Once in a while, you come across a must-have tool that saves you time and helps you increase your search engine rankings. As a website flipper who buys, grows and sells websites, Link Whisper is that plugin. It’s part of my arsenal of tools that helps me increase my sites’ on-page SEO and consequently results in higher organic traffic.
In this write-up, I do a deep-dive into the following:
- Before-after using Link Whisper
- High-level Features
- Website flipping use-cases
- My optimized process
- Interview with the founder, Spencer Haws
- Is it worth it?
Let’s get into it!
Link Whisper Plugin Review: At A Glance
Link Whisper serves its purpose of providing a solution for niche website creators to ad internal links between articles on a site in a fairly automated manner. For every site I acquire (or sometimes build), Link Whisper is one of the first plugins I install.
It’s an easy-win to acquire a site that has not done proper internal linking and then using this plugin to add such powerful links. This can have an instant boost in search engine rankings.
Before Link Whisper…
Before this plugin, I would avoid building internal links due to it being cumbersome on large sites above 100+ pages.
As a website buyer, I would often buy sites with 100+ articles and since I did not plan out the content (the previous owner did), I would have a huge knowledge gap on what content was already on the site. This caused me to ignore internal linking altogether.
After Link Whisper…
With Link Whisper, after acquiring a site, I immediately install the plugin. It does a scan and I can easily add in internal links page-by-page. I do not need to worry about what content is related; that’s all done by the plugin.
Now I am able to consistently add internal links which improves on-page SEO, leading to better user experience, and ultimate more traffic.
Wins all around!
What I Like
- Link suggestions provided based on content on-page
- Link reports showing exactly how many internal, and external links per page
- Ability to add links as you write your content in the WP editor
- Can add internal links in bulk per page post-publishing
- Can find orphaned articles (i.e., no internal links)
- Can find broken and 404 links
It’s an all-rounded tool that acts as an “auditor” once you’ve acquired a website.
What Is Link Whisper?
In a nutshell, Link Whisper is a smart internal linking tool that suggests internal links for your content (pages and posts) automatically. You can then review each suggestion and then choose to accept the link.
The tool was introduced by Spencer Haws, who runs Niche Pursuit.
How Does Link Whisper Work?
Link Whisper analyzes your content and provides internal link suggestions based on the content’s context. Ideally, the placement suggestions are provided where they would be most relevant to the user.
While the idea of the process being automated is an edge in itself, the fact that Link Whisper provides you with internal link suggestions instantly gives the tool a significant boost. In its initial setup, it scans your full site, and then it repeats the process whenever you update a post or page.
It takes approximately 5-10 minutes at most if your blog is packed with thousands of blog posts to find the first batch of link suggestions, but this also depends on your server’s speed.
8 Major Features for Link Whisper
1. “Smart” Internal Link Suggestions
Link Whisper continuously analyzes your content as you write to provide suggestions. You’re then able to insert the ones that make sense from an SEO and user experience perspective.
Note: Link Whisper’s internal link suggestions aren’t restricted to posts – you can add other custom post types and even enable pages and attachments if you wish to receive them as suggestions for internal links.
Also, as you see above, you can choose to ignore specific words and exclude them from anchor text suggestions, or ignore numbers, for instance.
Here are some recommended words to ignore which are common for affiliate sites:
- Top 10
- Top ten
- Top [number]
Adding these words will ensure if Link Whisper’s algorithm picks up any internal links within the text with these words, they will be ignored. Interlinking just “best”, for example, does not make sense. Furthermore, your niche may have specific wordings that you want to ignore and this is where you can insert them.
I do not recommend doing auto-linking because it gives you no control over the internal links being built. However, it is a feature if you want to use it.
Using this feature, you can further automate your internal linking process by choosing to automatically link to a particular URL whenever a specified keyword is mentioned in your posts or pages.
Auto-Linking has its settings, where you can either:
- Choose to add only one link per post
- Choose not to add a link if the post or page already links to the same URL
3. URL Changer
This one allows you to change links using a 301 redirect when the original link has been changed.
The best use case for this is that you changed domains (i.e., going from a non-branded to a branded domain), and you want to bulk change all the URLs. This is the best way to handle such a situation.
4. Editing Anchor Text
Link Whisper doesn’t impose particular anchor text on you. While it does come up with suggestions for your anchor text to accompany the internal link, you have the full freedom to add, remove, or entirely modify the suggested anchor text. Simply click on the word (s) in the text, and you’ll be able to edit it as you see fit.
