Sites can then persistently hyperlink to that web page from new articles on the subject, ultimately making a helpful useful resource, and one which stands a greater probability of gaining excessive rankings than a lot of particular person pages.

One such instance is the BBC’s Euro 2016 class web page. Here it’s:

BBC hub page

It’s a repository for all the website’s content material across the event, and it ranks persistently.

It also needs to be famous that the groundwork for this was carried out nicely prematurely of the beginning of Euro 2016 in early June in order that, when the spike in curiosity across the time period occurred, the BBC was in place to draw loads of visitors.

This is the BBC’s search rankings for the time period ‘Euro 2016’ for the 5 months as much as the beginning of the event. Nice and constant.


This nicely deliberate use of hub pages together with constant inner linking can actually repay. In the BBC’s case, it has ensured that its Euro 2016 web page is in a terrific place to capitalise in elevated curiosity from searchers across the event.

Of course, different elements need to be in place too. The BBC is an authority website with some wonderful content material and a formidable variety of backlinks. Effective linking and theming will assist any website, however different elements need to be in place to realize excessive rankings for aggressive search phrases.

That stated, it shouldn’t be past main publishers to revenue from this technique, and the instance I’m going to make use of right here is Mail Online. It is, by some accounts, probably the most visited English-language newspaper website on the internet. Make of that what you’ll.

Mail Online and inner linking

Mail Online, till late final yr, hadn’t been implementing a hub web page / inner linking technique in any respect.

We know this because of Dan Barker (@danbarker on Twitter) who pointed this out. He estimates that Mail began this technique round October 25 final yr.

Mail Online creates and publishes big portions of articles about celebrities and information. While every new article performs comparatively properly in search, they achieve this for a restricted time solely. So the article turns into previous and search positions drop till the unique article is usurped by a brand new article, and so forth. This is the place the right technique may also help.

As we will see from the instance under for the time period ‘chelsea information’, rating was inconsistent till early November 2015.

The chart exhibits search outcomes for this time period throughout all the Daily Mail area.

Chelsea news search performance

The constant outcomes publish-November are for this hub web page, which collates all of the articles round that time period.

Essentially, Mail Online has despatched clear alerts to Google, via (comparatively) constant inner linking, that that is the web page it needs to rank for the time period in query.

The hub web page had existed earlier than, however with out the proper linking technique to put it on the market. Here we will see the distinction in efficiency earlier than and after the Mail improved its linking technique. 

Chelsea landing page Mail Online

The charts above (all charts are from PI Datametrics btw) exhibits efficiency as much as January 2016, however we will additionally see the way it carried out within the final six months.

The chart under exhibits the Daily Mail’s Chelsea touchdown web page efficiency for the time period ‘Chelsea information’.

mail 2016 1

Since January, there have solely been 26 URL modifications, and rather a lot steadier efficiency. The visibility for this web page has improved in consequence by 33.28% and this URL is seen for ninety eight.B% of the time.

The chart under exhibits the hub / touchdown web page’s efficiency. It’s primarily constant, however exhibits that for the odd day or two, the web page wasn’t seen.

mail 2016 2

This touchdown web page hasn’t crushed its earlier rating of quantity 5 on Google.

The purpose? Inconsistent linking. For most effectiveness, all mentions of the time period on new articles must be linked again to the hub web page. If this isn’t carried out, then newer pages can find yourself competing with the hub web page for rankings. This is why it was seen for ninety eight.B%, not one hundred% of the interval proven.

Here’s one other instance, for the search time period ‘David Cameron’. As the British PM (although not for for much longer) he clearly attracts a whole lot of searches and mentions within the information.

This is the Daily Mail area view for ‘David Cameron’. As with ‘chelsea information’, efficiency is inconsistent till November 2015.

1. Entire Daily Mail view for the search term David Cameron

After November, the Mail is linking to a touchdown /hub web page extra persistently (perhaps the results of a employees coaching day on search engine marketing?) and it has led to steadier rankings.

Here’s one instance. It’s straightforward sufficient to implement.

4. New David Cameron article internal linking

However, as was the case with the earlier instance time period, inconsistent linking signifies that Mail Online isn’t getting the complete profit.

Here’s a current article mentioning David Cameron. No inner hyperlinks.

mail 2016 3

Here’s the view of the David Cameron touchdown web page for the previous (virtually) 12 months.

There’s been an elevated variety of URL modifications, as newer pages compete with the hub web page, however the general visibility of this URL has improved and the rating has elevated by two positions.

Thanks to the EU referendum, there has clearly been much more content material produced about David Cameron just lately. Had the Mail  linked persistently again to the touchdown web page, this content material would have been much more seen.

mail 2016 4

In abstract: might do higher

These examples present how efficient using linking and hub pages could be, and reveal its worth, particularly for websites that produce plenty of content material across the similar themes.

They additionally show how shortly websites can obtain outcomes with this technique. However, constant implementation is vital for max impact.

That stated, we will see how efficient this technique may be. When utilized persistently throughout a variety of common phrases, the result’s greater and steadier rankings, placing the location able to draw extra search visitors.

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