31DBBB Day 8: Interlink Your Old Blog Posts

This is Day 8 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ of us bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers. You can read an overview here.

Yesterday we explored the value of writing a link post.  A focus of this type of post is to send your readers out to valuable resources on other blogs.   In today’s tip you are going to turn around and essentially do the same for your own blog.

Today’s assignment is to interlink your old blog post.  This task may be harder for those you who have been blogging for years now.  It can also be difficult for us newbies who don’t have many posts to connect together.  Whichever case you find yourself in its an essential task.  As Darren points out:

1. It will help your readers. Providing your readers with links about where to go next will make their job of navigating your site much easier.

2. It increases your pageviews. While must of us aren’t running ads on our blogs, pageviews can increase your advertising income if you are during cost per impression ads.  For those who aren’t running ads the increased pageviews simply mean that readers are becoming more engaged with your blog. Chances are that if they read enough and like it that will become a subscriber and pass your information on to others.

3. The power of Search Engine Optimization. You may not have known what this was before starting this project, but you won’t forget it by the time this is over.  Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing have the power to send readers to your site.  But they only reward the sites that they believe provide the best information for the terms entered in the search box by that potential reader.  Search engines use algorithms to figure out who gets ranked where and bloggers endlessly debate what goes into the algorithm, but most agree that linking plays a role.

So how do you interlink your blog?

1. You could add a link in the middle of your post. If you reference something that you talked about previously on the blog go ahead and provide the reader with a link to it so that they don’t have to search your archives.

2. Updates. Take and old posts and breathe new life into it.

3. At the end of your post share some “Further Reading.” This can take a couple of approaches.  Obviously you could do it manually.  This allows you to hand pick certain posts.  You can also use I plugin to automatically pick posts for you. I currently use Link Within.  In automatically picks 3 related posts and features a thumbnail of each one at the bottom of every post I write.

While the automatic feature is nice, there are certainly times when you would want to handpick certain posts for further reading.  One way to make this easier on yourself is to think ahead of time about how you categorize/tag your posts.  Carefully making this decision will help when you looking for related posts in the future.

Discussion

  1. What are your thoughts on interlinking your content?
  2. If you are already interlinking, do you interlink with every post or just your most popular ones? How might taking a different approach improve your blog?
  3. Do you think interlinking can be overdone?

The Extra Mile

A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…

  • Reply & give other bloggers feedback on the little things they do.
  • When other bloggers include a link to a new article they’ve posted today, click, read, and comment on it.
  • Check previous posts in the series for new comments.
  • Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.

[image by teban32]

J.D. Eddins is husband and father of 3 girls and avid runner. He works for a Christ-centered drug treatment center in Arkansas. You can find his blog at The Training Crucible and on Twitter at jdeddins.

95 Responses to “31DBBB Day 8: Interlink Your Old Blog Posts”

  1. I hadn't really thought about linking a few more posts at the bottom. I didn't even know what a bounce rate was before this started. Mine was like 55% and I wondered why it wasn't higher and what I could do to get it up there. lol

    Here is my post for today:
    http://campfirecowboyministries.com/2010/05/cowbo

  2. My Thoughts:
    Interlinking is great to keep readers on your blog, if the links are relevant.
    I basically interlink with related links (too the category) on each post – but that is too general.

    The only problem with interlinking (correct me if I am wrong here) is that the value obtained (for SEO purposed) is dependent on how well your site does in Google's eyes in the first place. That is to say – the higher ranked site benefit way more because Google using the value of the referring site. So the rich get richer, and the poor; they fight tooth and nail ;)

    My Post
    As part of the task I decided to go back and take a look at how far I have come in my blog, on Friday it is my 2nd birthday as a blog, so I highlighted my first post and where I was at the end of my first year – and of course what story I want to tell next year.http://synapticlight.com/2-years-of-blogging/

    Looking forward to your thoughts :)

    • Happy birthday Phillip ;)

    • Regarding the SEO, a basic rule of thumb I use when explaining SEO to people is…

      Page strength x relevance (to the phrase searched) = search rankings

      Generally speaking, page strength is determined by the number of links to a page and the strength of the pages linking. Relevance is determined by text on the page as well as the text in the links to the page.

