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PageRank distribution among duplicate links on a page.

12:55 pm on Nov 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hi there. Somewhere I've found a statement that in case two identical links coexist on the same page, PageRank is divided among those links, but only one of them (the one higher on the page) gets link juice.

I haven't found any back up for the theory, but if you sum everything up about PR distribution, it might well be the truth.

Any ideas?

Maybe some of you have info that proves the theory?

PS. Answers like "PR doesn't matter any more" and "create great content and don't think about PR" are not welcome.

Thank you in advance.
4:32 pm on Nov 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I don't think you can know with any certainty how Google is treating multiple links to the same URL any more. Google has acknowledged weighting links depending on their location within a page, and that alone makes it difficult to generalize about their treatment of identical links.

From a philosophical point of view, it would be reasonable for Google to say that a page can only "vote" once for any particular page/URL in terms of PageRank. And when you look at the issue from that point of view, I think it's likely that is how they're treating multiple links. Looking at the structure of blogs and e-commerce sites with their abundance of mega-menus, breadcrumbs, tag clouds, footer navigation sections, and so on, it starts to make even more sense to have a refined approach overall.

But from a webmaster's point of view, I think your approach has to start with considering the usability benefit of any link well before worrying about the impact on PageRank distribution. Once you reach the point where you do start to consider it, I suspect that the guiding principle should be "all things in moderation," and let the search engines work it out because you know that the situation is always changing.
7:36 pm on Nov 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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PageRank is divided among those links, but only one of them (the one higher on the page) gets link juice.

I don't recall hearing exactly that -- I do know "only the first link text counts" was tested by at least a couple highly respected SEOs and seemed to be the case most of the time a year or two ago, and I haven't heard/seen anything to indicate that's changed more recently, but I haven't specifically looked either, so the info on which link text "counts" could be out-of-date even though I'm not sure why Google would move to that type of system and then revert since they usually test before changing so the move must have indicated better results in some way.

I do highly doubt you'll find anything definitive that says "which of multiple links to the same page passes any/the most PR", not only for the reasons rainborick points out, but also because even if TBPR wasn't about 9 months out-of-date right now [it's usually 3 months out when it's published] with a fix not in-the-works until at least 2014; TBPR, even updated, doesn't provide accurate/granular enough information to make a determination on which of multiple links passes exactly what % of PR through it to single target page.

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