Internal Linking for Mobile-Only Indexing

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

Three years ago, I wrote a post for the Moz Blog advising how the latest news on mobile-first indexing would impact internal linking strategies, particularly for larger sites.

“By now, you’ve probably heard as much as you can bear about mobile first indexing”, I joked in my introduction. Little did I know.

Only now — in the summer of 2021 — are Google, supposedly, maybe, finalizing the rollout of mobile-first. Even as of August 2021, Google is still very much actively crawling sites with Googlebot desktop*.

As with the recent delays to the Core Web Vitals rollout, the issue here for Google is that they can’t push changes which make their results worse. As Mike King pointed out back in March over at iPullRank, there’s still a big disparity between the mobile and desktop versions of the web, especially when it comes to links.

I don’t need to persuade most SEOs that they should care about links, but I maybe do need to remind you that internal links are, for most pages, a much bigger part of how they get their strength than external links. On an even vaguely established site, it’s not unreasonable to think that including a landing page in your top nav is going to generate more impactful links than most digital PR campaigns could ever hope to. And yet, sites tend to focus disproportionately on the latter, which is perhaps what…

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