|Duplicating A Link Already In The Navigation Bar ... OK or to be avoided?|
I've seen comments by several folks well regarded in the industry saying that you should avoid having duplicate links on a page that point to the same destination URL.
The comments basically say don't do it because its spam and/or why do it because only the first link will carry any value and the second and subsequent links are simply ignored.
Assuming that is correct, what happens when there is a site-wide link that is an integral part of the site's navigation but gets repeated in the body of pages. eg... a travel site has "car rentals" in the site wide navigation. Is it spam to place the same link in the content where you are telling the viewer they need to rent a car to go white water rafting through the Widgetville Canyon?
I've always felt site wide navigation links would be treated differently because they are mandatory (the site can't operate without them) whereas links inserted in the body are directional (you can direct the viewer to additional/supplementary resources)
So... your thoughts please. Have we got to the absurd point where repeating site wide nav links in the body is seen as spam?
What are the alternatives?
"To find widgets please scroll up to the nav bar at the top of this page and click on the widgets link" ?
Unless it is a primary call to action, I would avoid it.
If it makes sense for the visitor I'd do it.
|Have we got to the absurd point where repeating site wide nav links in the body is seen as spam? |
I think we hit the point of absurd when people had to start worrying about whether or not they should just exercise commonsense and make their site as useful as possible for their visitors.
Gotta love Google created/related FUD that's been spread so thick over the Internet it's not even funny.
One of the sites I manage has had no link building - it is an EMD for a counselling/therapy related term. It is a forum of a sort but custom built. Traffic was seeded with AdWords and rankings have gradually grown as we've added new content and new features via feedback from the mailing list and conversations with the users. AdWords was nearly all its traffic to begin with but now makes up 1/7 of search traffic which is about 1/2 of all traffic.
Monetisation is mainly branded digital products but there is some affiliate via Amazon.
The site frequently has multiple links to the same pages. Because important pages could be found in different ways there are duplicate links in the main nav, then there are banner ads on the RHS interwoven with section navigation, and then also image and text CTAs where they could be useful.
These have only ever been placed where we want to direct TRAFFIC around the site.
It is showing good growth for keywords and visitors month on month, and it definitely doesn't have anything like a strong link profile because we've been too busy building the site and interacting with the community as it grows to do any outreach - yet.
We're currently experimenting with precise placement and wording of these extra CTA links to maximise clickthroughs.
So I would say that if it's done to direct traffic - and that traffic does follow - then do it.
|I think we hit the point of absurd when people had to start worrying about whether or not they should just exercise commonsense and make their site as useful as possible for their visitors. |
100% agreed with that.
I think it's unnecessary worry as well. What proof does anyone have that multiple links to the same page cause problems? It's just rumour spread by mindless, headless panic.
"Commonsense" is the keyword - within that constraint link to whatever you want and whenever you think it's in your reader's interest.
I think it's OK if you are referring to the post through various merits and they can be useful to visitors.
Like if you link to widget, you link it via "history of widget", "use of widget" to the same page.
One thing important though is not to overdo it that you repeat the keyword over and over which can get trapped into the imaginary spam threshold.
If you have a good themed site, I would even take out "widget" from the keyword from linking. And just left in check out the "detailed history", or read more about the "color".
Navigational links get ignored by Google as it indexes and fully indexes the pages on the site. (Is it repeated over and over on all pages? If so, ignore and don't show on the SERP) However, during the index infancy they DO get indexed as a part of the content which can result in nasty stuff happening. Again, the key is not to keyword stuff. But since your site appears to be established with traffic and navigational links there for a while, you shouldn't run into that.
You never ever want the navigational links (keyword enriched) to be indexed as a part of the "content" as you can get a ton of irrelevant visits. This method can get you initial traffic boost, but will hammer the site or get the site labeled with manual spam. I did that with one of my site with navigational spam and throw the domain away, as a testing project.
Bottom line: Is it useful? Will your visitor find it useful? Will they click through the links and net you more PV's and potentially conversions? If so, it's probably OK.
If you do it only because you want more pagerank or whatever trust to flow to the page? It probably won't work the way you want it to. Search engine won't give that page more weight if visitors do not flow to that page naturally. But if they do click that link often and find that page highly relevant and interact with it in some way, you will see success.
Avoid keyword stuffing aka repeat the keyword over and over again to hope for improve ranking. This means varying anchor even if it points to the same page, as you probably want to mention the same page for various purposes.It may help or it may not in the short term (1~2 month ranking / traffic), but in the long run (6 month+) it probably won't.
Well, there is good reason to duplicate internal links at the bottom of a page, for instance, to help user navigation, without the need to scroll to the top of the page. Especially if the page is quite long.
In fact, I would consider it good practice, in that situation.
If SEs has an issue with that, so what, I have a higher regard for my visitors experience than I have for any (supposed)SE centric tweaks.
And a good experience may well increase payed clicks, too, if that is an issue, who knows.;)
I was more than a little annoyed at even having to write the OP... as has already been mentioned, surely its a case of exercising commonsense as to what links make sense on each page.
The only problem with commonsense is that it is not so common and I have to confess that the extent of the collateral damage flowing from Penguin is enough to make me start questioning even the most elementary aspects of link placement and management.
Sad... but that seems to be today's reality.