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"What do you mean? Linking to other articles within your site?"
"I think you can suffer OOP with overly optimised and repeating internal linking (using the same anchor text over and over).
This may happen more in case where you try to rank for a keyword phrase (e.g. two or three word phrase) and you repeat the exact phrase over and over again in your in-content internal linking, where it would not naturally flow in the language."
"Perhaps you can try to de-optimise internal anchor text and see if you get any improvements? "
so to summarize, you think the possibility of an OOP is higher from exact match anchor text from IN CONTENT links, as opposed to exact match anchor text from the navigation bar, correct?
I was thinking that. But I remember a statement netmeg made a while back that she thought it was unwise to link to the same internal page on a site using different anchor text.
I would think that a navigation bar would be ignored but if you thought it was a problem you could always "no follow" those links.
But the most appropriate anchor text for a visitor happens to be the most appropriate text for search engines, which has caused my site not to rank AT ALL for that keyword.
"Have you considered disavowing the questionable link and, ideally, getting a few additional legitimate backlinks for that page?"
The search volume for a particular keyword combination could also be a factor. If you direct most of your internal "link juice" to pages that target high volume search terms, that would be a form of over-optimization.
Why do you think it has been affected by the algorithms? Was it ranking earlier and has dropped now? If yes, for how long it had been ranking on top?
I changed the blue widgets page from blue-widgets.html to blue_widgets.html, without doing a 301 redirect.
So the problem might be that I am linking FROM informational pages to my (same site) ecommerce page.
Did you change the internal in-content links and navigational links to point to the new page?
Are the in-content links on pages which are topically closely related?
How are those pages performing?... Are they affected by any of these algorithmic animals?
[edited by: Planet13 at 3:03 pm (utc) on Jul 3, 2013]
If the user is reading an informational page and, say, your first use of the "blue widgets" phrase on this page is a contextual link, I think the reader might naturally expect that clicking it would lead to more information about blue widgets.
So how do we determine how many internal links with the same anchor text are too many for Google?
It might help to think about such links, particularly contextual links, from the user's point of view. If the user is reading an informational page and, say, your first use of the "blue widgets" phrase on this page is a contextual link, I think the reader might naturally expect that clicking it would lead to more information about blue widgets... If I were so misled, I might leave the site... or certainly back out of the link.