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I'm working on a site that has been well built in XHTML/CSS (semantic mark up etc), with good content and use of keywords in the title, headings, etc It also has a healthy number of inbound links, all of which have been built up organically.
However, the site seems to be out performed by sites with poor code, and relatively poor key wording.
I have analysed the site, and area i feel could be an issue is the number of cross-links on each page. It totals around 115 links per page (which are contained in the header - the main navigation links - and footer, which doubles as a mini site map with text links to all the pages on the site).
I am wondering if it would be best to remove the footer links in case Google is penalizing the site for the overall quantity of cross-links on the pages.
Any advice/ideas much appreciated :)
I've worked with similar situations and I've found that websites often can perform better whem the the total number of links on each page is kept minimal. Google does recommend keeping it below 100 - and i usually aim for much lower than that.
I don't think its really a penalty -- more like all that anchor text on a page sort of blurs or dulls the relevance signal, and too much internal linking can also make it difficult for the algo to tell which pages are most important.
Eliminating, or lowering the number of internal links in the footer is worth a try. Also note if there are many repetitions of an important keyword in the anchor text anywhere on the page. When that's done to excess, it does seem like it hurts rather than helps.
It's probably wise to trim some links, but also aim for the leanest possible verbiage in whatever links you keep.
Alabama Widgets, Alaska Widgets, Arizona Widgets, ... Wyoming Widgets.
Widgets by State: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona .... Wyoming
The latter would make just as much sense to readers and the more concise wording in the navigation would help each page's unique content to stand out better for the search engines.
If you have just a few links on a page you have a much better ability to channel your link juice. And looking at Google Analytics I find very few people ever click on links at the bottom so why clutter up the page with them.
I though this way i can get maximum city linked from the site most of the pages rather than giving top 50 links in footer or something. i have mix 60 to 75 links per page...
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 9:08 am (utc) on Jan. 28, 2008]
[edit reason] removed specifics [/edit]