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Self referencing link

     
8:44 pm on Feb 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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On my home page, I'm doing something kinda spammy. And by spammy, I mean it seems to work just fine thank you very much.

I wanted to rank on some regional terms, but didn't want to throw up all those blocks of states with individual pages that you see around. They just seemed to spammy for my tastes.

So I put up a paragraph on the homepage talking about say 'red widgets in oklahoma'. Then I link those words (red widgets in oklahoma) right back to the homepage. In other words, my homepage links to itself, with some nice juicy text.

And guess what? Despite no other backlinks with text to do with oklahoma, my site ranks #1 or 2 for red widgets in oklahoma.

Are there any variations on this that might work better? Are circular links like this commonly used?
2:03 am on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I've seen them overused plenty. Slews of footers all linking back to the same page on county / town names.

Have you tried the text de-linked to see what the rankings difference is? Is it the fact that it's anchor text that is boosting it or just the presence of 'type of' widgets 'location' on a page that already has a strong trust factor for 'widgets'?

Added: I think that links to the same file were devalued years ago because it was a popular spammer's trick, but I could be wrong. But, why would you want to link a page to itself? Seems like something you should build into the algo to be ignored because there'd never be a 'legitimate' reason to do it.
3:23 am on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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sure there is. Home link links to itself :).
11:05 am on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Well, sure, template links to home will be on the home page. But from Google's point of view, their 'random surfer' should be disappointed to click a link not marked 'home' on the home page and not go anywhere. I would be, unless it was an anchor point.

That's why I was interested to know if it's the presence of the text in a link that is the factor, or just the fact that the phrase is on the page at all.
12:15 pm on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The terms are competitive enough that I doubt it's the presence of the text. It's almost certainly the link that is the factor. No proof, and no intentions of turning it off to find out for sure :).
1:47 pm on Feb 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Fair enough :)
7:44 am on Feb 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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On my home page, I'm doing something kinda spammy. And by spammy, I mean it seems to work just fine thank you very much.


You sound surprised by this. There are lots of tactics you could use to rank well for local terms that increase rankings and also reduce risk tolerance against a manual review.

It's not that some of those types of things do not work. It is that often pushing the boundaries on those types of changes, when they are quite obviously not there for the consumer, can raise the amount of risk for the website. How much, remains to be seen.
1:05 pm on Feb 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You sound surprised by this.

I'm not big on onpage stuff. My pages are lucky if they've got a meta description.
There are lots of tactics you could use to rank well for local terms that increase rankings and also reduce risk tolerance against a manual review

I'm listening :).
11:02 am on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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In page navigation using "internal targets" or "bookmarks" is quite common for navigation within a page. These are certainly links which point to the same page. I wish Webmaster World would ad a # sign target to every posting. In that way we could all link to specific posts for references instead of pages.

Using descriptive text in the links makes perfect sense as an internal index list of a page's contents.

Perhaps Google is getting back to giving pages with LOTS of content higher rankings!

In this specific case trust could be significant. But the number one thing the makes a page rank highly in the long term is .....
12:27 pm on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Is this one of your main sites..or more of a test site? (just curious b/c the risk associated with it (not saying its an enormous risk))

In case you're doing it with one of your 'non-main sites'...are you taking all the necessary steps to make sure no SE in the world can tie that website to any other websites the same webmaster might have?;-)

not trying to say its the most important thing in the world - just wondering if others are as paranoid as myself hehe
1:11 pm on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I learned my lesson 5 years ago. If my guts says spammy, I don't do it. Regardless of results.

But I'm paranoid. Beyond what you could even imagine. ;-)
1:51 pm on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Interesting observation.

I know that Google does put more emphasis on keywords from the linked pages, more than the keywords on the page itself.

I'm off to make some changes ;)
1:53 pm on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This is my main site. Right smack on the home page.

I figured it was less spammy than blocks of "utah widgets, arizona widgets, colorado widgets" etc.


And it outranks sites that are targetting those terms very deliberately.
2:31 pm on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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But, why would you want to link a page to itself?


