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Technical SEO Agency Manchester

We call page 2 the dark web

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Annoying isnt it

Your website is never going to make you money if your site speed is sh*t and pages aren’t indexed. Google would rather direct users to your biggest competitors who don’t have these issues than to your site. Read that again.

Unleashing Technical SEO services on your website is the earliest and most important step in your tactical SEO strategy. It’s the foundations you need if you want your site to rank, drive traffic and turn those leads into hard cash.

Our Technical SEO consultants buckle down and tear through the tasks you find tedious, because, let’s face it, no MD wants to hear about sitemaps, schemas, 401 redirects, or how many javascript issues are slowing the site down – they just want to make money. We care about the mundane, so you don’t have to. Leave the boring Core Web Vitals to us.

If you’re looking to partner with a Manchester Technical SEO agency that increases your traffic, generates more leads, and makes you a ton of money – send us a flare.

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What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is the practice of optimising your website for crawling and indexing – or at least, that’s the jargon-heavy explanation you’d get from our Technical SEO consultants.

In simpler terms, Technical SEO services are about making your website look like it’s going for a job interview where you’re trying to impress Google and other search engines. Being your best you. The easier it is for Google to move about your website, understand its context and index the pages, the higher you will show up on Google’s search results. Grab your Lynx Java, put on your best clobber and ensure you have a secure website. One that’s bullet fast, works on all devices and blows smoke up Google’s arse. Can we buy you some structured data?

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The Tech SEO approach at Dark Horse

You can’t shout about offering the best Technical SEO services in Manchester without making a plan first. We start by performing a full SEO audit of your website. Our Technical SEO consultants will run their probing device through your site and find every error and missed opportunity to ensure you’re hitting the right spot on the big G. It’ll hurt at first, but feel oh so good when you’re riding high.

We sort through the website carnage and check everything:

  • Sitemaps
  • Crawling and indexing
  • Mobile optimisation
  • Structured data
  • Google Core Web Vitals
  • Site speed and page loading time
  • Site structure
  • Website migrations
  • Broken pages, links, all the 301s, 404s… even 666 and 007
  • SSL certificates
  • Image optimisation
  • Internal and external links
  • Canonical URLs
  • Shopify and Magento integrations

Once we know where your last Technical SEO agency failed, we create a strategy to fix, win and rake in the money for you. We’ll need access to every dusty corner of your website, Search Console and Google Analytics. We’re probably going to need to track down your web dev and make them work harder and faster than ever. Better warn them – Dark Horse is coming. And we are forensic.

Ready to terrify your competition? Our industry experts give your website a shakedown and turn it on its head checking for errors that are giving your rivals the upper hand. Take back what’s yours. Dominate or die.

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A humblebrag for our Technical SEO agency

Our Technical SEO consultants immediately got down and dirty with Rhino Safety’s website to improve crawlability, website structure and page speed before leading on a full website migration. Blood, sweat and tears went into our client’s website to achieve a 156% increase in organic sessions and 159% increase in organic users. You wanted results? You got ‘em.

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“We have worked with a few agencies over the years, but we have found Dark Horse to be the perfect fit for us at Rhino Safety.  The input of ideas, knowledge and importantly the feeding back of results each month has helped us to grow significantly in an area that was new to us as a business. Dark Horse has helped us develop comprehensive strategies for our SEO and PPC campaigns and helped us to migrate and develop content for our new website. We would highly recommend Dark Horse.”

Marketing Manager, Rhino Safety

Technical SEO Manchester businesses need

Technical SEO services explained 

Our Technical SEO services focus on strategies that win. We don’t just export a bog-standard Screaming Frog crawl that “highlights all your opportunities” like every other charlatan Technical SEO Agency. Manchester businesses deserve better from their Technical SEO company.

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Website migrations

FFS don’t migrate your website without getting a Technical SEO agency onboard. Without Technical SEO you could have a criminal migration, which means you can kiss goodbye to those leads that were going to pay out your bonus.

