Why You Should Stop Using Automatic WordPress Internal Linking Plugins (IMO)

Automatic wordpress internal linking plugins

I get it… internal links are good for SEO.

They’re a natural way to build links to your website while providing helpful resources.

Which is exactly why you shouldn’t be using an automatic WordPress internal linking plugin… you don’t want your link strategy to be automated. While these plugins do create internal links, your links are suppose to be helpful, personalized resources and should ideally be inserted manually. Most of these plugins also cause your internal links to have repetitive anchor text for set keywords. Plus many of these plugins consume high CPU (makes your website slower) which is why companies like Godaddy blacklist most related post plugins.

What Are Internal Linking Plugins?
Whenever you use a specified keyword in your content, the internal linking plugin will automatically link to a set page or post. Other internal linking plugins will create a “related posts” section at the bottom of your articles which is meant to keep your readers reading.

Here’s why you shouldn’t use them…


They Can Hurt Your SEO

Repetitive Anchor Text – let’s say the plugin creates 10 internal links to the same page. That means all 10 links will have the same anchor text (the displayed text). Since Google’s Penguin update you do NOT want to do this. Your link’s anchor text should be unique, descriptive, and diverse. If the anchor text is all the same it could make your links look spammy and risks a Google penalty. Some plugins do allow variation, but most don’t.

Not Personalized – where you link to should be dependent on the context of a topic you’re writing about. You can link to an article every time you mention a certain keyword, but that fails to consider the context. I’ve written multiple articles on Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin… instead of linking the word “Yoast” to the same article every time, I have Yoast settings, Yoast focus keywords, and Yoast content optimization. They’re 3 separate articles and my “Yoast internal links” should reflect that if I want them to be relevant.

Slower Load Times – all WordPress plugins slow down your load times even if it’s only for a split second. The value of an internal linking plugin vs. your load time… it’s just not worth it.


Take The Extra 2 Minutes To Insert Links Manually

Internal links in wordpressInternal linking plugins are a shortcut, and just like any shortcut you risk some consequences. Sure they save you a couple minutes on each page/post, but I know you’re not that lazy! Take the extra 2 minutes and insert them manually. It’s better for readers and you won’t risk a Google penalty.


Internal Linking Best Practices

  • Link when there are topics that need clarification
  • Write a custom link title (hover text)
  • Linking out is good too
  • Add a list of resources if you think it’s necessary
  • Open external links in new tabs to keep users on your site

That’s all I got! Leave me a comment below if you have any questions.

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  1. I love this blog and respect Tom 100%. No doubt

    I kinda disagree with not using internal linking plugins. It’s not black or white.
    I’ve been a professional SEO since 2008.

    There’s exceptions, here me out:
    – If you buy the pro version of an internal linking plugin, you can control things.
    – If you know what you’re doing and you’re an OG SEO, you’ll make the right decisions.

    This website is GREAT for almost everything related to website speed. You and WPJohhny are my two most trusted website speed experts.

    But if your site is BLAZING fast, and you’re REALLY good at SEO, and you’ll pay for the upgraded plugin – using an internal linking plugin is fine.

    It’s all about the wizard, not the wand, ya know?


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