You might want to show how others have also found the page in SERPS and give them a link to try it out - perfectly legit content :)
3:54 pm on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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wheel, you had go and tell everybody :x
4:11 pm on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Breadcrumb self-refers. We all know how much Gorg likes to munch on and regurgitate the crumbs.
4:13 pm on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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How Wikipedia of you.
7:15 pm on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I wish Webmaster World would ad a # sign target to every posting


They do. Just add #msg then the post number to the thread url like

http://www.webmasterworld.com/link_development/4073010.htm#msg4075455
8:05 pm on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Agreed on breadcrumb: in nav all my pages have a href= "#" id="current" ... title="[you are here]" (or some such)
9:51 pm on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I'm assuming you mean you have a link to your homepage sitewide and are ADDING an extra link on the homepage with choice anchor text? If so...

Run a test, kill the link and see what happens.

I think you're ranking well because search believes you when you say the page is about red widgets, not because of the link but because A) the page text is about red widgets and B) your index page has the highest value on that domain which beats out other sites inner pages.
2:03 am on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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My take on this: "IT may work logically"

With one word mention and few links on broad terms like widget may bring results for keywords like "blue widgets"
4:50 am on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's worth testing. I'm supposing it lends keyword associations to a page, but no real ranking weight in of itself.
7:01 am on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think you're ranking well because search believes you when you say the page is about red widgets, not because of the link but because A) the page text is about red widgets and B) your index page has the highest value on that domain which beats out other sites inner pages.


It could be. Added to this , Google want's to strengthen the context of a page [ per the recent breadcrumb / snippet focus ] with better signals, and this may well be partly achieved by demonstrating a link heirarchy that loops back - it may have for a long time .

If the links are overdone , Google may see this as an abuse of context which may not pass their algo or a manual review. So apply it with " appropriateness " . Don't ask me the limits of this - maybe just do what Silvery suggests.

That's my take on it.
11:20 am on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks ogletree

They do. Just add #msg then the post number to the thread url like

A completely non-standard scripted way of doing it, but it does work. I just looked at the source code of a page in the past and found no "in page" #'d bookmarks.

When I searched for the capability on WW I did find a post from 2005
[webmasterworld.com...] mentioning using a message offset into the specific thread versus a specific unique post number.
[webmasterworld.com ]

The second link is formatted like this:
"/forum19/2415-4-10.htm#msg37,"
That seems to work too.

If WW just embedded links one could copy from each post this would be a classic example of a page linking to itself many times for a completely legitimate purpose.
5:11 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps what I should really be looking at is breadcrumbs, and what I've done is a variation on that.
10:32 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Google has recently been treating breadcrumb links a bit more advantageously in SERPs. Much like their "sitelinks" which appear below a listing, they're placing a page's breadcrumb links below the search result listing in some cases:

[googleblog.blogspot.com...]
4:22 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I saw yahoo result with a variation of self referencing links for one term. The links on page were the first few words of each paragraph and they linked to that paragraph with a good choice of anchor text.

I don't see that making the entire article rank more highly but if it ranks #1 those extra links in serps might help.

Making sure a search user finds what they want is tops for search engines but unfortunately that means the end user finds pages that are MOSTLY not what they wanted. Round and round we go.
4:33 am on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Why would this be "spammy", I wonder?

I don't see the spam in this. It's a normal feature of most/all blogs, and as mentioned above completely natural in breadcrumb systems.

Do we see blogs and sites with breadcrumbs consistently at the top of SERPS? ... not really, IMHO

Although I like the idea of a "high rank shortcut" just as much as everyone else, I would look for the reason for your higher rank somewhere else ;)

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Added: It doesn't have to be on-page; it could also be off-page/off-site factors. For that matter, it could be that some new filter hit your competition and missed you
5:12 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Would the same work for inner pages? Linking from the inner page to the same inner page?
6:27 am on Feb 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Why would this be "spammy", I wonder?


Would you consider the use of several links in a breadcrumb referal "Spammy" , beneficial or of no ranking consequence? e.g. where the link 1 & 2 child loops to the parent

Home> Widget> 1 Red Widget> 2 Red White Widget
This 40 message thread spans 2 pages: 40