Maximising your internal linking structure really does make a huge difference to your “On Page SEO” efforts. Each page on your site passes a certain amount of PageRank through to every page that is linked to from that particular page.
Theory goes that the more often a page is linked to the more important it must be.
Taking this theory into account means we must hand out “link equity” fairly conservatively when putting our pages together, making sure you only link to pages that you have to, or are of utmost importance ie categories and products pages.
Now taking “link equity” into account, one thing that continues to bug me (and some may think that I am a bit pedantic) is the way that Interspire/BigCommerce have set up their templates to handle all these “Add to Cart” and “Choose Options” links that are scattered throughout the site (see image below).
Unfortunately each of these links will pass a little bit of PageRank through to the Shopping Cart Page, which is really not a page that is likely to bring in a lot of search engine traffic. So it makes sense that we really don’t want to link to this page unless it’s absolutely necessary (i.e. the product page).
Now Interspire/BigCommerce do allow you to turn these links off via your administration panel (see image below), but unfortunately the technique that they use to make these links disappear doesn’t really make them totally disappear and they definitely don’t prevent search engines from following the links.
The way that the software application prevents you from seeing these links is through the use of the CSS display:none element. What happens is the link disappears from view on your browser but behind-the-scenes it is still there ready to be followed by the search engine spider. You can see this by looking at the HTML source code (see image below).
The only way to really get rid of these links is to go into your template code and remove them manually. The code that you need to remove will look something like this:
<div class="ProductActionAdd" style="display:%%GLOBAL_HideActionAdd%%;"> <a href="%%GLOBAL_ProductURL%%">%%GLOBAL_ProductAddText%%</a> </div>
The files that you will find this code are in the snippets folder and are as follows:
As I said earlier some people may find this a bit pedantic, but I can assure you that if your chasing traffic in a competitive niche you need to do everything in your power to make sure that your link equity is getting through to your category and product pages, not your add to cart or login page.