      Internal linking is not going to improve the overall strength of one's blog, but it can improve the strength of the posts linked to. Internal linking can also improve the relevance of the ones posts if the link text has keywords in it.

      So, the bottom line is internal linking can improve both factors that lead to improved search rankings. When that happens it's possible for a posts in a less popular but well optimized and well organized blog to outrank posts in a more popular but poorly optimized and poorly organized blog.

    • From what I have read, interlinking actually helps the "search spiders" that look at your site do a better job of indexing your posts, making it rank higher with Google. While it is probably not the most important part (I think great content is) it certainly is a key to having success.

  3. Guess a bit of insomnia can be a good thing, as I got this assignment done early for a change :)
    I have been interlinking all along so this wasn't a hard assignment. Plus I got lucky in that a comment left yesterday inspired today's blog entry. And thanks for the Link Within tip, installed and running!.
    http://blog.beachdaze.com/?p=71 (yeah I know I gotta get more friendly URLs..just too lazy to read how to change it in WP.)

    Peace,
    B

  4. Good morning! I love it when the 31DBBB posts are published early. Thanks!

    Since I started linking internally, my Google page rank has gone from zero to three in about three months. There must be something to the ranking algorithm that rewards lower bounce rates and the number of page views during each visit. People do stay to read more if you provide a map to your site, so to speak.

    I wrote more about this in today's post assignment. Have a great day!

    http://wp.me/pL6TU-N4

    • Well your PR is one better than mine, so perhaps I should interlink more.

    • Erica, that's an interesting point concerning search engines rewarding lower bounce rates. I hadn't considered that.

      I would add, though, that the pagerank (PR) we see on the Google toolbar is not the same PR that Google uses in its search rankings. Google only updates the toolbar PR once every 3-6 months.

      So, it's possible after starting a new blog to go 3-6 months with a toolbar PR of 0 and then when Google finally updates their toolbar PR data jump to a 3, and that 3 be a reflection not just of what the blogger has done recently but the culmination of everything done over those 3-6 months.

      • I thought about that PR thing after I left the comment. This is all new to me and it's sometimes confusing. Thanks for the extra info!

    • Going to have to try out those SEO tools.. thanks

  5. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to Entertain Aliens…
    http://greeninventionscentral.blogspot.com/2010/0
    :)

  6. Paul, you asked why.

    Um, it's tiring! :)

    • Yeah, I have to agree! Especially if someone wants to give it the attention it deserves, then it can be a lot of work.

      Others may loos interest if they don't see immediate results as well, or if they feel like an outsider. Not saying that either of these is the case, but could be a possibility.

    • Yeah, good point. I know I'm whooped. But that's mostly because I'm getting 4 hrs of sleep a night.

  7. I will always interlink a referenced prior post of mine – especially if it's a series I'm writing.

    Howevre, I was a little daunted by the thought of referencing prior posts and have no idea what to write about it – so instead I cheated and found a plugin to do the job fo rme. WordPress FTW again. Now every post on my blog has 5 related posts without much effort on my side. Result.

    • What plugin do you use?

      • Hi Kathryn – I used "Contextual Related Posts". Simply do a search from with WP and auto-install it and activate. Didn't have to do anything else at all.

        How easy and cool is that.?

        • Thanks! I'm going to try it… but, unfortunately, I typically don't find any of the technical aspects of blogging "easy and cool." :) I'll let you know….

          • It worked like a charm! Thank you! Do you have a similar suggestion for a TypePad blog?

    • That's a cool idea. I'm a bit of a control freak though, so I'm not sure I could handle the computer interlinking my posts for me, but it sounds like a cool idea.

