Automating Drupal & WordPress Internal Linking

Jason Narog
, Drupal Developer

Drupal and WordPress are great for automating processes. Internal linking is a useful strategy for both search engine optimization and helping your site visitors quickly and effectively navigate through your site to find the content they want. On the SEO side better internal linking helps improve and identify what a page is about through the use of anchor text, and, because visitors have something to click on, decreases your bounce rates while increasing your time on site rates.

WordPress has an extremely useful plugin for internal linking known as Deep Link Juggernaut. It is part of the SEO Ultimate suite and is an all in one package. The initial settings page allows a user to enter the anchor text, destination, link title attribute, and options for a nofollow or new window tag to be added to the links.

The content link settings tab allows users to configure on what types of content they would like these links to appear on, whether or not a link should appear on its own page or post, how many total links should be automatically added to a post or page, how many times a specific link with a specific anchor text should appear per page, and how many times a particular link should appear on the page. There are also settings to prevent auto linking on certain html tags, the ability to add specific style classes to autolinks for front end developers or themers to work with, and the ability to prevent links from appearing on unrelated pieces of content.

Different site structures or different strategies will call for settings to be tweaked and adjusted accordingly. Deep Link Juggernaut can be very powerful when used correctly, but proper judgment, care and time need to be spent to ensure your WordPress website doesn’t turn into nothing but links.

Drupal has a module similar to Deep Link Juggernaut known as the Alinks module. This module is currently under active development but is seeking a co-maintainer. There is a global configuration page available in Drupal 7 under the Configuration section of the admin area. Here a user can set which content types links should be inserted as well as the number of times a link should be used. Setting specific content types can be useful for keeping links within certain sections of your site such as articles or events while preventing them from appearing on other sections such as a privacy policy page or board or directors page.

Inside of the Structure area of the admin menu users can create their individual links setting their anchor text within the “word/phrase” field, a checkbox for case sensitivity, fields for url and anchor title, a checkbox for whether or not your link is external, and a field for setting up a style class for your front end developers and themers to create new styles.

As with any automated tools it’s important to test and assess if automation is correct for your particular project or mission. Any automated process can be abused and can do more harm than good, but when done in the right circumstances and in moderation it can be both a time saver and a useful tool for improving your website.

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