First Link Priority and Internal Linking
When link building in SEO it is easy to become disillusioned if the rankings don`t change or if there is no movement whatsoever with your website. Obviously we know there are many reasons why this could be happening but one of the key factors that should be considered is the “first link priority” rule and whether it has been applied, as this can have a substantial effect on your rankings.
The “First Link Priority” rule is relevant to when Google checks the outbound links on your site and sees that one of those page links points to the same target page more than once. It`s an easy mistake to make on internal optimisations when performing internal linking, especially if you are optimising a large site with many pages but it`s a costly mistake when Google spots it. It`s believed that Google will ignore all links from then on in on your site when crawling and this makes your other links redundant. It`s one of the smallest mistakes to make but one of the most costly for your SEO.
This is applicable to various page iterations whether it`s for images or anchor text. Alt tags will not be counted as a substitute for anchor text and if you had an image link to another page and then another link, this time an anchor text linking to that same page, this would result in Google ignoring any further links it comes across, which means you could have high quality industry relevant links which are just not giving you the benefit that they should. When Google looks at the outbound links on your site and across the web it will look for duplicate page links so you must be vigilant with any links that are in place. External links are harder to control as they are not directly under your control and usually it`s with internal linking you would experience this problem, meaning this is a fairly easy fix with some time and effort.
Websites that are a prime candidate for this kind of error are obviously sites with multiple pages, specifically product pages and of course Ecommerce websites with hundreds of sub URLs. Although internal linking on the likes of these kinds of websites can be tedious, it`s a perfect opportunity to gain more links and the best thing is, it`s your site where you have control. So many optimised sites miss out on many links they could get internally, either because it requires some time and effort or they are not aware of the benefit but the next time you perform a competitor analysis on another company who may be performing above you in the SERPS, have a look at the links and the majority of the time you will see that a lot of the links are internally based. It seems too easy but it seems to work and if you have a large number of pages, link between them but just make sure you are not duplicating page links.
When it comes to optimising websites there are now so many methods to ensure we are hitting the right note in order to please the Search Engines that we can sometimes overlook areas which may only be small and unimportant but are actually key to getting the right results. First Link Priority is a rule which needs to be paid more heed with many websites and as long as you stick to the rules, you have utilised a useful resource which is available to you for free.