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Keyword-rich anchors for internal links?

8:00 pm on Nov 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I have a semi large website (not blog) dealing with an attorney statewide,we created pages for all cities and practice areas in all cities in my state. I made sure to order the best content from textbroker and I noticed after a few days we were ranking the first few weeks for those inner pages. I guess it was the honeymoon stage. The pages since dropped in time, to the 3rd page.

So I panicked and started Keyword-rich anchors for internal links on pages for different city pages for attorneys. Example if I have a page called (City) car accident lawyer, I would wanted to place one internal geo keyword rich anchor link to that specific city for different practice areas, example "if you been injured in an car accident, contact a (City Personal Injury Lawyer). We do have a general menu but that's only for a metro city, in which our firm is located, That's why we created pages for all cties. I would imagine this would make for a good user experience. Since user could be 1,000 miles away and we do not want to scare them away by interlinking to pages from a city hundreds and hundred a miles away. I stay away from using geeographical anchor links, maybe one a page (city) personal injury attorney, but I do not do this for practice areas: city medical mal attorney, city slip and fall attorney, city auto accident attorney, city boat accident attorney, etc...

I figured it will make for a good user experience is someone lands on (city) car accident lawyer, and we did internal linking to different practice area pages in that city they landed on

Our link: [(city) personal injury attorneys] handle these cases:
motorcycle accidents (link)
medical malpractice (link)
slip and fall (link(

and they are linked to the city pages and not linked to home page or top menu I did not place all the city pages in main menu, I figured it would look too spammy. So I just added links to the city internal pages.

I hope it makes sense. I read this snippet from an article and now I feel like I should change it up:

From a popular SEO blogger:
"1. Keyword-rich anchors for internal links.
Internal linking is good. Internal linking by using keyword-rich anchor text is bad.

If I had to pick the single biggest oversight in over-optimization, this would be it. Here’s an example:

Check out our awesome new blue widget page for more information:
(Links to: example.com/awesome-new-blue-widget.htm)

Here is another example:

We sell top-rated cheap blue widgets.
(Links to: example.com/awesome-new-blue-widget.htm)

Anchors that use the exact URL of the destination or anchors that use keywords are bad.

I know what you’re thinking: “But those kinds of links are good!” Remember, though, we’re talking about over-optimization. Sure, the occasional anchor that matches the URL exactly could contribute to positive SEO. But if you start doing this too much, you’re setting yourself up for penalization."
10:24 pm on Nov 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't panic regarding that "honeymoon" period. It's normal while content is fresh for it to rank highly and then drop down as it gets older. This is because Google boosts fresh content to keep the SERPS interesting and up to date. I would tone down your keyword rich internal linking, the advice in the quote works for me.

You're not going to dominate all the SERPs for different cities just by having a page for each one. Tone down the internal linking, be happy with the results you're already seeing, and work on your site in general. If you want to improve the ranking on the city pages, keep fresh content going on to them and perhaps build more content for each city. Interlinked but not over-optimised.
8:19 am on Nov 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I read this snippet from an article

By all means carry out research, but the views of a "popular SEO blogger" about internal links won't make your site successful if more important factors are overlooked: the best SEO is providing the kind of content that attracts visitors and links.

Your internal links are not there for SEO: they should be helping your visitors to find what they are looking for. If they are looking for blue widgets and you have a page about blue widgets (or on which you display your range of blue widgets), your anchor-text should help them to find that page. Forget about "keywords", and think about good in-context descriptions (in this particular example, "blue widgets" is both a key-term and a good description). You are unlikely to incur penalties if your anchor-text makes sense in its context, and you don't use it with unnatural frequency.

Always using the same term to refer to the same page in main menus is not over-use (and using a descriptive key-term for the page title isn't spammy), but using that term in lots of sentences on lots of pages would look bad to users as well as search-engines. If it looks unnatural to a reader, it will look unnatural to Google.

From your description, your principal product is a range of services that are available statewide. If that is so, there is no need for separate pages promoting Service1 in City1, City2, (City3...). Peppering your content with city names and links distracts both your user and search engines from the service itself (and would look unnatural to me, if to nobody else).

My own advice, FWIW, would be to confine your content to services offered, list principal cities on your home page, and give details of all local points of contact on your contact page. A link to your contact page should be at the top of every page (if not at the bottom as well). Focus on explaining your services well, and on making site navigation clear and uncluttered.
8:31 am on Nov 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I've seen advice from so-called SEO experts both ways. I agree with doing what's best for the visitor, but using *appropriate* keyword rich internal anchor links may be just that. It works for Wikipedia.
1:11 pm on Nov 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I can only share from experience that internal linking is good not only for search engines, but to help consumers navigate to a sale. Many people want information before they buy or commit. Natural internal linking accomplishes this. By natural, I mean linking words like "here" "this page" etc. My FAQ page is linked throughout the site many ways such as "FAQ" "FAQ page" "our FAQ page" "frequently asked questions" "frequently asked questions page" "answers to common questions" "common questions answered" etc. Google does send a lot of zombie traffic, but my pages rank good when I check. More importantly, the site gives people all the information they need to convert.
5:05 pm on Nov 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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100% always use targeted internal keywords however you want.

I have them in the side bar and footer and the content.

Big boosts in Serp once I changed from image buttons to direct anchor text for internal browsing.

you don get penalized for internal links!
5:31 pm on Nov 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Firstly, don't panic!

I'd concur with what's been said, adding: Keep it natural, build it for your visitors. If it looks natural for a visitor, then it'll be fine for Google. If it looks keyword stuffed, it'll do no favours. I'll repeat, make it natural.

Also, fresh content is good, and you might be able to achieve that in different ways: Again, think of it from a user point of view as you don't just want a page about the locale, you want a freshly-updated page about the locale. It would do a lot less good ending up with a static page of content that remains unchanged.

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