There are a number of factors that contribute to a successful page structure to ensure it is optimized for both users and search engines. We cover the common pitfalls seen, as well as recommendations for optimization, within our SEO Office Hours notes for page structure.
Is it possible to have too many external links in your website content?
Any limit on outgoing external links is theoretical and unlikely to get reached naturally.
One user asked whether there’s a limit to the number of external links they can use on an editorial piece of content. Google’s John Mueller said that, theoretically, there is a limit, but even sites with mega menus on their pages are unlikely to ever reach this limit. Just be reasonable and include links that are going to add genuine value for users. As long as you’re not using external links in a very over-the-top way, you’ll most likely be fine.
Internal links on different parts of a page are viewed similarly for SEO
There’s not a quantifiable difference in how Google views internal links located on different parts of a page. For example, there is no significant contrast in how much value Google gives to internal links contained high up in your content vs. links within the page footer.
It’s different when it comes to the overall placement of content on a page because Google is trying to figure out what is uniquely important to a page’s overall content, but the location of links on a page does not make much of a difference in terms of how that internal linking is valued.
Technical SEO factors also contribute to content quality determinations in Google
John is keen to clarify that both technical SEO and content quality are extremely important. When it comes to the quality of content, Google is looking at more than just the text on a page. Additional factors ranging from page design to speed can also have an impact on how Google determines the quality of your site.
Jump Links Are Used to Further Understand Page Structure Not Pass PageRank
Jump links, where you link from one part of a page to another part of that same page, are not something that Google will use to pass signals such as PageRank. Instead, they are used to further understand the structure of the page and can be shown in search results to link to a particularly relevant part of the page for a user’s query.
Large Informational Blocks of Text Below Regular Content Can Confuse Google About Page Purpose
If you have an ecommerce category page with some transactional content at the top but have large blocks of informational content at the bottom just to target certain keywords, this can confuse Google about the page’s purpose and whether it should be shown for users looking to buy products or just research them.
Google Struggles to Understand Context if All Body Text is in Heading Tags
It is not best practice to include body text within heading tags. Google would see that all the text in the heading tags is of equal importance and would have trouble understanding the content on the page.
Place Videos High up on Page For Better Chance of Being Displayed in SERPs
John recommends placing videos fairly high up on a page to help Google understand it is a video landing page.
Published & Last Updated Dates for Articles Are Useful for Google’s Algorithms
John recommends including both the first published date and last updated date on articles and marking them up as this information is useful for Google’s algorithms. Make sure the dates in the structured data are consistent with the dates that are shown in the page content.
Google Uses Headings to Better Understand Context of Page
Google is flexible in its understanding of the headings on a page and uses them to better understand the context of the content on the page.
Page Layout is Only an SEO Issue for Mobile-Friendly Testing
Page layout is only really an issue for SEO when it comes to mobile-friendly testing and the mobile interstitial update.