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Cutting back on anchor text: Shooting myself in the foot?
Tonearm




msg:4023256
 5:33 pm on Nov 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'd like to change the anchor text pointing to my sub-categories so that only the adjective is listed and not the noun.

Instead of Blue Widgets, Red Widgets, Green Widgets, it would be Blue, Red, Green.

I think this is easier to read and thus better for navigation, but I'm worried for 2 reasons.

1. Am I missing out on the "Widgets" anchor text this way?
2. I will end up with the same anchor text pointing to different pages this way. "Red" will point to "Red Widgets" and "Red Gizmos". Will that get me in trouble?

 

Receptional Andy




msg:4023276
 6:06 pm on Nov 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

One thing about this type of change is that it's context sensitive. It depends on your own site, and also what the competition are doing.

I've found that in some industries, "pushy" anchor text is a must, whereas in others it's more likely to devalue the page.

Depending on the importance of the site, it might be worthwhile running a test to see what impact this has.

Generally, I avoid Red Keyword, Blue Keyword, Green Keyword style navigation these days.

>> Am I missing out on the "Widgets" anchor text this way?

By definition - but it could be that those site-wide anchors are not so important as you might think, and are not passing as much value as you might expect.

>> I will end up with the same anchor text pointing to different pages this way. "Red" will point to "Red Widgets" and "Red Gizmos". Will that get me in trouble?

If this is on one page, it is a little problematic. If nothing else, it is a usability and accessibility issue - for users scanning the page for the right link and those having links read out or listed respectively.

Tonearm




msg:4023457
 11:36 pm on Nov 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks Andy.

If this is on one page, it is a little problematic.

It's not on the same page at all. I didn't know if Google frowned on it in general.

zehrila




msg:4023555
 3:19 am on Nov 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I would like to go with what Andy said, i am currently going through the same phase. I think adding so many keywords might get you some over optimization penalty. If Red lands on page "Red Widgets" and you have proper title/H tags, maintained keyword density and have few external links pointing to it using "Red Widgets" you might be good to go.

kflanagan




msg:4023740
 1:40 pm on Nov 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yup, I agree, I tend not to worry so much about keywords in the navigation. I worry about what looks best and you can always ensure your internal linking supports keyword anchor text in the content. I know some people would argue about first link priority in this case but I still haven't seen any solid evidence to back that up (or maybe I missed it).

SEOPTI




msg:4023890
 4:59 pm on Nov 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

You should worry about keyword rich internal navigation and keyword rich URLs. This is the perfect mix for a -950 re-ranking.

Tonearm




msg:4024332
 12:09 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

SEOPTI:

So part of my optimization should be making sure I don't have keywords in internal navigation and the URL?

tedster




msg:4024473
 4:41 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'd say the point is don't use the same keyword in the anchor text for many different internal links. Some repetition is certainly natural, but too much can hurt you.

Tonearm




msg:4024516
 5:56 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

So, anchor text "Red Widgets", "Blue Widgets", "Green Widgets" should be avoided because it repeats "Widgets" across many different internal links?

tedster




msg:4024563
 7:05 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Right, many people have had problems with that kind of repetition. Some repetition is fine, just not excessive.

== Widgets ==
Red
Blue
Metallic
Custom

- that seems to work better, assuming the entire site is well themed for "widgets" in the first place.

Tonearm




msg:4024565
 7:09 pm on Nov 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Got it, thank you.

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