The concept of the World Wide Web is based upon linking, the web of connections that link web pages together like a spider web. There are external links, connecting one site to another, and intrasite links, connecting web pages together within a single site.
Today’s blog exercise is focused on the latter, intrasite links.
Intrasite links serve multiple purposes. As described, they connect your web pages together. Web pages without an incoming link are often referred to as orphan pages, lacking a link to direct someone to the web page. Search engines rarely index these orphan web pages as there are no links to follow.
Intrasite links create reference links. In the next paragraph I offered a link to help you learn more about how trackbacks work. Lower in this article I mention plagiarism with a link to an article I wrote on the subject, giving readers a chance to learn more about how to deal with copyright violations if they are interested in the subject. Such links not only connect web pages to each other, they connect readers to related content.
In web publishing platforms such as WordPress, when you link to a web page, a trackback is automatically generated to the web page link destination. Trackbacks work across external sites and internal web pages. A reader of the linked-to post can see the linking post in the trackbacks list with comments, possibly discovering related content using this article as a reference and resource. It adds to the relevance and importance of the web page content.
Intrasite links also serve as a warning sign if your content is copied and plagiarized on another site. Once published, any intrasite links to your site would create a trackback from that post displayed in the Comments Panel in WordPress. Click the trackback link to find out how they are using your content. Using it against your copyright policy, you can leave a comment informing them of the copyright violation, telling them what they need to do to resolve the issue. Without intrasite link trackbacks, you may never know if anyone is using your content elsewhere.
Most importantly, intrasite links create continuity. “As I was saying yesterday” becomes a link to help the reader find out what you were saying yesterday and follow the story line. Give the reader every chance to catch up so they don’t feel left out, lost in the dark as to what you are talking about.
With the weight of so much responsibility on an intrasite link, I make it a standing policy to never publish a single post on any of my sites without an intrasite link in it. Consider adding that to your publishing checklist as well.
Your blog exercise today is to create intrasite links throughout your site on existing posts, and in posts you publish in the future.
Begin by editing the last ten posts you’ve published looking for opportunities to link to older content. Link properly with a focus on readability, linking to one to three past posts at most, not every other word in your post.
If you have more posts to link to than makes reading comfortable, add a manually created “Related Articles” with a sentence that says, “For more information on this topic, check out these articles,” or something in your own words as I have done below.
When you’ve done the most recent ten posts, dig into your most popular posts and ensure they include intrasite links to support the intent of the article within the content or at the bottom as related posts. Your most popular posts serve as an entry door to your site. Make sure to include paths to the different rooms on your site.
Hopefully, this will lead you to other other posts needing a link or two. It’s perfectly fine to edit past posts to link to posts in the future of the chronological order, part of the space and time, timey whimey Doctor Who relativity. Intrasite links link to the future as well as the past on all your published posts.
More Information on Linking
Here are some articles with more information on how to link and work with links to inspire you in your intrasite linking process.
- The Power of the Link
- What is a Properly Formed Link?
- The Magic and Fun of Incoming Links
- Linkability – Link Popularity
- Blog Exercises: Blasts from the Past
- Link Etiquette: You Do Not Need Permission to Link
- Blog Exercises: How Many Words in a Link?
- Blog Exercises: Post-Op Care Content
- WordPress Tip: Finding Future Post Permalinks
- Caring About the Little Links on Your Blog
- Blog Exercises: Backlinks
- Blog Exercises: Weekly Link Roundups
- Blog Exercises: When Will You Not Link?
- Blog Exercises: How to Respond to a Trackback
- Blog Exercises: What Are Your Reference Articles
- Blog Exercises: List Your Resources
- Blog Exercises: Sharing Without Context