Our SEO website migration services look at the whole process and make sure that SEO is front and centre. Minimise any risk of search traffic drops and ranking issues by having our Technical SEO team fully scope and execute the website migration. Doesn’t matter if it’s an e-commerce or service-based site, we’ve seen the lot and migrated them all.

Core web vitals optimisation

Sometimes you have to suck up to Google to make oodles of cash.

Core Web Vitals are a set of specific factors that Google considers important in a webpage’s overall user experience. They’re made up of three specific page speed and user interaction measurements:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – loading performance
  • First Input Delay (FID) – interactivity
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – visual stability

What these boil down to is this: is your site easy and enjoyable to use? If this was a blind date, would they just walk out? Or would they be swooning and desperate for a second one? If not, our Manchester Tech SEO experts know how to get your house is order. We’ve turned failing websites into speedy, user-friendly goldmines that makes Google weak at the knees and occasionally tremble.

Google page speed optimisation

Page speed is really fucking important for SEO. The faster your website and pages load, the higher they will rank. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, most web developers won’t consider ranking factors when they build and design your site – they just want it to look good. Whilst shoddy Technical SEO consultants rely on a quick Page Speed Insights report as evidence they have “done” Technical SEO for you. That’s why you need a Technical SEO agency to work on your site too. Completely different agenda. Technical SEO will make your page speed lightning quick on all devices. Google will love it and bump you up before you can say “Largest Contentful Paint”.

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The first step in destroying your competitors is unleashing Technical SEO services on your website. Tech is the beginning of all SEO work, the clever manipulating and outsmarting of the Google crawlers that leads you down the path to commercial success. Traffic. Money. Profit. Lots of it.



Another make-or-break element on site. It gets a bit technical from here on out.

If you have multiple pages on site with similar content, a canonical tag tells search engines which URL is the master version of that page and should appear in search results.

If, for example, you sell a jumper in blue, red and black, you might have a URL for that jumper and a new URL for each of the colours. You could use a canonical tag to tell Google that the main jumper page should appear in search results, while the colours should not. It’ll look something like this:

<link rel=”canonical” href=””>

This helps to prevent content duplication, which can have a detrimental effect on your SEO. If you have multiple pages targeting the same keywords, Google won’t know which to rank – and likely won’t rank any of them. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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Website structure & architecture

You need to build motorways through your website for Google to navigate through. It doesn’t want sheep blocked B roads – it just wants to follow the road signs telling it where to go. We build solid architecture for your website that structures your content in the best way possible. It’s like a sat nav for Google. We look at how the crawlers interact with your site and make it as easy as possible for them. We also make sure that they can read everything and understand what the main purpose of every section is. There is no room for guesswork here.

Let’s forget Google for a second though. You want your human users to be able to navigate through your website as well. They’re the ones who will be paying your bills after all. 

Schema markup

No one outside of SEO knows what the fuck schema markup is but it gives us a ranking semi.

Have you ever noticed that some search results contain star reviews, product images, or are displayed in an FAQ section on search results? Have you also noticed how these results take up so much more space in SERPs than other results? And how you’re naturally drawn to those results vs. another? Well, that’s all thanks to schema markup. It’s basically a small bit of code that is added to help Google (and users) understand what type of content is on the page.

Types of schema markup include:

  • Organisation schema markup – helps your company name, contact info, location, logo and social profiles appear in SERPs
  • Schema local business markup – helps your local information, including address, contact details and opening hours appear in SERPs
  • Schema product and offer markup – helps product information, like price and images, appear on search results
  • Video schema markup – helps video appear in Google video search

There are loads more but you get the picture. Want to capitalise on it? Our Technical SEO consultants implement code jiggery pokery to help Google understand the content on your site so you can move up the search results. Rich Snippet is not a guy from down the road. It’s going to make money for you.

URL mapping and redirects

Broken links, redirect chains, 404s, 301s – you name it, even the best designed websites have them. Except the ones our Technical SEO experts have worked on. Let us do your housekeeping to keep your website in order. We’ll solve your existing problems and catch new ones as they arise.

