Internal Anchor Text - Making Site Wide Changes

Feb 16, 2007 • 8:08 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

A WebmasterWorld thread asks if he should or should not change his "home" navigational link to something more keyword rich and descriptive of the site. But he is worried that such a site wide change may be a bad idea for two reasons:

I'm questioning the usability of it (perhaps I could use the title attribute "home" but at the moment I have hundreds of pages with the keyword "home" pointing to my home page and I wonder what effect i would see?

Would I risk current positions and even supplemental for such a site wide anchor text change to an important page?

Many folks caution him from the SEO side of things, telling him to make this change slowly. Even WebmasterWorld administrator, tedster says;

I heard several reports last year of lost rankings on the very keyword used in this kind of change -- so do be cautious. It seems like the trigger might have been the fact of a change, because sites that were launched with this kind of home page linking continued to do OK.

It is a valid question. Honestly, I would just do what is best for the user. If "home" is more helpful in a navigational sense, go with home. You can add the title= attribute and say title="home of product A". Or you can even add a footer link that spells it all out, "home of product A," since that is a bit descriptive.

Any more advice and practical experience on this?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Chris Beasley

02/16/2007 03:54 pm

Not that I think you're going to be penalized or doing otherwise, but I advise the footer method for aesthetic & usability reasons. Often, if you've named your site using keywords, you can just repeat said keywords in the link in the form of "Sitename Home"


02/16/2007 04:46 pm

Well, TITLE attribute isn't going to help SEO wise. I would personally just go with "Home." Whenever "optimizing for people" conflicts with SE optimization, I would bypass SE optimization. If your trying to get your home page to rank high for a competitive term, you're likely not going to pull it off with just tweaking internal anchor text anyway (though of course, they can help a great deal).

Michael Martinez

02/16/2007 04:52 pm

It's highly unlikely to cause anyone's rankings to drop if they change internal link navigation text. But I would be happy to look at examples (in confidence, if necessary). People too often jump to unwarranted conclusions about why they lose rankings. I've changed site-wide internal link anchor text and never had a problem with doing so.


02/17/2007 10:30 pm

"Intent" is a big thing with G, if they decide the changes to internal anchor text are an intent to game them, it could all go pear-shaped...

Michael Martinez

02/18/2007 03:09 am

Google isn't nearly as algorithmically zoned in on "intent" as it is on "effect". You cannot algorithmically gauge intentions. You CAN algorithmically gauge effects.

Eli Feldblum

02/18/2007 08:10 am

I've found on sites that's I've worked on that it helped to do this change slowly. We had an intern change it on a site with about 2000 pages, doing 20 pages a day. We also alternated between two different anchor texts and ended up ranking well for both.

No Name

02/19/2007 07:35 am

I don't see why he should do such a thing, it's not really a good SEO technique.

Adi keyr

12/10/2009 10:06 am

There are many factors that could be the cause why we dropped in ranking search engine such as Google. So, I guess not only because of the changing internal link anchor text. But if indeed it is a problem, should be conducted anchor-text research first, to find out where the anchor text to rank high. By the way, if you ever googling the word <a href='' rel='nofollow dofollow'>adasha</a>? How did it go and why you do it? If you do not mind, please fill the survey in <a href='' rel='nofollow dofollow'> </a>. Thanks

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