Internal Links for SEO Blogs – Silos and Cornerstone Content
August 27, 2020 | Category: SEO Blog WritingWhat Are Internal Links?
Internal links are exactly what their namesake suggests. Their purpose is to link one webpage to another, which is what gives a website its navigation function.
By following ‘the content silo’, sites are organized in a pyramid-like structure. This pyramid forms a hierarchy with cornerstone content at its peak, and internally linked pages filling out the foundation. This organization allows for the ‘google spider’ to easily crawl through a website’s information. Other things that help create a linked web for Google to see are LSI keywords. For now, understanding internal linking is enough though.
If a website is easy to read, the more chances there are to rank higher. Contrary to this, if a website has poor internal linking, then the spider cannot read this site properly. To the spider, this information does not exist, and thus does not get noticed by organic traffic.
In essence, proper linking leads to a readable site that is visible to more consumers.
The Content Silo
The content silo is an organizational structure for how optimal websites are linked together. It starts first with ‘cornerstone content’ which serves as the unchanging, foundational topics that the website is based on.
What follows are more pages that delve into specifics, which are linked in descending order. In other words, it’s starting with one basic idea, and branching outward. This kind of organization is not new, being that you can see it in the way a library categorizes books.
If your website is to be linked together like an online library, then cornerstone content would represent book genres. This is because genres like horror, westerns, or romance represent the complete entirety of a subject. The same applies to a website and blog articles. For a renovation website, cornerstone content might be ‘winter wear’. This cornerstone would encompass, and link to any information relevant to winter clothes, meaning it will display parkas, toques, gloves, ect.
The same applies to blog posts, which should be structured in the very same way. Ideally, a ‘master article’ is produced which contains a small bit of information on everything regarding a topic.
Internal Links and Their Structure
Internal links are used as a measure of how significant a page is. Pages with more links are rated as having a higher ‘link value’ and thus are assumed to be more informative and important.
These highly linked pages are your cornerstone pages, to which all smaller articles link to. As per the logic stated above, the more links directed at the cornerstone page, the more authoritative it is.
If done properly, the cornerstone blog should appear as the top of a pyramid connecting to numerous other specific articles following the same subject. Like roots in a tree, the thinner branches spread out and become more and more specific, yet are still anchored to the core.
The following example uses the general topic of ‘shoes’. Below, ‘shoes’ are two cornerstone article spots for ‘boots’ and ‘sandals’. The cornerstone for boots would touch on all aspects of boots in small paragraphs, most likely including types, styles, and functions.
Following the publication of the cornerstone, further specific articles based on these small paragraphs like ‘winter boots’ would be created. The article on ‘winter boots’ and whatever article produced from it, would link back to the cornerstone article through an internal link.
Let’s Try it Out
The following example uses the general topic of ‘shoes’. Below ‘shoes’ are two cornerstone article spots for ‘boots’ and ‘sandals’. The cornerstone for boots would touch on all aspects of boots in small paragraphs, most likely including types, styles, and functions. Following the publication of the cornerstone, further specific articles based on these small paragraphs like ‘winter boots’ would be created. The article on ‘winter boots’ and whatever article produced from it, would link back to the cornerstone article through an internal link.
The Blue Arrows Represent Internal Links
All of this is very logical. It begins with an idea that is expanded upon naturally with the help of keywords and consumer intent. Articles are written about this subject, and naturally sprawl outward. In other words, one article becomes many. When those articles all point back to their source, Google is given the equivalent of a clean, narrow path to follow.
Now It’s Up To You
If you’re looking to learn more about blog writing for SEO, we recommend visiting our SEO Blog Writing Guide.