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1. When we added text to pages, we made all keywrods into internal links. Does Google like keywords as plain text, or are they OK as links?
2. Within the text, we also added links to other areas of the site not direclty related to the page concerned. For example, on a dog collar page, I have put text and links relating to dog collars at the top of the page and a smaller paragraph with keyword links to other areas of the site under this text (eg dog beds, cat collars). Could this be diluting the message?
Thanks for any help you can give me.
And why link to off topic sections? Can't users find them through the site navigation if they want to?
Look at huge sites like Wikipedia (there are many more who do the same I'm sure). It helps them in an absolutely huge way.
It is assumed that Wikipedia is manually given a lot of trust and that's it why they rank well and also why they can get away with things that normal webmasters can not do.