Link share

Google says crosswords in your content when relevant and in context

Google’s John Mueller said that while it makes sense to cross-link your content on your website, you should only do so when it’s relevant and in the context of the content. If your users are confused by your links, so can search engines, John added.

John said this on Mastodon after a Mastodon rant by Michael Lewittes. Let me share what Michael wrote about Mastodon:

I don’t usually rant publicly, but I’ve had enough of a (growing) practice that technically isn’t link spam or clickbait, but falls somewhere in between – and that is false (and should be rung). It is hyperlinking to certain words in an article and redirecting readers to something they didn’t want or expect, and is only related in the most tenuous way to the content major.

For example, Jay Leno and I have had a number of conversations over the years, and so when I read about his accident, I read a report and clicked on the hyperlinked words, “would have been burned,” expecting to find more details. which may not have been mentioned earlier in the article. Instead, I was redirected to an article/photo gallery on “Celeb Injuries Over the Years”. WHAT?!

If this was a one-off, I’d strike it as a rookie mistake, but I’ve noticed this more and more every day, and it’s both bad user experience and bad journalism.

Google’s John Mueller replied:

Some of this happens automatically, but that doesn’t make it better.

Cross-linking your content makes a lot of sense, but it really should be something relevant. At least some of the sites have abandoned the practice of choosing random keywords for this.

The problem with overdoing it (linking a lot of your unrelated but text-matching content) is that the links lose their context. Just as you are confused, so will search engines.

Really, content for people by people may become increasingly important to Google in the near future – so be careful.

Good rant Michael!

Mastodon Discussion Forum.