hi, my name is muhammad saleem and i used to abuse internal linking. last november, a few months after i had started blogging, a regular reader and frequent commenter said the following to me,
as much as I enjoy reading your blog… you link back to yourself in your blog far more often than you link to outside sources.
another reader chimed in, saying,
most blogs link back to themselves more than outside links…it just makes sense. look at engadget for example… i don’t find a problem with it.
and at that time i didn’t find a problem with it either, but now i do. since then, i’ve realized certain benefits of linking out (beyond linking in or out just based on search engine algorithms and for seo purposes). by linking to other sources you can either use them to back up your own argument or provide your readers with another viewpoint to consider and come to their own conclusions. this helps your reputation as an author and makes you a more complete information source, giving your readers more of a reason to come back to you rather than someone else simply because you provide them with a more complete experience and most likely have richer conversations.
what’s surprising is that some of the most popular sites on the web right now are also the ones that most overuse/abuse internal linking. i took a few of the recent articles on techcrunch and mashable, and looked at their internal-to-outbound linking ratio and in many cases over 50% of the links were to their own previous coverage (even when they were regurgitating other people’s content). in fact, techcrunch doesn’t even link directly to the site they’re talking about anymore, rather they link to that site’s crunchbase profile.