      • Well there were plenty of other plugins to pick from – this one had almost 5 stars and did what I needed. Sorted.

      • I feel the same way. In my post for today I handpicked some posts that I wanted to make sure readers would see, but on most days I think having at least some recommended links are better than having no recommended links.

  8. I use a wordpress plugin to offer related posts by category. There are several different plugins that will do this for you. Also, in this post I linked by to a couple of other posts in the body as it is part of a series. Right now the links are duplicated because the blog is new and the category only has the posts of this series in it but that will change as more posts are added to the category.

    Here is today's post: http://larrywestfall.com/five-stages-of-a-failing

    • What plugin is that?

      • Nathalie I'm sorry it took me so long to reply. I have been super busy. The plugin is "add post footer." It allow me to add the number of related post I would like in the footer section as well as giving me the option to add text or html code. I just looked up the words "add post footer" in the wordpess plugin search from the dashboard and it was at the top of the list.

  9. in answer to your question… i am realising more and more that this exercise is perhaps better suited to a blog that very specifically offers a service or a specific type of content. a lot of bloggers blog as a general life practice. therefore the blogging is less focused. i am finding that i am starting at day 1 again but doing it with my business blog instead. however where i find the content to be relevant, i apply it to my personal/photography blog.

    • Great point Claire! There is a form of blogging that is much like personal journalling, and other forms that strive to increase traffic. Mine, for example, lies somewhere in between. It is not a business, but I am finding that many of these tips help me achieve some personal goals that I have with it.

      What you are pointing out should be an important distinction that a blogger should make when creating a blog… what their goals are. And if their goals are not to grow numbers, then that is okay too!

      I'd love to hear more about how these tips are working out for your business blog!

    • I think that interlinking for a personal blog may actually be even more important because it is less likely that you could use one of the plug-ins that we have talked about here.
      The reason I say that is this: think about all the topics that you have talked about it in your personal life, surely there is some overlap. Maybe you have dealt with the same situation a year ago, compare how you handled it now with how you handled it then. Update posts are great opportunities to interlink your posts.

  10. I'm happy to say that I've got this one down already!

    I also use LinkWithin, and I love it! By the way, most people don't realize that you can change the setting for number of links in it, and they leave it at the default of three. I've changed mine to 5 because it fills the space better.

    I also use internal links for special projects that I do. I make one main post a 'headline' post (that rotates in my featured content on the homepage), and link to the other content in the project. I actually have a group blogging project on a book going right now, if you want to see an example… http://bibledude.net/2010/04/group-blogging-proje

    Also, since I am trying to make an effort to do more list posts as well, I'll do one later today for the '10 most ___ posts from the dude'. Let me know if you have any suggestions on what to fill that blank with… theological, scandalous, personal, creative, etc…

    • I just found out about being able to increase the number to 5 as well earlier this week, so thanks for sharing that info with the readers. Right now I have left it at 3 because my blog is so new, but once I have plenty of posts in each category I will probably bump the number up.
      Another great tip you mentioned is making the headline post. I know that one of the future assignments is a sneeze page, and what you described here sounds like a great one.

  11. Speaking of interlinking past blog post, this post includes 2 good examples. Notice how in the first paragraph there's a link to the main post about the 31 Days project (though it would be better to include keywords in the linking text. Then in the second paragraph, notice how JD puts today's post in contact by referencing (and linking to) yesterday's post.

    One other really good way to link to older posts is to have a "Top Posts" or "Featured Posts" plugin or area on your blog. This puts your best content just one click away no matter where a person is on your blog.

  12. I have learned a lot from many of your blogs about linking to older posts. I like the ones that do it right in the content. It makes it more relevant to the conversation at hand.
    Today I combined the link post assignment from yesterday and the internal link assignment for today. I linked to Justapen's poem. It helped me make a point on my post. http://junctionforjesus.blogspot.com/2010/05/bank
    –Richard

  13. I love this reading and assignment. It made me think through again how I label my blogs and the consistency of my purpose. Instictively I feel that too much interlinking can be information, even choice, overload. But tehn choosing what to use as interlinks may mean letting go of a potential link I like.

