Interlinks Manager

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Video Tutorials
  3. Installation (Single Site)
  4. Installation (Multisite)
  5. Update (Single Site)
  6. Update (Multisite)
  7. Dashboard Menu
  8. Juice Menu
  9. Hits Menu
  10. AIL Menu
  11. Interlinks Suggestions Meta Box
  12. Interlinks Optimization Meta Box
  13. Interlinks Options Meta Box
  14. Credits
  15. FAQ

Introduction

This is the official documentation of the Interlinks Manager plugin for WordPress.

Video Tutorials

This video series covers the functionalities of the Interlinks Manager plugin.

Please note that not all the aspects and implications are covered in this section. It’s recommended that you read the entire documentation (FAQ included) before using this plugin in a production environment or asking for support to the plugin author.

Installation (Single Site)

With this procedure, you will be able to install the Interlinks Manager plugin on your WordPress website.

  1. Visit the Plugins -> Add New menu
  2. Click on the Upload Plugin button and select the zip file you just downloaded
  3. Click on Install Now
  4. Click on Activate Plugin

Installation (Multisite)

This plugin supports both a Network Activation (the plugin will be activated on all the sites of your WordPress Network) and a Single Site Activation in a WordPress Network environment (your plugin will be activated on a single site of the network).

With this procedure, you will be able to perform a Network Activation:

  1. Visit the Plugins -> Add New menu
  2. Click on the Upload Plugin button and select the zip file you just downloaded
  3. Click on Install Now
  4. Click on Network Activate

With this procedure, you will be able to perform a Single Site Activation in a WordPress Network environment:

  1. Visit the specific site of the WordPress Network where you want to install the plugin
  2. Visit the Plugins menu
  3. Click on the Activate button (just below the name of the plugin)

Please note that this plugin should not be activated on sites of a WordPress Network managed by untrusted users. The CPU intensive analysis of the posts, and the ability of the untrusted users to create an unlimited number of keywords in the AIL menu, might expose your website to DOS attacks caused by an overload of your server CPU.

Update (Single Site)

With this procedure, you will be able to update the Interlinks Manager plugin:

  1. Visit the Plugins menu
  2. Click on Deactivate
  3. Update the plugin files with your favorite FTP client (delete the files of the old version and add the files of the new version)
  4. Click on Activate

Update (Multisite)

To update the plugin in all the sites of your WordPress Network, follow this procedure:

  1. Visit the Plugins menu
  2. Click on Network Deactivate
  3. Update the plugin files with your favorite FTP client (delete the files of the old version and add the files of the new version)
  4. Click on Network Activate

To update the plugin in single sites of the WordPress Network, follow this procedure:

  1. Visit the specific site of the WordPress Network where you want to update the plugin
  2. Visit the Plugins menu
  3. Click on Deactivate
  4. Update the plugin files with your favorite FTP client (skip this step if you have already updated the plugin files during the plugin update of another single site of the WordPress Network)
  5. Click on Activate

Dashboard Menu

The Dashboard menu allows you to generate data and statistics about the internal links available in the posts, pages and custom post types of your blog.

You can generate these data for the first time or update your data by following this procedure:

  1. Visit the Interlinks -> Dashboard menu
  2. Click the Generate Data button
  3. Wait until the analysis of your posts is completed

Each row of the generated table will present the following information:

  • Post – The post title
  • Date – The post publishing date
  • PT – The post type
  • CL – The length of the raw (with filters not applied) post
  • MIL – The manual internal links of the post
  • AIL – The auto internal links of the post, in other words, the links automatically generated based on the keywords defined in the AIL menu
  • RI – The recommended number of interlinks. This value is based on the content length and on the Characters per Interlink option
  • VG – The number of visits generated with the internal links of this post. This value will be equal to zero if you are not tracking the clicks on the internal links with the Track Internal Links option
  • OF – The optimization flag is based on the content length, on the Characters per Interlink option, and on the Optimization Delta option defined on the plugin options

The Filter & Sort section available in the Dashboard menu gives you the ability to:

  • Sort the data in ascending or descending order based on your custom criteria (Date, Title, Post Type, Content Length, Manual Interlinks, Auto Interlinks, Optimization)
  • Filter your data and show only the optimized or the non-optimized posts

With the Download button available in the Export CSV section, you can export all the data in CSV format. For details on how to import the generated CSV files in a spreadsheet software, see the FAQ How to import the generated CSV data in a spreadsheet software.

Juice Menu

The Juice Menu gives you information about the flow of link juice on the URLs of your website.

