Google's Cutts On Internal Links Hurting You

May 31, 2013 • 8:39 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

internal linksA WebmasterWorld thread asks the question, is having too many internal links with the same anchor text something you have to worry about post Penguin 2.0?

Matt Cutts answered this in a video from over a month ago, where he said:

Typically, internal website links will not cause you any sort of trouble. Now, the reason why I say ‘typically not’ rather than a hard ‘no’ is just because as soon as I say a hard ‘no’ there will be someone who has like five thousand links – all with the exact same anchor text on one page. But if you have a normal site, you know…a catalog site or whatever…. you’ve got breadcrumbs…you’ve got a normal template there…that’s just the way that people find their way around the site, and navigate, you should be totally fine.

Here is the video:

WebmasterWorld's administrator said, "Yes, this doesn't match up with my experience - especially overly repeated keywords in internal anchor text. Maybe something has changed?"

Has it?

We've talked about the topic years ago not once but at least twice. We even ran a poll asking you if it can hurt and most said no.

I think it goes as Matt said. It depends on how aggressive you are with your internal links. If it is typical navigation and footer links but not keyword stuffed beyond your imagination, then you are fine. If it is so aggressive, then it may lead to an issue.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for puzzels

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Comments:

André

05/31/2013 01:07 pm

I suppose the main message here is: internal links are very important. So, as daily SEO business shows, they are a main part for optimization and must be optimized - just beware of over-optimization like with everything else.

Anti-SEO

05/31/2013 01:44 pm

No, the main message here is : Typically, internal website links will not cause you any sort of trouble. Now, the reason why I say ‘typically not’ rather than a hard ‘no’ is just because as soon as I say a hard ‘no’ there will be someone who has like five thousand links – all with the exact same anchor text on one page. But if you have a normal site, you know…a catalog site or whatever…. you’ve got breadcrumbs…you’ve got a normal template there…that’s just the way that people find their way around the site, and navigate, you should be totally fine. and it says nothing about SEO, optimization or over-optimization ... Read carefully )

ethalon

05/31/2013 03:18 pm

Agreed. I recently had a couple thousand internal links added to our site. We had pictures for navigation and I finally convinced those-who-need-to-be-convinced that adding the name of the product/product group as a link over the image would be a good idea. Never once did I worry about negative SEO impacts. It was just good practice to be clear to the user and to the bots (alt text on the image is nice and all, but the link seemed to have helped the number of pages indexed). Oh well, it's at least nice to have it on video.

Wayne

05/31/2013 03:40 pm

It was always my understanding that over-optimizing the anchor text of links in articles would get you penalized - but that basic navigation links are expected to naturally be duplicates and won't hurt you.

Anti-SEO

05/31/2013 05:18 pm

Yup, I did the smart internal linkage soon after the first Panda, when I realized, that visitors just suck information from the page they land and leave. I wrote an algo to analyze every article word-by-word, find relations and create internal links on the page load. So links are not fixed, but flexible, depending on the new articles. I can't say, that Panda started to like me more, but no doubt visitors get more options to move inside the site. Not just suck and leave.

ethalon

05/31/2013 05:40 pm

That's an interesting way to go about it. I really like the idea. Am I understanding you correctly in assuming that the linking is dynamic based on the article archive? Example: If an article posted in January of 2013 has a paragraph that discusses, for instance, 'caves in Mexico' and then in May of 2013 you post an article that is all about 'caves in Mexico', would a user reading the first article see no link until May of 2013+? If I understand that correctly, that is a very nice way to keep traffic moving from old articles to new based on perceived interest.

Anti-SEO

05/31/2013 06:06 pm

Exactly. New articles change internal links on the old pages. Furthermore, a huge part of every inner page is loaded on the scroll event. You know, like on Facebook for example. So related stuff can be loaded and you can provide additional info about the internal link in the nice looking tooltip. So visitor can even see, what is under the link. This is a good way to play around. For example I added the brand name on the tooltip bottom to remind visitor again and again where she/he is. Bots can't see this, since this is on scroll event and you can play a lot there. Every internal link becomes also the source of the additional information. And it doesn't make your page too heavy, since this is on scroll event. However you can't do this in the main text (loaded on the page load). Bots just can't read what is in the tooltip the right way. This is when the Google's technology, being a modern just 5 years ago, appears to be outdated. Browsers + coding can do miracles nowadays, providing the best for the visitors, but Google can't interpret it correctly. Well, nothing is perfect ) Still a lot of work to do for everyone )

friv 10

06/01/2013 07:58 am

Google's Cutts On Internal Links Hurting me, if this is true. I'm really not convinced.

Avnish Gautam

12/18/2013 12:30 pm

So many internal links with same Anchor text really affect website in negative way. Before some months, I was affected by this but now I don't repeat same anchor in 2 internal links. Thanks.

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