    Today's blog is created to try out several of the interlinking possibilities. http://guidedreflections.blogspot.com/2010/05/i-a… . Please tell me what you think!

  14. Thanks for everyone's thoughts so far, I try to go through and comment on them after I get this comment up. Since my blog has a different niche than the others participating in this project I did a special post just for ya'll,http://trainingcrucible.blogspot.com/2010/05/why-

    • Thanks for the post JD. I especially appreciated the last part on linking to further reading. However, the LinkWithin plugin does not work well for my site. Do you or anyone else know of any other plugins for wordpress that would work in a similar way?

  15. I like the idea of interlinI like the idea of interlinking old posts. It's a helpful idea and a great way to restate old posts.I like the idea of interlinking old posts.
    I don't have a lot of posts to interlink with so I just use the ones I have. Taking a different approach would change things up a bit. I do think that interlinking can be overdone, I haven't seen anyone do it yet, but I do believe it is possible.

    I interlinked a few blog posts I've written on tips for blogging that also goes with what we've been learning here at 31dbbb.
    "How do I…" blogging tip – inspired by @guykawaski and Googlehttp://tijuanabecky.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/how-
    and a sort of sister post "Blogging Community/Family"http://tijuanabecky.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/blog

  16. Great post.

    I have had both wordpress and blogspot and the related articles is one of the things I miss most from wordpress because I used to get a LOT of traffic from other sites that were linking to my posts.

    As far as self promoting my own, whenever I think one is related I will usually post a link inside the blog post when I am talking about something related.

    This is a time when interlinking is for self promo only as it has NOTHING to do with the content discussed above! :) http://ragamuffinray.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-if

  17. Thanks for everyone's thoughts so far, I try to go through and comment on them after I get this comment up. Since my blog has a different niche than the others participating in this project I did a special post just for ya'll,http://trainingcrucible.blogspot.com/2010/05/why-

    • My blog isn't really a specific niche, I combine what could be several blogs into one. I think it's cool the post you did today. Love the picture with you and your children on your about page.

  18. I am still busy with today's task, since I've been a bit busy today. Tonight my daughter (who is top of her grade in physical science and biology) will be participating in a science questioning competition at another school. So that is where we will be. Just thought I'd get that brag in right there! :-)

    Anyway, I have found a neat little "Related Posts" plugin for Blogger.com that I have implemented today at my blog. You will have to scratch around your blog code to implement it, but it works!

    You can find it here.

    See it in action at this post of mine. It can be seen at any post of mine for that matter.

    • Give our congrats to your daughter, that sounds like some awesome recognition. And way to go Dad, you must have done something right :)

      • Unfortunately I can't even say that she has my genes, or my wife's, since neither of us got grades like that in school work. She is extremely hard working and diligent. That is her secret. I only started performing at Bible college when I finished my 4 years with an 84% average. But, then it was something I really enjoyed.

        But thanks, I will tell her!

    • Wish that worked on WordPress. Thanks for posting about it for Blogger.com.

  19. Here's my post for today that links to a post from 2008. It starts like this:

    "Not everyone is as fortunate (or deluded) as Frank Sinatra was in his song, 'I Did It My Way.' It seems that no matter how terribly we have acted, it is considered a highly valued character trait to have no regrets."
    http://preparation4eternity.blogspot.com/2010/05/

    This post actually responds to yesterday's homework as well (since I flunked it). That previous post links to Marcus Goodyear's blog.

  20. I could just look this up on Google, but in the interest of developing community here, how does you find your Google page rank?

    I've been trying to interlink as I go from the start, though not with all of this additional information in mind, so it might be productive to go back through my posts and see if I missed any linking opportunities.

    And to state the obvious, this is where community can be helpful, by linking to each others' sites. Someone pointed out in an earlier 31 Days comment that social media has to be SOCIAL.

