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Web Publishing Notes (July 2019 Roundup)
August is finally upon us, and along with checking the final stats across my sites, I also went over my RSS reader’s feed to see what’s been published lately. And I’m carrying on with my commitment to posting about it.
This really forces me to post here at least once a month, which is a good thing, I guess (I did skip last month’s blog roundup in favor of a quarterly income report). I really should be posting more often on other topics as well. So, I’m going to make another public commitment now (hey, it seems to be working!), to publish at least two other posts here during August!
There’s no lack of topics to write about, either. The only thing lacking was time. However, I hope to have more of that this month. You see, I recruited a bunch of new writers in July, which was keeping me busy. Now that they’ve all been boarded and trained, I expect August to less intense.
And if you’re wondering about the featured image. This is a picture that I took in the summer of 2011, during a trip to the gorgeous Canadian Rockies. This is Lake Peyto and yes, this is its real color. Here’s the photo again –
So, what has been going on in the “blogosphere” during July?
Internal Linking was all the rage this month
Internal linking has been on my mind quite a lot lately, now that each and every one of my four designated “authority sites” contains well over a hundred posts. Funnily enough, I wasn’t the only one thinking about internal linking!
It wasn’t a random trend, of course. Spencer Haws of NichePursuits has just launched a plug-in that’s supposed to help site owners with internal linking. It’s called Link Whisper and clearly, quite a few bloggers have been trying it and reporting the results. Fortunately, they also share insights about internal linking in general. Unfortunately for me, I went ahead and bought the plugin but it’s not working at all. I tried installing on two separate blogs with different errors showing up.
Link Whisper holds a lot of promise, but if you’re considering buying it, my advice would be to wait for a little bit longer, until the bugs are ironed out. I’m working with their support team to try and get it to work for me – but even if they do, I don’t feel like I can trust their counts at this point.
Anyway, so let’s take a look at the insights gained by these posts.
Best Practices for Internal Linking – NichePursuits.com
Obviously, Spencer Haws himself is writing about the topic, so this is the first post I want to mention here today. Spencer provides two case studies of posts that rank very high for super competitive terms (“best online business” niche sites and “successful niche websites”). He does mention that the internal projects he discusses in his post were all done manually, so the examples he provides are pertinent even if you have no intention of buying the plugin.
I was – and still am – looking for evidence to show just how effective internal linking is. Case studies always look a bit suspicious to me, though. In science, they’re the lowest grade of evidence there is because they’re basically well-documented anecdotes. It’s only too easy to take your best results, present them as case studies and ignore all of the cases where something didn’t work.
What Data Says About 1 Million Internal Links And How You Can Use It To Improve Your Rankings – AuthorityHacker.com
I’m pretty sure I’ve read this one before, but it’s been updated in July, so worth mentioning here. This one is a super thorough guide about internal linking, backed up by actual data. Lots and lots of succinct information, with huge batches of data analyzed for internal linking and its effect on site rankings. I admit, for me, the post was a bit too technical (nice word for “boring”?) however, there were some great nuggets of information in there.
I especially liked the tip for younger websites. Author Michal Yugor explains that you only have so much “link juice” to play with when doing your internal linking. You could easily waste it on terms that your site cannot – yet – rank for. He suggests directing your internal linking efforts at long-tail “low-hanging fruit” type of posts. They’re the ones that can actually rank high – given the right internal links. Over time, they should be able to pull in enough incoming links in their own right, increasing your overall “voting power” which will, in turn, allow you to support those posts that compete over more difficult key terms.
Do internal links help with SEO? – FatStacksBlog.com
Spencer Haws brought forward two case studies. Michal Yugor used a massive database of 1 million pages, based on Ahrefs data. In this post, Jon Dykstra does his own research, based on a subset of 25 posts in one of his blogs.
Jon used Ahrefs to investigate the top 25 posts in one of his websites. He checked the correlation between the following variables –
- Number of internal links pointing to the post
- Number of external links pointing to the post
- Keyword difficulty (a parameter that’s generated in Ahrefs and reflects the “strength” of the competition)
The results show some correlation between keyword difficulty and either one of the other two variables. Direct external links seem to be more influential, but it does look like internal links carry some value too.
Jon sums it up nicely by reminding us all that there is no silver bullet. Yes, internal linking carries some weight. No, it’s not the only ranking factor – not by a long shot.
Ok, enough of internal link building! People have been blogging on other topics as well, so here are a few more mentions.
Neil Patel is about to launch a free search analysis tool
And it seems very promising. I like and use Patel’s Uber Suggest tool, but it looks like he’s setting his aims much higher this time with a feature-rich ranking tracker – and it’s going to be free too.
You can read more about it here.
Website flipping guide by SkipBlast.com
I really like Shawna from SkipBlast.com. Her approach is very different from mine, relying heavily on link building, and it’s always refreshing to see things from her point of view.
This month she blogged about buying and selling sites. While I don’t plan on selling anything, I am toying with the idea of buying a small site or two, so this was a timely publication for me.
It’s been over a decade since I last bought or sold a website, so Shawna’s post made for a very interesting read. She’s made six-figured in the first half of 2019 flipping websites and shares her insights as a seller (obviously, relevant to buyers too).
That’s it for this month’s roundup. If you know of another really good post which I haven’t mentioned here, do leave me a comment to let me know!