Can You Confuse Google With Your Internal Anchor Text?

Jan 27, 2011 • 8:59 am | comments (16) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

internal-anchor-textThere is an interesting conversation going on about the use of your anchor text on your internal links at WebmasterWorld forums. The topic here is that this SEO wants a specific page of his to rank for a term, so he optimizes the page for the term and links to it with the phrase in his internal anchor text. But he also links from that page to another internal page using the same anchor text he wants the current page to rank for. Got that?

For example, I want to rank a page for big blue pineapple chair, so when I link to the page, I use the anchor text big blue pineapple chair. But I also decide to link to a different page on my site, via the big blue pineapple chair page using the anchor text "big blue pineapple chair" to this other page.

The question is, will this confuse Google in thinking the page that is all about big blue pineapple chairs is actually linking off to another page about big blue pineapple chair and they should rank that page instead.

Nothing like a good deep linking topic to make link builders salavate. :)

Tedster replied to the thread saying, "Theoretically, it does sound like this might become an issue in some cases. In reality, I've never run into it. I think I'd still avoid using the exact same phrase I was targeting in the outbound anchor text."

Personally, I have no clue. Logically, you would think it might cause confusion. But I do not have practical examples of either, so I have no clue. Tedster said he has never seen it, have you?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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William Vicary

01/27/2011 02:10 pm

I don't see this causing a problem to be honest, the likelihood of Google getting confused is slim, I assume they would associate both keywords with the keyword and apply ranking methods to both URLs, more likely giving priority to the page with the best combination of links/anchor text. Isn't this fundamentally how indented listings work?

Barry Schwartz

01/27/2011 02:11 pm

Hoping someone would comment about indented listings. :) Thanks William.


01/27/2011 02:47 pm

I've seen this happen myself and the result is both pages will rank in the serps one directly below the other (not indented). Of course, there are other factors that come into play, but this is what I've observed.

Kalman Labovitz

01/27/2011 02:49 pm

A client of mine had this issue when creating brand type pages. Google would always rank the home page and not the brand page for brand specific searches. They had create a link to a product with the same anchor text as the brand page. I had them remove the link completely (there were other links to the product page with the full product name) and within a few days the brand page was finally ranking for the brand searches. Seems like it could confuse Google.

John Young

01/27/2011 03:09 pm

Yup, using an anchor that's the exact keyphrase you want the linking page to rank for is dumb. I was guilty, paid the price, and fixed it. Then asked myself why I'd done it in the first place. No answers were forthcoming.

Danny Denhard

01/27/2011 03:13 pm

Have seen this working and can confirm done correctly it does help with assisting ranking specific pages. Must have redirects and canonical tags applied to ensure this works correctly.


01/27/2011 03:18 pm

What is sure is that you would be given the second page a significant ranking bonus by giving it a targetting anchor text link from a page which itself has a good score for that keyphrase. Whether or not it might rank higher would probably depend on all the other factors, not limited to external incoming links and onpage factors.

Brian Cox

01/27/2011 05:21 pm

ahh ya beat me too it William. This would be the easiest, best way to create indents, and assuming the original page ranks, your indent should be visible in no time

Michael Martinez

01/27/2011 06:31 pm

The outbound link anchor text is still used to determine the linking page's relevance to that expression, so there should be no problem.


01/27/2011 09:30 pm

if a tree falls in the forest. . . . .

Robbie Hodge

01/28/2011 12:50 pm

Some one seriously took the time to write this out as a blog post?

Barry Schwartz

01/28/2011 12:50 pm

Yes Robbie.

SEO Services India

01/28/2011 01:14 pm

I think it will work for SEO, Ranking will improve using this anchor text in internal building.

Jason Dowdell

01/28/2011 01:19 pm

Yes, it does cause problems. This is only one way in which your anchor text can confuse Google, Bing isn't as susceptible to this. Hint: duplicate signals.

Spletnapot, spletne storitve

01/28/2011 06:32 pm

It should not cause any problems to anchor link like that. But than again, if the same anchor text that links to 2 different pages is used on the same page, it might.

Canadian Entertainment News

04/01/2012 02:21 am

Old post, but I figured I'd reply anyways.  When having two links on the same page, only the first will be utilized by Google. I suppose this is to prevent anchor target schemes and what not.

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