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Send us a signal

If you think that 301 and 404 are bus routes, you need our Manchester-based Technical SEO services. Page 1 for converting hits. Page 3 for unacceptable perving at t**s.

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Robot txt

Bebop. Exterminate. Robot txt tells Google and other search engines what pages they can and can’t look at on your site, and whether they should index them. A bit like a map. It looks something like the below:


User-agent: Googlebot

Disallow: /blog/

Allow: /blog/post-title/

User-agent: Bingbot

Disallow: /services/

It helps prevent duplicate content from being crawled, images, videos and resources files from appearing in search results and keeps private sections of your website hidden. It also prevents Google from wasting crawl budget on the parts of your site that don’t matter.

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Google site move verifications

If you want access to your website’s data on Google Search Console, Analytics or Adwords, you need to prove that you own your website. Let us set up properly and put tracking in place so you can gain valuable insights into your site’s performance.

Penalty  removal for Google

Sounds like VAR and probably just as excruciating. Google gives out more penalties than Mike Dean in front of the Kop – and you don’t want to be on the end of one. Our Manchester Technical SEO consultants analyse what has happened and reverses the damage for you. Usually, the issues are that your backlink portfolio is a shocker, there is blatant keyword stuffing, or your content isn’t relevant to the user. We know our onions so we’ll get that penalty squared away. Get you back to a clean sheet.

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No website goes on the same journey: some go through migrations while others just need tweaks to help them power up Google results. But all of them should get access to the finest Technical SEO consultants and processes in Manchester. If you’re ready to annihilate your competition, send us a sign. 

Talk to us

Technical SEO consultants from Dark Horse

Freelance Technical SEO consultants take the piss by telling you they’re the complete SEO package, grabbing £500 for 3 hours of work. Do you know what they’ll do? Update some meta descriptions (which aren’t a ranking factor anymore), redirect some 404s (a monkey could do that), and tell you they’ll write some new copy (that’s a Content SEO task, not a Tech task). You know what you really need? A Technical SEO agency that will do structured data, impact rankings and make your website shine on page 1.


We’re not for everyone, but if you want a Technical SEO agency that will tell you the truth about your website, we’re just a call away:

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Capital experience

Industry experts. No juniors or whippersnappers. You can’t blag this. We actively discriminate on experience and brains. Guilty. All of our Technical SEO consultants are at least a level 11 Paladin on something.

No poppycock

We tell you how it is, warts and all. You have full visibility in what we do. We don’t hide behind well-constructed industry excuses such as “Google’s moved the goalpost and works in mysterious ways”. Balls to that. We just deal with it. We work on what matters to you and that’s £££ on your bottom line.

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Drum recommended or awardwinning

Only joking, that would be an absurd reason to choose a Technical SEO agency. Any company can be Drum recommended by paying that £2600 per year for the logo and getting three – just three – of your mates to vouch for you. Business awards cost £3000 for a table of 10. This is also called sponsorship.


The unquantifiable bit. Leave no man behind. You don’t want to work with bandits or companies who offer crap service and poor communication. We work hard and won’t rest until we win this for you.

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I love free stuff – like a free SEO audit

For SEO to work and bring real results, you need the holy trinity – Technical SEO, Content and Digital PR. None of these are Neil Patel and you can’t just learn to do them by reading some blog post from Moz. To compete, win and convert, you need a specialist team with dedicated members for each discipline of SEO. Our Technical SEO agency combines data, science and marketing art to make audits, strategies and commercial results happen.

If you want to make money but don’t know how SEO works or if your website needs Technical SEO services, shoot us an email or give us a bell and let our band of elites put together a free SEO audit that will shake you to the core.

Dark Horse SEO audits include:

  • Top-level audit of all your Technical SEO, Content and Digital PR issues
  • A survey of all your website’s pages
  • Competitor analysis highlighting the gaps and opportunities
  • Recommendation of key actions you should be taking and how we can help
  • Timeframe for how hard and how fast we’d turn your website around
Technical SEO agency | Weird old tech
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Other things we do


Digital Audit

There is no room for mediocrity in the future. We will forensically retire your incumbent agency. Piece by ickle piece individually wrapped in powerpoint slides.