    I'm under a couple of gigantic deadlines, one of which will be done tonight, and then I hope to hang around here more, and on the rest of the blogs represented here. But I'm still all in!

  21. I just thought of a question: Do tags have the same effect as internal links on your page ranking? They are, after all, internal links.

  22. Today has been a productive day for me! I am one of those people that has been slacking lately because of real life getting in the way. I actually wrote my post about that today and I ended up creating an internal link and a list within my post today!

    My blog post from today:http://tiny.cc/09jg0

    Question: I am using WordPress and I get a message in my comments letting me know that someone has linked a link to my blog – but it's my link – do I trash this comment? I realized I don't want this comment showing under a post, but does it have any negative effects for me if I trash it? Does anyone know how I can stop WordPress from telling me that I linked to myself?

    On a last note, thanks for all the plugin recommendations today!!

    • Trash those ping comments with no worries. You can stop those from coming by linking only with the stub, not the entire URL. The stub is the part that comes after yourdomain.com/

  23. I have already been working on linking some of my posts, and I will continue to do so. I think it's valuable because it links information within your blog so you don't have to repeat yourself if it's already mentioned. I haven't yet figured out how to interlink with my most popular posts, but it's something I'm thinking about.

    I do think interlinking can be overdone. Like everything else, moderation is the key.

    I can't spend lots of time here today, unfortunately. I have a sick little one who needs my attention. I'm excited that I've been able to keep up so far though!

    ~Jennifer
    Today's post:http://jenniferjanes.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/my-

  24. Hi everyone !
    I've been thinking about cross linking my posts on my blog, however I find it to be a lot of work to go through all my posts and find the link. I would like it to be simplier.

    Paul, I've checked and can't find the plugin Link Within you wrote about in your lesson. Can you give me more details? Is it a plugin for WordPress? I'm interested in installing it on my blog.

    Would any of you have other WordPress plugins to suggest that you've found really usefull? (It might be a subject for another place than here…)

    Today's post is meant to be funny… Need to laugh at real life, having fun is essential ;-) http://lemondedenathalie.ca/2010/05/12/5-incontou

    • The easiest way I have found to link without plugins is by searching by tag and linking to the tag search results. Since you do such a great job of tagging your posts this should work well. I love your blog template, layout, the bright colors and the images! And now I wish I had paid much more attention in French class. :)

    • The picture of the green face scared me. Thanks for posting about bondage.

  25. I had never thought of nor heard of interlinking, though it does make sense. I had what would have been one long post I broke into two segments for publication. That would seem to be a logical place to start.

    Since they just follow each other on my blog, I am not sure it will be as necessary. I will have to check into the mechanics of how to do it uses Blogspot. If anyone has any knowledge regarding the steps required, I'd appreciate the help!
    http://divingdeepintograce.blogspot.com/

    • I would go ahead and interlink them because someone may find a single post through a search engine, but not know that you have written part 2. Linking directly to part 2 makes it much easier.
      As far as how to interlink with Blogspot (and this is true of most editors). Write your post. Notice that above the blank form where you actually right your text there is a formatting toolbar. This will allow you to change the color of link, making text bold, etc. There is also a function labeled link. Click on that label. it will ask to enter the url of the page you want to link to. I always open the page in another tab or window and copy and paste the url from the address bar (that way to don't enter in the wrong info). It is also helpful to go ahead and make the text for the link a different color, it helps your readers see that there is something different. I hope that helps. If you need more detail just let me know.

  26. Assignment complete and here is my post for the day: http://www.nolanbobbitt.com/welcome_to_nolans_wor
    As for Paul's question about participation attrition, I have three thoughts–1. The longer the project goes, the more natural it is for people to stop participating. 2. Some of the assignments are easy to apply and others are a little more tedious and/or less applicable. 3. Life often gets in the way of good blogging.