To get started, follow this procedure:

  1. Visit the Interlinks -> Juice menu
  2. Click the Generate Data button
  3. Wait until the analysis of your posts is completed

Each row of the generated table will present the following information:

  • URL – The URL that receives the link juice
  • IIL – The number of internal links received by the URL
  • Juice (Value) – The link juice received by the URL. For details on how the link juice is calculated, please see the FAQ How the total link juice of an URL is calculated
  • Juice (Visual) – The visual representation of the link juice received by the URL

Please note that in the fifth column of each row, you can find two buttons. The first button should be used to view a table that includes a list of the internal links that contribute to generate the overall link juice of the URL associated with the specific row. The second button should be used to download (in CSV format) a list of the internal links that contribute to generate the overall link juice of the URL associated with the specific row.

With the Download button available in the Export CSV section, or by clicking the button available in the fifth column of each row, you can export your data in CSV format. For details on how to import the generated CSV files in a spreadsheet software, see the FAQ How to import the generated CSV data in a spreadsheet software.

Hits Menu

The Hits Menu is used to display every click made on your internal links.

Each row of the table will present the following information:

  • Post – The post that received a click
  • Date – The date on which the link has been clicked
  • Target – The target of the clicked link
  • Type – The type of the clicked link, MIL for the manual internal links, and AIL for the auto internal links

With the Download button available in the Export CSV section, you can export all the data in CSV format. For details on how to import the generated CSV files in a spreadsheet software, see the FAQ How to import the generated CSV data in a spreadsheet software.

Please note that your internal links are tracked only if the Track Internal Links option is enabled.

AIL Menu

The AIL Menu allows you to automatically convert specific keywords or phrases to internal links and can be especially useful if you want to:

  • Create a Wiki Knowledge Base for your blog
  • Create automatic links to the pages where you are selling products or converting users
  • Create automatic internal links to your articles to improve your website’s SEO

To create an automatic internal link (AIL), enter the following information in the provided form:

  • Keyword – The keyword that will be converted to a link
  • Target – The target of the link automatically generated on the keyword (the URL scheme and domain are implied)
  • Title – The title attribute of the link automatically generated on the keyword
  • Open New Tab – If you select “Yes”, the link generated on the defined keyword opens its URL on a new browser tab
  • Use Nofollow – If you select “Yes”, the link generated on the defined keyword will include the rel=”nofollow” attribute
  • Post Types – With this option, you are able to determine in which post types the defined keyword will be automatically converted to a link
  • Case Insensitive Search – If you select “Yes”, your keyword will match both lowercase and uppercase variations
  • Left Boundary – This option can be used to target keywords preceded by a generic boundary or by a specific character
  • Right Boundary – This option can be used to target keywords followed by a generic boundary or by a specific character
  • Limit – With this option, you can determine the maximum number of matches of this keyword automatically converted to a link
  • Priority – The priority value determines the order used to apply the AIL on the post.

If you are going to implement auto internal links in a production environment, consider enabling the Test Mode option, so you will be free to experiment and even make mistakes without negative implications on your website. For details on the Test Mode option, please see the FAQ How the test mode works.

The Interlinks Suggestions meta-box helps you find articles related to the post being edited. You can enable or disable this meta-box in specific post types with the Interlinks Suggestions Post Types option.

Follow this procedure to receive suggestions:

  1. Save the post being edited (this allows the Interlinks Suggestions meta box algorithm to compare the actual data of the post with the other posts of your website, a non-saved post has no title, no category, etc. and produces no suggestions)
  2. Click the Generate button
  3. Use one of the recommended posts or, if you are not satisfied with the result, click again the Generate button (the five suggested posts comes randomly from a pool of related posts)

You can tune the algorithm used to find the recommended posts with the options available in the Suggestions tab of your options.

To understand how the algorithm works consider what follows:

  • The Source Post Types option determines where the algorithm should look for suggestions. If you select, for example, “review” as the post type, you will receive only suggestions that come from posts of the “review” post type.
  • The Results Pool Size option determines the maximum number of results placed in the pool of related posts. The five results displayed each time you click on the Generate button are retrieved randomly from a pool of results, which has, as a maximum size, the value defined with this option.
  • If enabled by selecting “Consider”, the Title option increases the score of an analyzed post each time the title of the post includes a word that is also present in the post being edited.
  • If “Required” is selected, the Categories option tells the algorithm to return only posts that have at least one category in common with the post being edited. If “Consider” is selected, the algorithm increases the score of the analyzed posts that have at least one category in common with the post being edited.
  • The Tags option, if “Required” is selected, tells the algorithm to return only posts that have at least one tag in common with the post being edited. If “Consider” is selected, the algorithm increases the score of the analyzed posts that have at least one tag in common with the being edited.
  • If “Required” is selected, the Post Type option tells the algorithm to return only posts that belong to the same post type of the post being edited. If “Consider” is selected, the algorithm increases the score of the analyzed posts that belong to the post type of the post being edited.

The score of a post is used to rank higher or lower the posts in the overall results of the algorithm. This means that only the posts with the higher score will be included in the pool of results when you have many results.

Please note that the maximum number of posts analyzed by this algorithm is determined by the Limit Posts Analysis option. You might consider increasing this option value if you are planning to examine more posts with this algorithm. You might consider decreasing this option value if you have performance issues and you want to reduce the time required to get the suggestions.

The Interlinks Optimization meta box can tell you if the number of internal links of the post is optimized.

As with the Interlinks Suggestions meta box, you should save the post being edited in order to get the actual status of the optimization.

To understand what is an “Optimized Post” consider what follows:

  1. The optimal number of interlinks is calculated by dividing the content length for the value defined with the Character per Interlink option
  2. The minimum number of required interlinks is calculated by subtracting half of the value defined with the Optimization Delta from the optimal number of interlinks
  3. The maximum number of required interlinks is calculated by adding half of the value defined with the Optimization Delta from the optimal number of interlinks
  4. If the overall number of internal links (both manual and auto internal links are considered) of the post is included between the minimum number of required interlinks and the maximum number of required interlinks, the post will be considered optimized

The optimization status of a post is also displayed in the Dashboard menu under the OF (Optimization Flag) column, so you will be able to browse through your posts directly in the Dashboard menu and easily find which posts don’t have an optimized number of interlinks.

Please note that the Characters per Interlink default value of 1000, used to determine the optimal number of interlinks of the post, should not be considered as a good or recommended value. The website administrator (or the SEO specialist) should determine the correct value for this important option.

The Interlinks Options meta box includes two options:

  • The SEO Power is the base value used to calculate the flow of link juice to the internal links of the post. For details on how the link juice is calculated, please check out the FAQ How the total link juice of an URL is calculated and the FAQ Why the SEO Power can assume custom values.
  • The Enable AIL option should be used to enable or disable the auto internal links (AIL) only on specific posts. If not manually changed, this option inherits the value of the Enable AIL (Default) option available in the Interlinks -> Options.

Please note that these two options are actually saved only when you save the post with the Publish/Update button.

Credits

This plugin makes use of the following resources:

You can find the actual copy of the license inside the folder used to store the library files for each library.

FAQ

When the link juice of a specific link is calculated, the following information are retrieved:

SEO POWER = The SEO Power of the post
TOTAL LINKS = The total number of links of the post
LINKS BEFORE = The number of internal links that precede the link being considered
PENALTY PER POSITION = The value of the "Penalty per Position" option

Then this formula is applied to calculate the link juice:

LINK JUICE = SEO POWER / TOTAL LINKS - ( SEO POWER / TOTAL LINKS / 100 * PENALTY PER POSITION * LINKS BEFORE )

Please note that the link juice calculated by this plugin is based on the SEO Power of your internal links and does not consider links that come from external websites. For this reason, the link juice value should be used to have only an idea of how much strength you are assigning to specific URLs of your website with your internal links strategy. You should not assume that the URLs of your website that receives more link juice from your internal links are considered by the search engines as the most important URLs of your website because search engines consider many factors.

The link juice of an URL is calculated with a sum of all the single calculated link juice of the links that have the URL being considered as value of the href attribute of the a element. To understand how the link juice of a single link is calculated, please see the FAQ How the link juice of a single link is calculated.

Why the SEO Power can assume custom values?

In search engines terms, important pages (page with high page rank, pages with many links on the web, pages that receives an high amount of visits, pages that are linked from important area of your website, etc.) have more SEO Power to share on the their links, for this reason might be appropriate to increase or decrease the SEO Power of specific pages to have a more realistic flow of link juice.

How to import the generated CSV data in a spreadsheet software

All the CSV data generated with this plugin can be imported in your favorite spreadsheet software by selecting the following options:

  • Character Set -> Unicode (UTF-8)
  • Text Delimiter -> Double Quotes
  • Separator -> Comma

How to enable/disable specific plugin features to specific users

In the Capabilities tab available in the Interlinks -> Options menu, you can select the capability required to get access on specific plugin features.

If you are not familiar with the WordPress roles and capabilities, please check out Roles and Capabilities page.

How to enable specific meta boxes with specific post types

The three meta boxes provided by this plugin can be enabled only with specific post types with the Meta Boxes tab available in the Interlinks -> Options menu.

For example, you might decide to enable the Interlinks Optimization meta box only with the “post” and with the “review” post types because you don’t need to optimize the number of internal links in your “page” and in your “portfolio” post types. To achieve this, select the post types in the Interlinks Optimization Post Types option.

How to solve performance and post analysis issues

The analysis on your posts performed by the plugin to get information about your internal links, to get information about the link juice, and to get suggestions in the Interlinks Suggestions meta box might be pretty slow if one or more of the following conditions occur:

  • Your blog has a high number of posts, and you are not limiting the analysis of the posts with the Limit Posts Analysis option
  • You have defined a high number of keywords with the AIL menu
  • Your server performance is below the norm

if you want to complete the analysis of the posts in few seconds is therefore very important to:

  • Use the Limit Posts Analysis option properly
  • Delete all the unused keyword in the AIL menu

To avoid errors such as “Maximum execution time of x seconds exceeded” or “Allowed memory size of x bytes exhausted”, it’s important to consider that:

  • Some servers might have a limited maximum number of seconds allowed to execute PHP scripts with the max_execution_time PHP directive, and this might prevent the analysis on your posts from being completed properly. If this is your case, simply set “Yes” on the Set Max Execution Time option and enter a custom appropriate value in the Max Execution Time Value option
  • Sometimes the PHP memory limit is very limited, and the analysis of the posts performed by this plugin might not be completed properly without increasing the PHP memory limit. If you want to increase the PHP memory limit, set “Yes” on the Set Memory Limit option and enter a custom appropriate value in the Memory Limit Value option

Please note that the custom max_execution_time and memory_limit values defined with the plugin will be applied only on the scripts used by the plugin and won’t affect any script outside the plugin.

It’s also important to note that in some cases, the custom max_execution_time and memory_limit values defined through the plugin options (and actually applied with the ini_set() PHP function) might be ignored. In such cases, you have to configure your server (or ask your hosting provider to configure it) with different values in the max_execution_time and memory_limit directives.

To automatically remove anchors from every URL used to calculate the link juice, you can use the Remove Link to Anchor option available in the Juice tab of the Interlinks -> Options menu.

With this option enabled, if in your posts you are linking for example to:

  • http://example.com
  • http://example.com#firstanchor
  • http://example.com#secondanchor

these links will contribute to generating link juice only for a single URL, that is “http://example.com”.

How to remove URL parameters?

To automatically remove URL parameters from every URL used to calculate the link juice, you can use the Remove URL Parameters option available in the Juice tab of the Interlinks -> Options menu.

With this option enabled, if in your posts you are linking for example to:

  • http://example.com
  • http://example.com?param1=1
  • http://example.com?param1=foo&param2=foo

these links will contribute to generating link juice only for a single URL, that is “http://example.com”.

It’s essential to consider that this option should not be enabled if your website uses URL parameters to identify specific pages, for example, with pretty permalinks not enabled.

How the Test Mode works?

The Test Mode is an option available in the Advanced tab of the Interlinks -> Options menu. When the test mode is enabled, the plugin applies the auto internal links on the front-end of your website only to the WordPress users that have the capability defined with the AIL Menu option. (available in the Capabilities tab of the Interlinks -> Options menu)

What are the Protected Tags?

The Protected Tags option, available in the Advanced tab of the Interlinks -> Options menu, allows you to not apply the auto internal links inside specific tags present in your posts.

Please note that by protecting non-void tags, you prevent any nested element from having applied an auto internal link.

The plugin uses the value of the Site Address (URL) option (available in the Settings -> General menu) to detect the internal links. An internal link should always start with the value of the Site Address (URL) option.

The regular expressions used to detect the manual internal links in the posts are made to detect links with the a elements defined using the HTML5 syntax defined by the W3C and with the href attribute that starts with the value of the Site Address (URL) option (available in the Settings -> General menu). Please make sure to include internal links with the correct HTML syntax in your posts.

What is the “Generic” keyword boundary in the AIL menu?

The “Generic” boundary available in the select box of the Left Boundary and Right Boundary options (in the AIL menu) is a generic boundary able to detect transitions between Unicode characters and Unicode non-characters.

For example, if you assign the “Generic” boundary as the Left Boundary of the keyword “cat”, the keyword will be matched by the regular expressions in the following cases:

  • ” cat”
  • “,cat”
  • “-cat”
  • “!cat”

but not on the following cases:

  • “zcat”
  • “àcat”
  • “ìcat”

Links are considered internal links in a site of a WordPress Network when the href attribute of the a element starts with the Site URL of the specific site.

For example, if you are analyzing the internal links from the “My Site 1” site, that has in the Site URL the value “http://example.com/mysite1/”, the following links analyzed in the posts of “My Site 1” will be considered internal links:

  • http://example.com/mysite1/hello-world/
  • http://example.com/mysite1/about/

but won’t be considered internal links the following links:

  • http://example.com/hello-world/
  • http://example.com/about/
  • http://example.com/another-network-site/hello-world/

Which versions of PHP are supported?

PHP 5.2 and later versions are supported.

Which versions of WordPress are supported?

WordPress 3.8 and later versions are supported.