Alex Stein at Mozcon 2016

Mozcon 2016: Alex Stein

This content is 6 years old. Please, read this page keeping its age in mind as SEO changes rapidly and while the past is useful to remember and reference, it often doesn't provide the best strategies to apply today.

DISCLAIMER: This post is written as a live blog from Mozcon. There may be typos and grammar to make my high school English teachers weep. Please excuse those … it’s a fast-paced conference with back-to-back sessions and no time for proofing or even proper writing.

Alex Stein takes the stage to chat about boosting your SEO via removing internal links.  He brings up the point that 15% of weight bleeds out.  This is PageRank evaporation and well-known fact.   He also points out that if you remove 50% of your internal links, the remaining pages get that weight – also a valid point.

The problem with sites is that they grow over time and can get out of control with tons of useless links to unimportant pages.  He starts by discussing the removal of links in their main nav (which was apparently huge).  The reduction aided the users but more importantly (for our discussion) is that the pages remaining in the navigation got more weight and organic traffic jumped 5% from a very simple change.

He then moves on to discussing the footer links (those links we don’t know where they are supposed to go so we jam them in the footer).  Remove the links that don’t need to be accessed from every page and the weight will better distribute.  They reduced from 51 to 20 (which includes grouping content onto single pages).

And now … sidebars.  He talks about tag clouds, related pages, etc.  He recommends removing them unless there’s clear evidence they’re used.  I don’t entirely agree here but i’s good food for thought as tag clouds can push value to tags that are more used and thus pass weight to them but to his point … if you have one at least keep it to a reasonable number.

Next he talks about looking in the code.  Code issues cause bugs and they can yield unintended links (sometimes multiples from a single product listing or item.  Fix them.  They repaired such an issue and it repaired rankings that had declined.

Low authority sites aren’t highly effected as hey don’t pass a lot of weight.  It also doesn’t work well for small sites.  This type of activity is more geared towards large sites.

If you want to see your internal link value according to a calculator Alex recommends you can do so at (love that domain name)

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