5. Setting Target Keywords
You can specify a target keyword you want to rank for on each blog post. The plugin will then tailor its internal link suggestions to provide you matches for the target keyword or variations thereof.
6. Google Search Console Integration
You can also integrate Google Search Console (GSC) with Link Whisper. This will pull in your keyword data from GSC directly.
That way, you’ll simultaneously be able to add internal links for such keywords. Other data the integration shows you include:
To integrate your Google Search Console into Link Whisper, go to Link Whisper’s settings and click on “Authorize Link Whisper” next to “Connect to Google Search Console”.
Also, if you have Yoast SEO or Rank Math plugins installed, Link Whisper automatically extracts target keywords from them and sets them as active target keywords.
7. Powerful Link Reporting
One of the key features of Link Whisper is its link reporting. It provides you with a comprehensive picture of the internal links and outbound links included in each post, as well as the inbound links directing to it.
To access reports, click on the Link Whisper icon on your WordPress dashboard’s sidebar and click “Reports”. These reports will then present you with error-free numbers on:
- Inbound internal links
- Outbound internal links
- Outbound external links
- Broken links
- Broken redirects
8. Easy Setup and Configuration
If you need it, Link Whisper has a detailed documentation library accompanied by a series of video tutorials to get you started.
Their support is also fast at responding if you have further questions.
How Much Does Link Whisper Cost?
There are three annual packages, with their prices depending on the number of sites you want a license for. You pay $77/year for a single site license and up to $167 for 10 sites. All plans include all the core features listed below.
Once you purchase the plugin, you simply download and install it by entering the license key, which you receive either through your email or find on your account’s dashboard.
How I Use Link Whisper as a Website Flipper: 4 Use-Cases
As a website investor and flipper, there are specific use-cases I use Link Whisper for. Here are my use-cases:
1. Bulk Internal Links
I’ve bought sites with hundreds of pages. As a new owner, I have no idea about all of the content on the site. Link Whisper allows me to go through each article and add relevant internal links quickly.
This same task would take months otherwise since you would have to study each article, and then manually add links.
If you’ve recently acquired a website, these are the steps that you need to take to add links to specific pages:
- Go to your WordPress post editor
- Click on the section titled “Link Whisper Suggested Links”
- Skim through the internal link suggestions that could be added to your post as well as their placements (in the form of sentences)
- Choose the links you’d like to include by checking the boxes next to the sentences
- Click on the “Update Post” button
- The internal links will be integrated into the content with the suggested anchor text (which you can edit)
A huge time saver!
2. Bulk Remove External Links
Controlling your external link juice is key. This plugin shows me exactly where I am linking out to. I can then go into each post and remove links as needed.
3. Catch Broken Links
Link Whisper reports show the number of broken links, and you can see each broken link within an article and fix it.
4. Find Orphaned Posts
Orphaned posts are posts that do not have any internal links pointing to them. This is bad on-page SEO. Most niche website builders that sell sites do not minimize orphaned posts; this is upside for you when acquiring.
Link Whisper provides a report for orphaned posts. You can then add relevant internal links to those posts.
My Link Whisper Process for Optimal Use
Here is exactly what I do in order after buying a website, or after a site that I’ve built has many articles (50+):
- Install Link Whisper with a premium license
- Perform the initial scan (can take 5-10 minutes)
- Check Link Stats
- Go to Links Report
- Add Internal Links to high-value pages (e.g., articles that are ranked on the bottom of the first page or top of the second)
- Focus on adding links to orphaned posts
- Fix all 404 not found links
- Fix all broken links
- Remove any poor external links
- Add internal links to other remaining pages
This process can be done over a period of a week and it also depends on the number of articles on a site. For example, for my outdoor site which has 600 articles, this process can take a few weeks to ensure proper linking and tracking of results.
Interview Questions with Spencer Haws, CEO of Link Whisper
I reached out to the founder of Link Whisper, Spencer Haws, to answer a few questions. Here are his answers:
Why did you build Link Whisper?
I’ve always known that internal link building was important for my sites. However, as my sites grew with more articles and I was increasing the number of sites I owned, the “job” of building internal links often got neglected.
It was too time-consuming!
