Google’s John Mueller recently answered the question of whether internal links in the footer or header are used differently by Google. Google’s John Mueller gave an explanation of the slight difference in how Google treats the main content of a page and shed light on how Google treats internal links within a web page.
Internal links are the links from within a website that go to another web page within the same website.
Examples of internal links are the menu links that are typically found in the header and also links to important sections of a site like the about us page and the contact page that are frequently found in the footer of a website.
Internal links can also be links to other pages within the site that are found within the content of the site.
Google’s John Mueller Discussing Internal Links
Are All Internal Links Equally Important?
Google’s John Mueller said that internal links are important and the person asking the question wanted to know if there was a difference in how the different kinds of internal links are treated.
The person asked:
“You recently reiterated the importance of internal linking to signal to Google how important specific content on a site is.
I want to know, are links within certain sections of a site looked at differently.
For example, if a page is linked within a header or a footer and therefore included on every page of a site.
Does Google use those links differently thank links within the body of the page?”
Internal Links Are Not Differentiated
Mueller explained that links are not treated differently because of where the links are located within a web page.
John Mueller answered:
“We don’t really differentiate there.
So if like, things are linked in your footer of the page and they’re linked from across the whole website then from our point of view you have those links from across your whole website.
It’s not the case that we would say, Oh, like links in a footer have less weight or are not as useful we will ignore them or anything like that.
So from that point of view, when it comes to links we essentially just see them as links on a page.”
Text is Treated is Differently Based on Location
Next John Mueller clarified that text within the main content is treated slightly differently.
“It’s slightly different when it comes to text in there, in that we try to understand what the primary content is of a page.
And when it comes to ranking relative to the other content on your website, we’ll try to focus on that primary content section of the page.
But links from our point of view just help us to better understand the site’s structure and whether they’re in the header or in the footer or the sidebar or the main content, that doesn’t really change anything for us.”
Internal Links Are Important
John Mueller explained that while content in the main content area is treated slightly differently, internal links within the header, footer or main content is treated the same.
Mueller also affirmed that internal links in the footer and header are not given less weight than links within the content of a web page.
Best Internal Linking: Header & Footer versus In-Content Links
Watch John Mueller answer the question at the 45:09 minute mark