Track your outgoing links

SEO Tutorials | December 11th, 2007 | 8 Comments

As always in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) we get to optimize our homepage more than our inner pages, and since the homepage is the strong part of our site and we want to share some link love with the rest of our inner pages as I explained in the internal linking magic how we can spread some PR juice and link love by using a smart internal linking scheme. But when we share the link juice from our homepage to the rest of the pages of our site or blog we need keep track of how we are doing that, small mistake might cause troubles, and if we share too much link love our homepage will not be as strong as before.

Sometimes a distraction or wrong calculation can hurt your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and if I am writing about this it means it happened to me recently. After the announcement of the major changes this SEO blog is going to experience in order to experiment how the inner page optimization can help to increase our organic traffic, the changes I made were wrongly calculated and I will explain you now the mistakes I made that caused my site to drop for one position in SERPs of Google.

SEO mistake

Before I used to have 5 full posts in the homepage of my blog. Having the full posts in homepage helped the blog to rank with the homepage for several keywords that were within the post, but I was not satisfied with this as I want the visitors to land in the right post instead of in the homepage and than to explore the blog (if they are not lazy to explore). In any case, just as before as well now I use the related posts plugin under each post in the homepage as well, which is one of the methods how I spread some link love with the rest of the articles in my SEO blog.

The wrong calculation or rather, lack of consideration, was when I changed the option to display 10 posts in the homepage as excerpt instead of 5. Using excerpts in the homepage decreases the number of words in a page and increases the keyword density. Using tho 10 excerpts in homepage with the related posts plugin doubles the outgoing links from my homepage to the inner pages of my site. If before I had 5 posts and each post has 5 links pointing to inner posts (total of 25 outgoing links to inner posts) having 10 posts in homepage where each post has 5 links to inner pages pointing increase the total of outgoing links to 50 which weaks my homepage.

This mistake costs me #1 of the SERPs of Google as I notice the drop in SERPs early enough to fix the problem in time, what if I had figured out the mistake much later? What is the SEO mistake you have made by accident?

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8 Responses to “Track your outgoing links”
  1. PHP eBook says:

    It’s pretty interesting – now you’re doing about the exact opposite of what I do. I have 14 full posts showing up on my homepages. I do notice that Google will often take people to the homepage, rather than the individual posts – and those individual posts are what people are looking for. I’ll keep track of what you’re doing here and maybe try something similar on one of my less popular sites…

  2. Hey there,
    Well actually what I used to do till now was the opposite of what should be done, even tho I did that intentionally.

    The changes I have lately made (which are just a few) are those same changes one should have done since the beginning, but as people like proof I thought to start the blog all from a wrong corner and when the blog will get the age, power and readers to be able to run the experiment in front of everyones eyes.

    Tracking the outgoing links was a mistake I made, it is all related to math, 5+5=10 and thats the power of your site, than you need to share that power with the rest of the pages you have in the blog, but if you overspread that power you will weaken the homepage.

    If i would have to give results as to how my search engine rankings are performing after the changes (even tho the search engines haven’t completely crawled and made the changes of all pages) I would tell you that I have increased the traffic that lands visitors to inner pages to 100% and on several pages, not just one or two (well indeed, lost rankings for one page, but will see how I can resolve that).

  3. PHP eBook says:

    I’m not really understanding where the 5+5=10 is meaning… 5 Pagerank? I will keep checking your posts to find more information.

  4. Sorry for confusing, 5+5 was just a simple example of math, i could use even 1+1 would make no difference.

    What I wanted to highlight is that SEO is very closely related to math, the amount of inbound links the homepage has and the PR of the page, and than how you spread the power of your page (i.e. how many outgoing links you got from the homepage to external sites and to internal pages). In this example I showed how I lost rankings because I weakened up the homepage by having too many outgoing links which were pointing to inner pages, and now that I diminished the number of outgoing links the homepage got back to its old position in the SERPs.

    Hope this clears up the doubts and the miss-understanding I previously created with the maths example.

  5. PHP eBook says:

    Thanks, it makes sense now.

    Where did you get your Related Posts plugin? The W-A-S-A-B-I one does not seem to exist anymore.

    Also, how do you keep your articles from dropping in the SERPs over time? How often do you need to link to older articles to keep them alive? I am posting about some events that are several months in the future, but want to start to get some traffic for them…

  6. Hi there,
    I am using the WASABI’s related posts plugin, and you can find it here.

    There are few articles that I have interest of keeping them up on the serps, and hence I manage to build some links for those posts from time to time from different sources, but mainly people link to those articles if they like them which keeps them up. The fact is that most new posts will rank high due to the “Google dance” and than get their original position, so to rank them higher it needs backlinks (same as with the homepage), so the only way to keep them high in the SERPs is building backlinks.

  7. PHP eBook says:

    Okay I got all that… my first impression is that the Related Posts Plugin isn’t linking to the posts that I would want it to link to and is drumming up links to posts that are no longer relevant… For instance, it is posting links about Thanksgiving, when clearly I’d like some Christmas links now…

  8. Even I have notice that on some posts it won’t display really exactly related links, but mainly it does. The plugin, as the search engines spiders crawls the content and the title mainly to find related posts.

    It was messy when the blog did not had much posts, but things started to work out better as more content was published and it was able to find more related posts.

    Btw, a nice blog you got there 😉