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Paid Social

They haven’t got mortgages so why not take their savings instead of Netflix. Paid Social so startlingly revolutionary that it could make Gen Z vote Tory with Kirsty Allsop as PM.

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SEO Service

The only thing you will get from page 3 is going blind. Law professional, Tracey 23, from Skegness says "No sales below my favourite position - number 1 of course!"

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PPC Service

PPC results to make you cry tears of joy. PPC results to make your competition cry. Period. Make a Martini out of them.

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Rhino Safety

Rhino Safety is a leading safety consultancy group. Rhino came to Dark Horse with a challenge of increasing current search visibility and conversions. Dark Horse was eager to deliver. Firstly, it conducted an audit to see where the issues lay and then developed strategy. This helped to communicate to Rhino Safety what the plan of action was and develop strong lines of communication. Challenge accepted.

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Increase in organic sessions

Why is Technical SEO important?
Why is Technical SEO important? - Expand

Technical SEO lays the foundation for better search engine visibility and rankings. If your website isn’t technically sound, it will negatively impact its usability and speed, making it less crawlable and less user-friendly, meaning search engines are less likely to rank your site highly. Technical SEO is a key contributing factor for SEO that helps with ranking, ultimately driving traffic and revenue.

What is included in a Technical SEO audit?
What is included in a Technical SEO audit?  - Expand

We’re forensic with our audits, crawling every nook and cranny of your website. If there’s a technical error, we’ll find it. Common things we look at, though, include:

  • Sitemaps
  • Crawling and indexing
  • Mobile optimisation
  • Structured data
  • Google Core Web Vitals
  • Site speed and loading time
  • Site structure
  • Broken pages and links
  • SSL certificates
  • Image optimisation
  • Internal and external links
  • Canonical URLs
Should websites use the meta keywords tag?
Should websites use the meta keywords tag? - Expand

In short, no. Meta keyword tags were once used by search engines to understand the content of a webpage and determine how relevant it is to those search queries. Now, however, search engines are sophisticated enough to understand the content of a webpage using natural language processing and machine learning. As such, meta keywords tags are no longer used as ranking factors and most search engines ignore them entirely. In fact, because it is easy to stuff the keywords tag with irrelevant keywords, it can even harm your SEO and get you penalised by search engines.You know where we’re going with this… don’t use them.

Should I build my ecommerce website in Shopify, Magento or Wordpress?
Should I build my ecommerce website in Shopify, Magento or Wordpress? - Expand

Our Technical SEO team prefer Shopify (you can ask them for the dets why when you reach out) but, objectively speaking, there are advantages and disadvantages to all 3:

  • Shopify: Shopify is a popular and user-friendly platform that is easy to set up and manage. It offers a wide range of features and apps to help you build and customise your online store. However, it is less customisable and more expensive than other platforms in the long run
  • Magento: Magento is a powerful open-source platform that is ideal for large and complex ecommerce websites. It offers a high degree of flexibility and scalability, but it can be more challenging to set up and manage than Shopify
  • WordPress: WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that can be used to build an ecommerce website. It offers a wide range of plugins and themes to help you customise your online store. However, it may not be as user-friendly or feature-rich as Shopify or Magento

If your team doesn’t have a strong technical knowledge or limited resource and time, then Shopify or WordPress is probably best for you. If you have a team of developers and are looking to build a complex ecommerce website, Magento is the one.

