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Internal Link Building Applied to Orphan and Dead-End Pages

Hav you heard of orphaned articles or orphan pages and dead-end pages? Have you got any in your article inventory? If the answer is yes, then you should learn more about these types of pages and ways to fix them.

Both orphan pages (orphaned articles) and dead-end pages are very bad in SEO terms, but they can be fixed by implementing the right internal link building strategy.

Dead-End Pages

In SEO terminology, a dead-end page is a webpage which has no outgoing links, thus creating a ‘dead end.’ A web page should be linked up with other pages (that’s how it got its name in the first place) and, if a web page isn’t linked up with other pages, it leaves both the web crawler and the reader with no other choice accept to bounce off: they have no way to go.

So, dead-end pages are webpages with no internal links in them. These pages are generally not interesting to web crawlers; they do crawl them, but these are rarely indexed because there’s no link juice in them and as a consequence they often become orphaned articles.

If your webpage is a dead-end page, the visitor won’t have the chance to click on a text link related to your topic and this will probably increase your bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who enter your webpage and simply bounce off – leave the site – rather than continue viewing your other pages.

Orphaned Articles

In SEO terminology, an orphan page is a webpage which is not linked to from another article (webpage) on the same site. Thus, an orphaned article (page) cannot be reached from anywhere else on the site, and it cannot be found by a web crawler unless it is linked to from an external site.

So, orphaned articles are those articles which have very few or no incoming links from other pages (links pointing to them). These can be found if a user is searching for information based on a specific keyword also included in an orphaned article (in the search box under the slider on home page), but it is preferable that they are also reachable via links from related pages.

Of course, Seekyt has a Related Posts section, but if the tags you’ve included in your orphan article and/or dead-end page, don’t match the tags used elsewhere on Seekyt, then these posts won’t really be related. Before we conclude how to de-orphan orphaned articles and bring dead-end article pages to life, here’s a list of the factors classifying articles as orphans:

  • An article with no incoming links from other pages
  • Isolatedarticle on a deep level which cannot be easily reached via a series of links from the Main Page
  • A group of articles that linked up together, but with few or no links to them from any other Seekyt articles. In effect the entire group is orphaned.

De-Orphaning Pages & Bringing Dead-End Pages to Life

The best thing would be to avoid orphaned articles and dead-end pages from the start, but if you already have some, write a few other articles on the same topic and link up the articles. This may result in a ‘walled garden’ (as described in Wikipedia) and having an orphaned group of articles. This is what you can do if you have orphaned articles and/or dead-end pages:

Find Related Posts using Tags

Click on tags under your article and check what other articles on the same topic there are on Seekyt. If you find articles you’d like to link to in order to bring your dead-end page to life, choose the right keywords and/or phrases in your article and add the link. Don’t forget to include your referrer ID at the end of the link.

Seekyt Orphan & Dead-End Pages Project

If you can’t de-orphan your article and/or make your dead-end page alive, don’t try to flimflam search engines by adding unrelated links to articles where they don’t belong just for the sake of de-orphaning. Both users and search engines will recognize this as spammy actions and the result will be a decrease in your PageRank. It’s in your interest to keep the quality of your articles by adding relevant and useful links wherever possible.

The Seekyt Orphan & Dead-End Pages Project is an idea developed during the November, 2011 SEO Fever Month, and it is planned as an ongoing project. As the name suggests, the project aims to clear up the orphan & dead-end article inventory at Seekyt. It’s a useful project to both the site and individual writers who want to make the best of their webpages on this revenue sharing site.

The value of this project should not be overlooked because hyperlinks (relevant contextual links) are the defining characteristic of the Web and internal link building is an important strategy in trying to rank high in Google. The project aims to educate Seekyt members how to work on linking up their orphan & dead-end pages and make the whole process easier.

You may not be able to de-orphan every article falling under the category of orphaned articles or make every dead-end page live, but if you connect with other fellow writers in your community, you can make wonders based on internal linking and the Seekyt referral program.

* Go to the Orphan & Dead-End Pages Project Journal Page (the link will be added soon)

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