So, I decided to create a faster and easier way to build internal links for my sites. As a result, I hired a developer to build out the vision that I had in my head for what the perfect internal link-building tool would look like.
The result is Link Whisper.
How big is your team behind Link Whisper?
Currently, I have 1 full-time developer and 2 support staff helping me run Link Whisper. I also have a paid advertising consultant helping me out with Facebook and Google ads.
Finally, I’m in the process of hiring an additional part-time employee to help me out with marketing and affiliate management.
How many individual websites are using Link Whisper right now?
Well, Link Whisper has both a free version (on WordPress.org) and a premium version. The free version currently has over 5,000 active installations.
We have lots of additional premium version users as well.
Who is your target customer for this plugin?
Anyone interested in optimizing their site for search engines. The core customers started with my audience which tends to be mostly affiliate marketers and bloggers.
However, the audience truly is anyone with a website that they hope to optimize for Google. We have lots of small businesses using the tool (like real estate agents, attorneys, etc). And we also have lots of SEO agencies using Link Whisper for their clients as well.
What kind of artificial technology (AI) algorithms is being used?
We have language-based algorithms that help determine what the core keywords and ideas are for any given article. This helps Link Whisper determine what internal links to suggest as you write your articles or as you seek to add new internal links to older content.
What’s one unconventional way you’ve seen someone using Link Whisper?
I don’t know if I would call it unconventional, but people tend to use the auto-linking functionality a lot more than I expected.
I don’t personally build any “auto-links”, but I use the link suggestions given by Link Whisper aggressively.
However, I’m finding many users just want to add their target keyword and let Link Whisper build an internal link to a target article any time that keyword is mentioned. Link Whisper does allow some controls on the auto-linking functionality so you don’t have to link every time the keyword is mentioned, but you can limit it to 1 link per page that the keyword is mentioned, for example.
What’s one feature that you anticipated customers would use more but they don’t?
I don’t think people are using the bulk URL changer very much. This function came in quite handy for me as I was removing old content and wanted to change the actual URL of some things instead of simply doing a 301 redirect. However, I don’t believe people use this feature in Link Whisper very much.
Instead, they mostly stick to the internal link suggestions and the in-depth reporting that allows them to know exactly how many internal links each article has and where they are pointing.
How do you use Link Whisper? How many links do you try to target per page?
I primarily use Link Whisper in 3 different ways.
First, I use Link Whisper as I write articles.
I love seeing the internal link suggestions that are provided so that I can quickly just check a few boxes and I get my 3 or 4 internal links added to the article. This is extremely helpful as your site gets larger and it can be harder and harder to remember every single article written, especially as you approach a couple hundred or more articles. Link Whisper makes the logical connections for you and you simply have to approve those suggestions.
Second, I use Link Whisper to build new links to old articles.
So, if I am attempting to rank better in Google for a particular keyword, I will try to add a few new internal links to that article. You might be surprised how many articles you have that don’t have many links pointing to them! With Link Whisper, this process is simple: Just click “Add” next to the article you want to add links to, then Link Whisper will find sometimes dozens of relevant internal links, then you just check the boxes next to the links you want and click done. All the links are added without you haven’t to go in and edit each article.
Finally, I use Link Whisper for in-depth internal link reporting.
I can quickly see how many links each article has and whether or not I need to add or even remove internal links. The Link Whisper reports allowing me to quickly see what anchor text is used and the ability to alter that anchor text or remove the link if I don’t feel it’s a good fit anymore.
The number of internal links added to each article just depends on how many relevant connections you have. Many times I shoot for 3 to 5 internal links per article. However, it can sometimes be much more. The key is to try and link with relevancy as much as possible, instead of just trying to squeeze in another internal link because you want the link equity going to another page.
Link Whisper gives you all the tools you need to get a complete understanding of how your site is structured and how well your articles are internally linked.
You can then use that knowledge to quickly add or sculpt your internal link structure for maximum SEO results.
My Final Verdict: Is It Worth It?
Link Whisper is worth it! As a website portfolio owner and flipper, this plugin is a must.
Before Link Whisper, as a website investor, I would ignore internal linking because it was such a hassle to do it manually. Now, I schedule time every few weeks to go into the reports and go through and add internal links. It’s become a ritual.
Do I outsource internal linking? No, I do not. I want control on which page links to which. While a VA can be trained, I prefer to do it myself.