Is JavaScript bad for SEO?
Is JavaScript bad for SEO? - Expand

Generally speaking, JavaScript negatively impacts SEO. You need to consider:

  • Crawlability: Search engines rely on web crawlers to index and understand the content of a website. JavaScript can make it more difficult for crawlers to access and understand the content, which can negatively impact SEO
  • Renderability: Search engines are becoming better at rendering JavaScript, but there can still be issues with how JavaScript is executed and how it affects the content that is visible to the user. This can cause discrepancies between the content that is visible to the user and the content that is indexed by the search engine, which can negatively impact SEO
  • Site structure: JavaScript can be used to create dynamic and complex website structures, which can make it more difficult for search engines to understand the structure of the website and how the content is organised
  • Speed: JavaScript can slow down the loading time of a website, which can negatively impact SEO. Search engines take page loading time into account when ranking websites

That said,JavaScript can be used to create dynamic and engaging content that can help to improve user engagement and increase the likelihood of a website ranking well.

What tools does Dark Horse use for Technical SEO?
What tools does Dark Horse use for Technical SEO? - Expand

If there’s one team at Dark Horse that loves a tool, it’s our Technical team. They use all the obvious (we’re talking ScreamingFrog, Google Analytics, Search Console, SEMrush), as well as some tech-specific ones like Waterfaller, PageSpeed Insights, webpagetest, fetch and render, Builtwith and more. 

What are the most common errors when conducting a website migration?
What are the most common errors when conducting a website migration? - Expand

We’ve done our fair share of website migrations – and fixed even more websites’ SEO after a migration has gone wrong. We see the same errors time and time again, including: 

  • Broken links and lost traffic: If you change the URL structure of your site, make sure that redirects are set up so users and search engines are directed to the correct new page
  • Lost data: Website migrations can sometimes result in data loss, including customer information, product listings, or blog posts. Our best advice: backup all data before the migration and thoroughly test the new website to ensure that all data has been transferred correctly
  • Lost backlinks: Backlinks are an important part of SEO and a website’s link profile. If handled incorrectly, a migration can cause backlinks – and the associated link juice – to be lost. Make sure you track backlinks and set up redirects to preserve them
  • Lost rankings: A website’s search engine rankings can drop or be lost after a migration. It’s important to optimise the site for search engines, set up redirects correctly and fix all technical errors to preserve the website’s existing search engine ranking
  • Slow load time: If the new ite isn’t optimised for performance, it may load slowly, which will negatively impact user experience and SEO

Lack of testing: Testing is everything. If we were handling your migration, we’d  thoroughly test the new website before, during and after the migration to ensure that it works correctly.

Can Dark Horse help our internal team with Technical SEO?
Can Dark Horse help our internal team with Technical SEO? - Expand

Our full SEO services might include Technical SEO, Content and Digital PR, but if you just need our technical expertise, then we’re happy to just help with that. We can support site migrations, technical audits and technical fixes, coordinating with your internal team. Chat to our team to see how we can help.

What is an XML sitemap and why is it important?
What is an XML sitemap and why is it important? - Expand

Okay, we’ll keep this simple. An XML sitemap is a file that lists all of the URLs on a website, when they were last updated and how frequently they change. It helps search engines discover and crawl all of the pages on a website, including those that are not easily discoverable by following links.

XML sitemaps are important for SEO as they provide search engines with a clear and comprehensive understanding of the structure and content of a website. This makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index the pages of a website, which can help to improve the website’s visibility in search results.

What are 404s and why are they important?
What are 404s and why are they important? - Expand

404 isn’t just a bus route. In the digital world, 404 errors are HTTP status codes that indicate that a webpage cannot be found, either because a page has been removed or moved, a URL has been typed incorrectly, or a link on another website is broken.

Your site should be 404-free to:

  • Provide a good user experience: When a user encounters a 404 error, they won’t be able to access the content they were looking for. Frustrating, don’t you think? Yeah, we’d leave the site too
  • Help the site rank higher: If a search engine comes across a lot of 404 errors on your site, it assumes it’s poorly maintained and won’t meet the user’s expectation, lowering its ranking
  • Pass on link equity: When a link points to a 404 error, it doesn’t pass any link equity to the destination website. Your site basically isn’t getting any SEO benefit from that link
  • Track traffic accurately: 404 errors can skew website analytics data. If a large number of 404 errors are generated, it can make it difficult to accurately measure website traffic and user engagement

To avoid 404 errors, regularly check for broken links on your website and fix any that are found. It’s also good practice to create a custom 404 page that provides users with alternative options for finding the content they were looking for, such as a search bar or a sitemap.

