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Can Outbound Anchor Text Come Back and Bite you?

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4258492 posted 5:51 pm on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

We want the page /red-widget-item.php to rank for terms like red widget item, red widgets, etc. and regularly link back to the page with appropriate but varied anchor text.

On the same page, we link out to other pages, some internal pages that are relevant and related to red widgets, and others that are external, going to important/official red widget sites, some of which would have keywords in their URL.

In some instances, the anchor text we have used for these outgoing links are red widgets, official red widget site, etc. -- either the same or very similar (+/- a word) anchors to those of incoming links.

Many of these outgoing links are important to us for a good user experience, which Google values, but others are there just as an outgoing link to an authoritative site, and a few are there simply due to poor site design. So some could be removed without much detriment to the site, but removing others might take away from its quality.

Are we making things confusing for Google? In essence, at first we're telling them that /red-widget-item.php should rank for the term red widgets, but when you get to that page, there is a link pointing to another page with the same term as the anchor -- so that page (which is obviously on the same topic) must be a better match for the term, or why else would you be linking that way?

Although we are in some cases, we are not necessarily in competition with these important/official sites for the terms selected. At the same time, we definitely don't want to have two of our own pages competing against each other for the terms.

Thanks in advance for the help.



WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4258492 posted 3:47 am on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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.


WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Msg#: 4258492 posted 9:07 am on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

i think it also depends on internal links & external links. i personally like to use the anchor text for deeper internal pages that link back to the main page. shows google that you have a big amount of material all related to red widgets.

i am cautious when linking to external pages. imagine you have a reciprocal links with your competition and they stop reciprocating. this could make google think your competition is the authority and you arent. that is why you need to be a bit more careful when selecting external pages to link to with the anchor text.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member

Msg#: 4258492 posted 10:50 am on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

how does it look like to google if we link to external pages with keywords that we want to rank but use a nofollow?

we link to those pages because they are useful for the readers, but we use nofollow in selective cases where we are not sure about the site whose page we link to.i.e. though the page may be good, the site might not have good trust as it contains a lot of UGC...so to be safer we use the nofollow..

anyone here, what is your take on this?


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4258492 posted 11:17 am on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't link to my competition, i link to a neutral resource. I use targeted anchor text maximum once. Is important to be relevant the external page too.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4258492 posted 12:08 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

@indyank - last I tested, Google did index text in a nofollow link (i.e. use a unique phrase, then search for that phrase and the linking page is returned as a result). It seems reasonable to assume that if they index the text then it counts for something as an on-page factor. But I'd also think that if nofollow is intended to stop any transfer of PR or anchor text externally, then any kudos for linking to an authority with it would be lost too.

All speculation on my part though.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member

Msg#: 4258492 posted 3:30 pm on Jan 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

thanks FranticFish. that is a reasonable assumption..

any other experiences/thoughts on this?

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