I have really specific question. Is it possible for over-optimized internal rich anchor text to be serious issue for ranking? Even though the text is 72 chars long, the home page has 500+ internal links with that particular anchor?
Thanks for all the help, advice and suggestions in advance!
Are you linking to your homepage with 500+ anchor text links? Or from your home page?
Matt Cutts (when he was around) stated not to worry about anchor text links internally unless it was an extreme amount. You say 72 chars long, how many words is this?
if this was a 10 word anchor text going back to the page, this no longer seems like an anchor text menu link and certaiinly appears spammy, as if you were trying to include as many keywords into the anchor text as possible.
Previous SEO team probably has decided it might help them rank faster. However, I am not so sure, though. I suspect so many inlinks with anchor rich text might do more harm than good. Any practical advice? Would be really appreciated.
The normal practice is to have anchor text "Home" or a link through the logo, that may have the url as anchor text or even blank sometimes.
If these words are stop words and not there for useful or ranking purpose, then why have them? I still think 8 words is a long anchor text phrase, and at this point not sure how that phrase helps your visitors.
The advice you will always get, is have the right anchor text that is relevant and that helps your visitors rather than for Google for internal pages.
There is a difference between menu links that are normally short and to the point 1 or 2 words, with "in content links", which normally would go to other internal content and be based on the topic you are writing about and could be more descriptive and longer, but I would vary them, never 500 the same. Say if I was linking content to content within several blog posts, to link the information together.
and for the homepage, well my opinion is "home" or logo link with url in alt text.
There's no guarantee on any of this, you can only do what you think is best, what seems reasonable.
Every other 500 page website out there has 500 links to the home page titled 'Home". You've got 500 links with keyword rich text. We don't know if that's a way Google uses to sort out spam, but it sure seems like it might be a way for them to do that.
It's possible it's a matter of degree. Years ago I tested something similiar - I put a keyword rich link on the bottom of my homepage pointing to my homepage. And I ranked for that phrase. So it works. And If yo ride the edge, you might do it a little bit. But 500 times? Only if you justify it to Google if someone at Google did a hand review.