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Too many internal links in footer - does Google penalize?



8:53 am on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


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 :)



4:30 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

Hello Olly, and welcome to the forums.

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.


6:11 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi Tedster,

Thanks for the advice. When implementing changes like this, is it best to do it in stages - i.e. remove a few links at a time over the course of a few weeks, or do it in one go?




6:24 pm on Jan 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

I've always done it in one shot - I don't like to send out the "I'm always tweaking my SEO" signal. Any given situation could require a judgement call, however - so do what the situation seems to require.


3:56 am on Jan 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have ALL my links in the front page; 900 or so in a css menu that activates when they highlight a certain category. My traffic increased and all pages are in the index.


4:16 am on Jan 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Even if it wasn't links, having too much material that's identical from one page to the next can cause problems by pushing pages across the tipping point for appearing "too similar" to the spiders.

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.

kamikaze Optimizer

6:01 am on Jan 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I tend to think that footer links are given less weight with Google and hence not a bad place to put your less important content...
Legal Notice ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Terms of Use ¦ Contact Us ...


7:02 pm on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member annej is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Buckworks suggestion is a good one. Avoid repeating widgets several time. I'm fairly sure changing this sort of anchor text helped get me out of the -950 penalty.

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.


8:05 pm on Jan 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Widgets by State: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona .... Wyoming

That's how I present such links as well. I considered the other alternative for a moment but I'm glad someone can tell me why it was such a good choice.


8:30 am on Jan 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

we have about 1000 page site running through mod reqrite and we use to have 3 different footer for lets say 100 links, like 30 separate links in 1 footer and like upto 3 footer. they r simply city name no keyword attached to it for e. i. g. new york, it sud be new york widgets if refering to the new york widgets. do you think this is fine to have 3 footer or i sud only have 1 for all pages.

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]


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