What is a 301 redirect and why is it important?
What is a 301 redirect and why is it important? - Expand

A 301 redirect is a type of HTTP status code that indicates that a webpage has permanently moved to a new URL. When a user or a search engine crawler requests the original URL, the web server will automatically redirect them to the new URL. They are really useful for:

  • Preserving link equity: When a webpage is moved to a new URL, any backlinks pointing to the original URL will no longer work. A 301 redirect ensures that any link equity from those backlinks is passed on to the new URL
  • Maintaining website traffic: If a webpage is moved to a new URL without a redirect, any users or search engines that request the original URL will receive a 404 error. A 301 redirect ensures that users and search engines are automatically directed to the new URL, so they can still access the content they were looking for
  • Improving user experience: A 301 redirect ensures that users will be able to find the content they were looking for, even if the URL has changed
  • Fixing broken links: A 301 redirect can be used to fix broken links on a website. If a link on a website is broken and points to a non-existent page, a 301 redirect can be used to redirect users and search engines to the correct page
  • Updating URLs: A 301 redirect can be used to update URLs, for example, if a website is migrated to a new domain, all the URLs can be redirected to the new domain
  • Maintaining rankings: A 301 redirect ensures that the new URL will be indexed by search engines. This is important to maintain the website’s visibility in search results, and to avoid losing any link equity that the original URL had

Note, though, that 301 redirects are permanent, meaning that the redirect will remain in place indefinitely, and isn’t intended to be changed.

Why isn’t my site indexed by Google?
Why isn’t my site indexed by Google? - Expand

Obviously, you want your site to be indexed by Google so it can start ranking. If that’s not the case, your site is likely experiencing one or more of these issues (our Technical SEO team can help you get to the bottom of it):

  • Blocked by robots.txt: The robots.txt file is a file that tells search engine crawlers which pages or sections of your website should not be crawled. If your robots.txt file is blocking Google’s crawler, then your site won’t be indexed
  • Not submitted to Google: If you haven’t submitted your website to Google, it won’t be indexed. You can submit your website to Google by adding it to the Google Search Console
  • Low-quality content: If your website has low-quality or duplicate content, Google won’t index it. Why? Because Google’s algorithms are designed to prioritise high-quality content, making websites with low-quality content less valuable
  • Technical issues: Broken links, 404 errors, and poor website structure prevent Google from crawling and indexing a site
  • Limited backlinks: Websites with few backlinks may not be indexed, as they’re seen as less authoritative
  • New website: It can take time for Google to index a new website, even if it has been submitted to Google Search Console
  • Penalties: If your website has been penalised by Google for breaking the search engine’s guidelines, it may not be indexed
  • No-index meta tag: A no-index meta tag is a line of code that tells search engines not to index a webpage. If a website has this tag on its pages, it will not be indexed by Google

Check all of the above. Still not sure where the problem is. We can help.

Why is internal linking important for SEO?
Why is internal linking important for SEO? - Expand

Internal linking is the process of linking one page of a website to another page within the same website. We can’t stress this enough: internal. linking. is. crucial. for. SEO.

  • Navigation: Internal links help users and search engines navigate through a website, by linking to other relevant pages within the website
  • Indexation: Internal links help search engines discover, crawl and index new pages, making it more likely to appear in search results
  • Relevance: Internal links help search engines understand the relevance and importance of different pages on a website.
  • Anchor text: The anchor text in an internal link provides context about the linked-to page, helping search engines understand the content of the page and how it should be indexed
  • Spread link equity: Linking to important pages within a website passes on link equity to those pages, helping them to rank better in search results
  • User experience: Internal links improve user experience by making it easier for users to navigate through a website, and find the information they are looking for