Does the Position of the Link Matter in SEO?

  • Samuel Darwin
  • Sep 22, 2021

Positioning your link well in your content is a linking strategy on its own. In this article, we will discuss how strategic link placement can bring more SEO value from to links. But first, we’ll look into the components of a standard webpage and their positions.

Image of standard webpage elements according to Web Style Guide.
Image of standard webpage elements according to Web Style Guide.

According to Web Style Guide, the page structure of a standard webpage should look like this. Links from other parts (except the main content column) are considered WordPress links for site navigation. That’s how marketers learned that positioning your links well can give more value in terms of SEO.

We learned from here that links that you want to rank should be placed in the main content column. From here, it’s up to you where you want to place your link.

Does It Matter?

Yes, it does. The position of your link in content matters in terms of SEO. It affects the number of impressions and potential traffic you can get from your links. Search engine robots also crawl pages from top to bottom.

Even John Mueller said it in an interview from Google Hangout:

[…] This is the area of the page where you have your primary content, the content that this page is actually about, not the menu, the sidebar, the footer, the header… Then that is something that we do take into account and we do try to use those links.

John Mueller

Now that we know that it matters, where should we place the links? For this discussion, we will split the main content column into 3 different sections. It can be in the beginning, middle, or end of the content.

Examples of Different Locations for Link Placement in Content

1. In-Content Links

These links are found in the content. They are integrated into the content and acts as a resource for the readers. In-content links are normally found in the body of the article on a webpage.

Example of in-content link with an anchor text "link building company".
Example of in-content link with an anchor text “link building company”.

In-content links are also known for their large contribution in terms of SEO and link building. You can find backlinks, internal links, YouTube links, etc., from in-content links. These links are what readers used to jump to different websites for new information.

2. Content Navigation Links

Content navigation links are normally found in the body as well. These links are useful if you want to connect an article to related content. Content navigation links are used to jump from one article to another on the same website.

This link leads to another useful resource article from our blog.
This link leads to another useful resource article from our blog.

However, content navigation links are not as valuable as in-content links. These links provide additional resources for the readers to read on. Thus, when inserted naturally, they are still valuable for user engagement.

3. Site Navigation Links

Site navigation links are shortcuts to other pages on your site. It can be to an “About” page or a sales page. Navigation links are only used as a shortcut to key pages. Thus, you shouldn’t place important links that pass PR here.

Site navigation links that will lead you to key pages in the website.
Site navigation links that will lead you to key pages in the website.

Also, site navigation links are found at the bottom of the page. These are also called “footer” links. Since they are found at the bottom of the page, users rarely click on them unless they’re finding something.

Other Link Placement Tips

Through the years, marketers and SEO experts experiment with different link placement for their links. Others place it at the beginning of their article while some place it in the middle. Here are some tips you can count on when it comes to placing your in-content link strategically.

1. First Link Counts Rule

Multiple links with the same URL can be present in your articles, especially if you’re citing them for multiple statistics. However, only 1 link will be credited from this. This is where the first link counts rule comes in.

Google will see all the links to the same URL. But the page will only get value from the first link on the page. This is to prevent keyword spamming and is effective for both internal and external links.

2. Text Links > Image Links

Text links remain supreme compared to image links, even if the image has alt text with it. Digital marketers and link builders should know this to know whether to place their client’s link in an image or within the text. This can help with the overall SEO of your page.

3. “Popular” Pages Get More SEO Impact

It is known in the SEO community that high metric pages have more SEO impact. Thus, placing links that you want to rank on these pages will yield more SEO value. It’s easier for your link to be popular if it’s associated with an already-popular page.

Also, make sure that your link is clickable and easy to see. The more readers can see it, the more chances of them clicking it. Avoid scenarios where your links are too small that readers can barely see them. This will lead to a bad UX for your site.

4. Placing Links in the Earlier Part of the Article

Having links at the beginning of an article makes it more visible to readers. It’s a good way to make them notice your link as soon as they land on the page. Visitors often read the introduction so your link will get noticed if you place it there.

This technique is more effective than placing your link in the end. If they skim the article for important information only, they might miss your link. It’s still important to think of the placement of the link even if it’s in-content.

Conclusion

The position of the link matters in terms of SEO. It’s a matter of how visible your link would be for readers to engage it. Placing your link in the body of the content is not enough – you have to place it strategically across the content.

Make sure your link wouldn’t look promotional when you place it in the body. As long as you’re placing it naturally and adding value to the article, you’re good to go.

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or clarifications. We’ll be happy to give a response in the quickest way possible.

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