And funny thing, at least one later test seemed to show that different anchor text can also work, if there's a unique fragment identifier (#fragmentname) at the end of the URL
putting a unique #fragmentname on the second url may make it different in Google's eyes and cause it to pass pagerank.
Just so I understand, you are talking about something like this:
One of the duplicate links from the homepage to the blue-widgets.html page should have a named anchor such as #bronze-age appended so that it would link to a specific area on the destination page?
So have ONE of the links as:
And on the destination /blue-widgets.html page, put a named anchor #bronze-age at the start of the paragraph where it talks about the history of blue widgets during the Bronze Age?
Or am I misinterpreting this?
Also, let me simplify my original question a little bit and change it to a "What would you do?" type question.
Home page has a Tool Bar Page Rank of 2. It has 25 links to internal pages (no links from the home page point to external pages), and of those 25, only 20 are unique.
The left-hand navigation links are "higher" in the source than the text content links and the product photo links.
Next in the source code (and visually) come the content text links, then below them (in the code and visually) are the photo links.
So would you all move the most important keywords to the in content text links? The secondary keywords to the photo links? And the third level keywords to the left hand navigation links?
(This seems contrary to what a user would follow. Most visitors to the home page click the photo links to the products, followed by the left hand navigation links, followed by the in content text links. So while it might improve SEO, there is a good chance it will HURT conversions...)