John Mueller of Google gave his insight on internal linking and whether there is a difference whether internal links are in the header, footer or content. His answer was short, direct, and devoid of ambiguity.
Does the value of internal links vary by page location?
Internal links are a reference to links within a website from one page to another.
The person asking the question wanted to know if the location of the link within the web page made a difference in the “value” of the link, which likely means SEO effectiveness.
Whether a link has more value depending on its location on a web page is a legitimate question.
Martin Splitt of Google explained that Google divides the web page into sections and the main section where the important content is located is called Centerpiece Annotation.
This is documented in the article, How Google analyzes and weighs web page content.
In the article, Martin explains that the main content section is what Google uses to understand what a page is about.
Furthermore, Martin said that different sections are “weighted” differently.
And then there’s this other thing here, which looks like links to related products but really isn’t part of the central one. It’s not really main content here. These seem to be extra stuff.
And then there’s like a bunch of benchmark modeling or, “Hey, we’ve found that the menu looks pretty much the same on all of these pages and menus. This is pretty similar to that menu on all the other pages of this domain,” for example, or we’ve seen this From before. We don’t even scroll to the domain or we’re like, “Oh, that looks like a menu.”
We figure out what the Standard Model is like and then, that’s weighted differently as well.”
There are old patents from Google and old statements by Googlers where they contend that the location of content on a page can make a difference.
So the person asking the question has a very good reason to ask John Mueller this specific question.
John Mueller of Google discusses internal links
The question is about the “value” of the link.
But what does “value” even mean?
Does value mean effectiveness in communicating information or does it mean SEO value as a ranking factor?
- Google sometimes uses the information to understand what the content is.
For example, structured data conveys specific information about the content of a web page. Google can’t rank what you don’t understand, so clarity is important. Structured data is not a ranking factor, however it can help Google understand a web page better and promote content to a prominent place in search results.
- Google uses certain information as a ranking factor.
Anchor text is said to be the ranking factor. They both convey the meaning of a web page and also act as a ranking factor.
The difference between a little bit of information that tells us what a page is and a little bit that is a ranking factor can become quite blurry.
So when the person asks what the value of the link is and John Mueller answers the question, what is left unclear is the meaning of the word “value” in the context of the question.
The value of internal links
The question put to John Mueller is straightforward:
Today I will ask if the value of internal links is the same.
For example, is there a difference… in the value of internal links in the header or footer or in the content? “
John Mueller replied:
“It’s very similar.
I don’t think there is anything quantitatively different about internal links in different parts of a page.
I think it’s different when it comes to content in different parts of the page, as we try to figure out what’s unique on the page.
But in terms of ties, I don’t think that’s a thing.”
The binding site is not quantitatively different
Word “quantitativelyIt means something that can be measured. So when Mueller says there is nothing quantitatively different, he means there is no measurable difference.
So in general, when everything is considered, the location of the internal link basically doesn’t matter.
The SEO value of internal links
Does it matter whether the internal links are in the header, footer, or in the content?
Watch at 0:49 seconds in the video: