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How to Improve Your SEO and Profits with SEO Smart Links in WordPress

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How to Improve Your SEO and Profits with SEO Smart Links in WordPress

In the past, we wrote about this plugin called Ninja Affiliate that we used to automatically replace keywords with affiliate links. In the lights of recent event that concerned our site’s security, we have decided to switch to using SEO Smart Links which offers far better functionality with great performance and security. In this article, we will show you how you can improve your SEO and income with SEO Smart Links in WordPress.

What is SEO Smart Links?

SEO Smart Links is a plugin that enhances your search engine rankings by automatically inter-linking your posts, pages, custom post types, categories, taxonomies etc. This is great for internal backlinks. Often you write a great post which should be linked from a post that you wrote 2 years ago. But most bloggers don’t remember to interlink. Quite honestly, it is not an easy task. But this plugin does that automatically without you having to worry about it. If you know anything about SEO, then you understand the value of internal links.

Here is a video of Matt Cutts explaining the value of internal links. (Summary, it is one of the 3 most important things that you should do for your site’s SEO and conversion)

The second best thing about this plugin is that it allows you to handle affiliate links just like Ninja affiliate did for us. It lets us create custom affiliate links like yourdomain.com/refer/keyword. This allows you to easily swap affiliate links should the company you are promoting decide to switch between affiliate programs. The other thing is that you can use the custom keywords option built-in to this plugin to automatically replace keywords with affiliate links. So anytime you mention a specific keyword like Gravity Forms or Aweber or MaxCDN, this plugin will automatically link that.

This allows you to increase your site’s income without really annoying your users.

How to Install and Setup SEO Smart Links

First thing you need to do is purchase and install the SEO Smart Links plugin. Upon activation, you will see a new menu option for SEO Smart Links. If you click on the options, you will see the processing options. This includes all the custom post types you have. You can choose to enable/disable the processing of any custom post types.

SEO Smart Links Processing Options

Then there is an option for automatic interlinking. This plugin can check every word in your article against your existing post/page titles. If a match is made, then the word or phrase will be linked to the specific post. You can also select what should interlink (posts, pages etc). You can also set the minimum length for the keyword. This prevents really small keywords from being replaced.

Aside from all that, you have full control over everything. For example, you can disable the processing of each individual post. You can also add custom keywords for a specific post. That is separate from your master keyword list.

SEO Smart Links Post Edit

You can also set limits on sitewide basis. For example maximum created links on each page should be 10. Maximum total links on a page should be X. You can set how many times same keyword can be linked in one post. You can control whether external links open in a new window etc. You can also have a keyword ignore list. For example generic keywords like “about, contact” etc should not be linked.

Our Ratings

We think this is an amazing plugin. It has been proven that automatically replacing keywords with affiliate links has been very profitable for us. We believe that automatic internal linking would help us with better user experience as well as good SEO.

This is a paid plugin, but it’s well worth it. If you care about your SEO, then it is one of the must have plugins.

Get SEO Smart Links Now


Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress lovers led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  • Jagdish Kashyap

    Always useful info.
    Thanks again :)

  • Rodger

    Any other Internal linking plugins aviable? This one seems pricy with 149$, and with 3 months of updates only…

  • Zimbrul

    “When I need advice on WordPress I’m going to WP Beginner :-)”
    My question this time round: is there a plugin over there that controls do-follow and no-follow for any link in your article? I’m asking that because sometimes I want to pass the link authority to an website sometimes I want to have it no-follow.
    I know, I can do that manually but for an article with many links this could get time consuming getting into the text editor and add rel=”nofollow” to links.

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      We are now using a different plugin called ThirstyAffiliates which allows for that. Expect a post on that soon.

  • Matt

    Any thoughts on using this with Yoast?

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      What type of thoughts? This works fine with Yoast’s plugin.

      • matt

        I didn’t know if there was some overlap or potential conflict. Nothing came up as to recommendations about using them together so I thought I’d ask here. :)

        • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

          Ah no worries. Yes both plugin works fine because they do two separate things.

  • Steve Smith

    As a newbie to all this, and though I do have a wp website, I find the suggestions and instructions well over my techphobic head. Example: SEO is bruited about, but nowhere is it defined for us bottom rungers. I realize it’s hard for a tech person to to wrap his/her mind around what it’s like to be starting out. So I’m hoping that you can direct me to some basic manual-type source that would explain to me why I should do this or that option, and how to do it in kind of a step-by-step manner. I hope to make my site transparent and easy to navigate for my “followers,” but at the moment it isn’t that way for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1123958183 Jay Castillo

    If I may ask, what recent event concernng security issues of this site made you move away from Ninja Affiliate? I am also a Ninja Affiliate user and I’m quite concerned about this. Thanks in advance.

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      We noticed that there was some loop hole that allowed an IP with no WP-Admin access to run a command and change the affiliate link’s destination. For ex. all themeforest referrer ID’s were changed. All Amazon referrer id’s were changed. E-junkie affiliate ID’s were changed. Thankfully to VaultPress, we were able to restore the site up within minutes. But after doing all the search, our server admins pointed to Ninja Affiliate plugin and said that we have to get rid of that. We didn’t evaluate the code to see where exactly the loophole exist. Hope that helps.

      • Jay Castillo

        Now that’s scary!

        But you know what, I noticed something similar when my Dreamhost affiliate links suddenly had several campaigns in my Ninja Affiliate dashboard. Since my webhost during that time was Dreamhost, at the back of my mind I always thought they MIGHT have something to do with it, although I am also not sure if it was something that was automated by Ninja Affiliate. I eventually moved to Hostgator when Dreamhost’s service just became awful and I never thought of Ninja Affiliate again, until now!

        Thanks again for the reply, this is something I definitely have to look into.

  • Daniyal Adrees

    This seo smart plugin is great already using it on my sites.

  • Ahmad Awais

    Well, I use Ninja Affiliates,but even with that I don’t use its auto linking feature.

    I want to ask about the automation of Referral links.

    What I do n Why?
    I don’t use its auto linking feature, Because I am not a big fan of automation. A reader these days can easily understand that you are trying to fool him telling him Yes I automated the keyword linking process so that you should get entangled in my trick to click it at-least once.

    What I do?
    I tell, I pronounce brutally :P , that this is my affiliate link click it because I recommended it to you.

    Why will a user click on it?
    If a loyal reader I have wants something what has like 10 alternatives and I am recommending one of them in a NATURAL WAY he will surely click it and buy it.

    What else?
    Will you still suggest the auto linking stuff to me?

    • http://twitter.com/wmwebdes Keith Davis

      Good point about having too many affiliate links.
      I limit it to 2 or 3 a post and I let people know what they are clicking.

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      It’s a personal choice. You can scream it out loud that your link is an affiliate link or not. If it is useful to the user, then they will click on it regardless. My question for you is do you give your users an option of affiliate link and no affiliate link? For example, when you mention a product, do you say hey click here to buy through my affiliate link. Alternatively click here to buy without my affiliate link. If you don’t, then your “recommendation” is no better than an automated affiliate link. Because you are not giving your users a “choice”.

      We are not fooling anyone with this. Our users are smart enough to know that we only write about quality products that we believe to be useful for our audience. We also have a FTC disclosure page linked from every page on the site that explains /refer/ links are affiliate links.

      I don’t have to convince you to use it. It’s a personal decision, and you are entitled to your opinion.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003862505833 Keith Davis

        Fair comment gents.
        Appreciate you taking part in the discussion and explaining your point of view.

      • Ahmad Awais

        With no offense it was not like I was saying you are fooling anyone I was talking in general like one’s readers can decide that if the ONE is fooling them or not.

        In your case I guess everything is quiet clear, your readers are well aware of these things.

        #removing confusion if any.

        -
        What about Google and SEO stuff, if you link a word to similar a tag, every time it is mentioned is it fine with that?

        • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

          Again, look back in your link pattern. You are most likely to link the brand names to their sites. So automating that would not be any different. For the automatic interlinking, this plugin picks various keywords based on how related it is to the other post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003862505833 Keith Davis

    Hi Guys
    I’m always tempted when I see automated SEO plugins, but I always resist.

    Thing is, when Google sees perfect SEO, it starts to think…. and then all your hard work is for nothing.

    A post takes me about ten / fifteen minutes to fine tune for SEO and it gets good results in the SERPS.

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      SEO goes with user experience. I honestly do believe that internal links help user experience. There are times when you just forget to interlink your posts. This plugin is extremely handy for that. If your settings are proper in this plugin, there is no way your users will be annoyed. Having that said, you are entitled to your opinion :)

  • Gautam Doddamani

    i have the business version of seo smartllinks installed on my site…i also use maxblogpress ninja affiliate plugin for affiliate links…can you please make a guide on how to use redirection and cloaking options in the seo smartlinks plugin…i am thinking to deactivate ninja plugin after reading your post.

    i have already set the custom keywords and also the target urls but still it is only redirecting and linking to affiliate links when a keyword is encountered and not individual urls.

    for e.g. if it encounters “abc” keyword, then it is getting redirected to http://mysite.com/go/abc but when i make an url using the a href tag, say

    then this url will not get redirected to the affiliate link when i click on the image…any ideas?? thanks for your time and review. :)

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      The directions are on the custom keywords options page, but here you go again.

      Say you want to replace the keyword abc with xyz.com link and you want the link to have a redirection like yourdomain.com/go/abc

      In the custom keywords section, it would look like this:

      abc| http://xyz.com| abc

      Then go to the main options page, and there is a redirection prefix setting. You can change the go to refer or recommend or anything else.

      Hope that helps.

      • Gautam Doddamani

        this plugin gives me a lot of hiccups…its not even converting the links for me on my posts page…any reason why this is happening? perhaps its because of its internal caching..i deactivated it lol!

        just one more question…what was the problem you were finding with the ninja affiliate plugin…if there is some security concern then please let me know so that i can also take some measures…currently using it and i am not finding any problems…

        • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

          We noticed that there was some loop hole that allowed an IP with no WP-Admin access to run a command and change the affiliate link’s destination. For ex. all themeforest referrer ID’s were changed. All Amazon referrer id’s were changed. E-junkie affiliate ID’s were changed. Thankfully to VaultPress, we were able to restore the site up within minutes. But after doing all the search, our server admins pointed to Ninja Affiliate plugin and said that we have to get rid of that. We didn’t evaluate the code to see where exactly the loophole exist. Hope that helps.

          As for your other questions, not sure why you are having that issue. Please ask their support because it’s working fine here.

  • Angel Costa

    What the hell are you guys talking about? I use the free version and it has the option to limit the number of links (in the same keyword group).

    • Ian Nuttall

      True, but the premium version has way more options available – including cloaking links with a /go/ or /refer/ URL. Saves using another plugin for that and reduces the number of plugins installed on your site.

      Plus, it’s more likely to be supported and updated than the free version.

  • Perfect BloggersTech

    I am not till using it ,but the features are showing useful trends . Brother FRANK , my query is here that auto link building and hidden links are called a form of spamming and which can imposed a ban from search engine. However thanks to Syed Balkhi who informed about the post and plugin.

  • Frank

    You should be very careful, if not totally avoid that SEO Smart Links Plugin. Here’s why: http://seobraintrust.com/seo-smart-links-penalty/

    • http://www.wpbeginner.com Editorial Staff

      Great read Frank. Again even the author of that article claims that it is deadly when its out of the box (free version). This is the reason why we are recommending the paid version. You can control the number of links it replaces. You can even set the maximum number of links each page should have. By you disabling small keywords by controlling length and not linking to your categories, you can easily fix what that article is talking about.

      I don’t think that article is entirely accurate. If you read in the comments, Dan is clearly saying he is against the free version of the plugin. Because it doesn’t allow keyword limits and other useful features. Top sites like Mashable, TechCrunch, Wikipedia, and many others use similar methods. You can use this plugin without abusing the system. Having relevant internal linking is helpful for users as well.

      -Syed

    • http://twitter.com/LeoDimilo Leo Dimilo

      Frank, I completely agree here. And most professional SEO’s would tell their clients to stay away from auto anchort text links. Especially post penguin. Bigger and better name companies with brands may be able to alter this because of the sheer volume of pages they produce but there is no doubt that internal links and exact match keywords in anchor text will cause a warning flag in the algorithm.

      • Ian Nuttall

        True, but the plugin allows you to choose multiple different anchor texts for a URL, so it would vary the anchor text distributed internally, which can only be a good thing.