  27. Here is my post on interlinking today.. It's a pretty common SEO practice to link to pages within your site. Going to have to try out some of the plugins now..
    http://guardraildamageahead.com/31dbbb-day-8-inte

  28. I definitely think interlinking promotes further reading. People–including myself–like to be led. I often find myself clicking the links within other blog posts.

    I do interlink on my blog, though not in every post–in fact not in most posts. I could probably utilize it more often. However, I think it can be overdone and a bit of a distraction simply because people can click the link mid-read and forget your vital, thought-out words. Kinda like call-waiting. But it definitely has its place.

    I posted an interlink today to one of my specific tags. Check it out athttp://unrehearsedadventure.blogspot.com/2010/05/

    Thanks!

  29. Wow! Thanks for all of the linking plug in suggestions everyone. Great resources.

    I have done some interlinking on my own posts as in the post from yesterday:
    http://theorganizedartist.blogspot.com/2010/05/wh

    I do feel as a reader that interlinking can get to be too much. As with anything, I prefer to see it done when it adds the greatest value to what is being discussed.

  30. Hi all,

    I have written an article called Help others see more of your blog.

    In this blog post I look at a couple of ways to link between your posts, especially with the idea of helping your visitor to see more of your blog.

    It is now 1:00am here in South Africa, and it is time to go to bed. I have to be up at 5am again!

  31. Fortunately I do try to link posts sometimes….primarily when I do posts for blog loops like Word Filled Wednesdays…etc. I think this can be overdone but services like Linked Within make it cute with little pics. I know a man who does a christian apologetics site that links all within the text. That seems smart as well.

    I tried linked within but GoDaddy Blog doesn't seem to like it. I called their tech service and we crashed the blog b/c their blog doesn't sem to like java. if anyone knows a way around this plz let me know.

    ANyway my linked post today is: http://parentingtwinsandmore.com/2010/05/12/wfw-n

  32. The interlink was a good project to stretch me further in my blogging experience. I added a link in my blog post today. I hope it spurs further readership. I already have Link Within on my blog posts and I truly enjoy it. However, if one is doing a series of articles, I think manually entering the follow up posts would be better.

    Here's my link for today:http://openmyearslord.blogspot.com/2010/05/sweet-

  33. I have been searching for a wordpress plugin that does the same as LinkWithin. Anyone know of such a plugin? I also posted my linked post. Sometimes it would be nice to have a few more hours in each day. ;-) http://oikosministries.com/archives/1091

  34. This exercise, the last time I went through 31DBBB, had a noticeable impact on my blog. People started finding old posts, and my ranking did go up… but only in the keywords of those posts (mainly Twitter posts last year).

    Now that I am refocusing my blog thanks to this go-round of 31DBBB, I find that most of my old posts simply aren't worth linking! They don't often have the same quality I try to achieve these days. Oh well, a good trick to carry in my pocket moving forward, I guess.

    The LinkWithin widget has been good. But I ran into a hiccup: I recently got my own domain and switched my blog to it. LinkWithin got confused. So now, it links my new posts (which it sees in my domain) only to other new posts, not to the old ones. Pity. Again, I just have to keep moving forward.

  35. The number of comments from participants may have reduced but the quality of the comments have improved. This is partly due to the exposure from ourchurch.com. I have written a number of articles in my blog
    http://www.christchosenambassadorsministry.com/ap
    You can equally visit our forum post at
    http://www.christchosenambassadorsministry.com/ap

  36. We've been interlinking since we started. We achieve this by with "TAGS" or keywords. All like articles get similar keywords or share keywords. Then at the bottom of each article the relevant article links are displayed.

    Let me know if this format works for you http://www.saysomagazine.com

    This site is GREAT! I've learned so much!

  37. Not sure if I posted on this since I use this technique…here is a post I just did that uses interlinks
    http://parentingtwinsandmore.com/2010/05/20/tt-nd

    Only my meme posts get the interlinking
    I suppose if I did it for all posts I would improve things.
    And I think it woul be hard to overdo it=)