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Weekly News: 3 ways to optimize internal linking

3 ways to optimize internal linking

Links are one of the primary ways Google and other search engines understand and rank websites. Crawlers and bots follow links from external sites to your web property and then trace the internal links on your site, measuring the “flow” of ranking signals and attributing them to sites accordingly.

“Link flow goes by many names,” said Jonathan Epstein, CEO of Brewco, at SMX Next. “Some people call it link juice. Some people call it PageRank. In the broadest terms, link flows are a measurement of how important your pages are relative to other pages out there on the Internet.”

According to Epstein, two main signals go into calculating PageRank: the types of sites linking to your property and what your internal link structure looks like.

“The first is: What are the other sites that are linking to each of your pages?” he said. “How many are there? How big are they? How authoritative are they? And then secondly, it looks at how are you linking your pages to each other.”

how to optimize internal link flow

“How do you stop pushing link flow to less important pages and push it to the more important ones?” Epstein asked. “Start by removing extraneous links that don’t need to be there.”

These extraneous links are often copied on multiple pages and featured near the top of pages, such as job openings, report downloads, or company mission statements. While these are important pieces of information for visitors on the site, there’s a good chance they won’t be the most SEO-friendly pages.

Reduce link flow loss

While optimizing link flow is important, marketers need to simultaneously review instances of ranking loss through links. This occurs most often when sites link to pages that aren’t search-friendly, such as internal search result pages or old tag pages that don’t receive traffic.

how to reduce internal link flow loss

Eliminate penalty factors

“Penalty factors are things that your pages do that might make them look like spam pages,” Epstein said.

One of the most common penalty factors related to page ranking is duplicate content. It tells search engines that your site has poor content quality. Too many internal links to content with potential penalty factors could end up harming your site rankings.

Source: 3 ways to optimize internal linking

Etsy sellers to pay 30% higher transaction fees beginning in April

Etsy will raise its seller fees from 5% to 6.5% (a 30% increase), the company announced during its Q4 2021 earnings report. The new seller transaction fee will take effect starting on April 11.

Why we care. In many cases, Etsy’s seller fees are still lower than eBay’s and Amazon’s, but the margin is getting thinner, which may also erode some of the benefits of selling on Etsy. 

Etsy last increased its transaction fees in 2018, raising them from 3.5% to the current 5% rate. This latest increase may be a bitter pill to swallow for Etsy merchants, especially when other marketplaces may offer access to more customers or more sophisticated tools for sellers.

However, some of the additional revenue from the fee increase will be reinvested (more on that below), which may offset the impact on sellers by improving the customer experience, potentially increasing customer lifetime value.

Read more: Etsy sellers to pay 30% higher transaction fees beginning in April

New business openings nearly match pre-pandemic levels, Yelp says

New business openings in year two of the pandemic were only 1% down from the year before the pandemic (2019), according to Yelp’s COVID-19 Second Anniversary Report. Demand for socially distant/outdoor options also remains above pre-pandemic levels for dining and other activities.

New business openings in years one and two of the pandemic
New business openings in years one and two of the pandemic. Image: Yelp.

New business openings are nearly at pre-pandemic levels. In year two of the pandemic, new business openings reached 521,926, up 14% from the first year of the pandemic. This brings new business openings roughly in line (down by just 1%) with the levels Yelp reported in 2019 (the year before the pandemic).

But, business openings in major cities varied. While new business openings rose nationally, the Delta and Omicron variants resulted in decreased business openings in nearly all of the largest metropolitan areas across the country, Yelp said.

Read more: New business openings nearly match pre-pandemic levels, Yelp says

Google Search local pack’s map is now interactive

Google Search has updated the map in the local pack within the web search results from a static map to an interactive map. The new interactive map allows you to zoom, pan, hover, and click to see more details on the map. Previously, clicking on the map just took you into the Google Maps interface.

What is new. When you do a search in Google Search and the local pack comes up showing you nearby businesses that match your query, you can now hover your mouse over the map and see the businesses, their reviews, zoom in and out of the map, drag the map around to see more places or click on a listing directly in the map interface.

Read more: Google Search local pack’s map is now interactive

IndexNow integrations grow as Bing says ‘millions’ of sites are using it

Microsoft made a few announcements this week on the Bing webmaster blog around more software providers adding support for IndexNow leading to millions of sites using IndexNow since its launch in October 2021. Part of these announcements has that Duda, All in One WordPress SEO plugin, and Rank Math SEO plugin all added IndexNow integration into their systems.

What is IndexNow? IndexNow provides a method for websites owners to instantly inform search engines about the latest content changes on their website. IndexNow is a simple ping protocol so that search engines know that a URL and its content has been added, updated, or deleted, allowing search engines to quickly reflect this change in their search results. The co-sharing of IndexNow went fully live last month in January 2022.

Read more: IndexNow integrations grow as Bing says ‘millions’ of sites are using it

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Google’s Pirate Update can cause an 89% drop in search traffic for the offending site

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