How your web pages link to one another is a crucial driver of search rankings. However, managing this internal linking can be a time-burning and mind-numbing task, so specialists put internal link building on the back burner until the very end of the project.

This article will explore how artificial intelligence (AI) can help marketers save their effort and time by tackling this vital aspect of search engine optimization (SEO). Read on to learn why, how and when to optimize internal linking to reach the highest SERP potential for your content.

How Does SERP Ranking Work?

A critical application of AI in SEO is helping to understand what precisely drives rankings for any provided keyword. Every search engine evaluates factors differently, from country to country and keyword to keyword. As a result, you will hear several outlooks on what matters most when it comes to SEO. For example, while some prioritize semantic factors, others consider domain factors. Then there is internal linking, page performance and many more. 

Particle swarm optimization is an application of AI used to develop models of how search engines evaluate page features and sites. This technology looks at page and site features along with search engine results page (SERP) ranking to comprehend how they would perform. The system assesses and modifies these algorithmic weights from a constantly updated standard Google model until the keyword-focused SERP (for a chosen set of benchmark websites) aligns with the real-world SERP.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about the details of this yourself. Internal SEO is critical, especially if you have a large site that consists of several hundred pages. But it doesn’t have to be done manually anymore, all thanks to AI.

AI-Powered Search Engine Models

Search engine models made using artificial intelligence present a better and wholly new approach to improving your pages. By analyzing the comparative importance of off- and on-page dynamics in your keyword ranking and gauging how well your website ranks in these aspects, you precisely know where to spend most of your efforts and time. 

With a customized keyword model, you can perform actions such as:

  • Get a correct estimate of the effect of your SEO modifications on your search positions and ranking scores 60 days before appearing on SERPs
  • Comprehend the statistical difference between your site and competitors’ so you know where you can get traffic quickly – and where you may be at risk
  • Prevent risks so that you can assess navigation bar changes, redesign and non-SEO changes before you launch them
  • Track the impact of your competitors’ changes and counteract them instantly

How To Improve Link Flow

Just as building an optimized website has to be a coordinated effort between project teams, your internal SEO should be a coordinated effort between AI and human interventions. With that in mind, consider these best practices in your link building strategy: 

Include More External Links

When you add external links to your site’s pages, it can increase the potential of link flow. If your domain rank area needs improvement, it is worthwhile to partner with others to form a backlinking strategy

Knowing where you want to incorporate flow allows you to optimize your backlinking plan for both link flow and domain rank. However, until the model recognizes the domain rank as a grading factor that needs to be addressed, backlinks don’t deliver maximum return on investment (ROI). There are cheaper and better ways to enhance the link flow to your main pages: leveraging internal linking.

Be Strategic About Internal Linking

Leveraging backlinks to boost the overall flow of links on your critical pages can be helpful, but it can also be slower to show results. Internal linking can be more effective and less costly.

You can perform this manually, but leveraging AI algorithms to demonstrate which pages to link saves you a lot of trouble and time. Furthermore, when you reallocate links to your core pages, you also minimize traffic to less crucial pages and maximize traffic to important ones. This shows web crawlers the essential pages and makes your site more relevant.

Reduce Link Flow Loss

Sometimes, it happens that pages on your website skip linking to different sites. The most common reasons for link loss are links that facilitate user login, carrier sites and social media links. 

With an AI-powered link audit tool, you can more easily review outbound link lists and leverage the no-follow tag to avoid linking to pages that don’t go anywhere. This improves user experience (UX) and makes your site more professional. 

Eliminate Page Issues

Search engines have introduced algorithms to prevent malicious actors from engineering their search rankings unlawfully. This is a good thing for the most part, but unfortunately, some aspects of your site might involuntarily trigger these algorithms. 

Here are just a few mistakes that can harm your link flow:

  • Outbound links that look like advertised or paid links
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Bad meta descriptions or page titles
  • Duplicate content

These practices have an adverse impact on the rankings because they result in link stripping and thereby reduce link flow. Generally, search engines remove anywhere from 10-75 links of a page’s net link flow. Perform audits for these issues to avoid link stripping in your pages. 

Measure Link Flow Improvement

While creating a website itself isn’t an easy feat, there are multiple tools and platforms that can help streamline the process. For example, as web developer Alexander Williams from Hosting Data notes, WordPress represents the best tool for site creation in today’s world. 

I always recommend WordPress for people who expect something unique, branded, and tailored for their site,” Williams says. “WordPress is the best of the best for site creation – whether you use an easy customizable ‘theme’ package or pay an expert like me to customize it for you.”

Templates are great, but you will also want to customize certain aspects – including linking. And once you start to make improvements to your site, you need to be able to measure the impacts of the changes. You can use free, AI-powered tools to see the issues detected in an audit that can result in lower page SERPs. Tool reports will present the impact of modifications and how they translate into alterations in the ranking position.

You can also customize link distribution to evaluate what proportion of links are getting to every page. Consistently reanalyze the gap between your brand and your top competitors to assess what areas need more attention. 

Wrapping Up

Search engine algorithms are complex beasts, and only with artificial intelligence can you get a proper look at what precisely is going on in that black box. AI-powered tools can help you leverage that knowledge to enhance your share of search traffic with strong link building strategies. With the right tools, you can reduce link loss, find and correct factors that negatively impact link flow and let search engines know which pages on your site are most important.

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By Margaret Blank

At the moment I am an expert-analyst in the field of search engine optimization, leading several projects and consulting on website optimization and promotion, I am actively involved in various thematic seminars and conferences.

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