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Need Examples of Poor Use of site links

Specific examples of sites that abused internal links, and the damage done

     

ciaoenrico

6:50 pm on Jun 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



We have a client who has updated their own page with an enormous list of keyword phrases, linking to other pages on their site. They are not couched in any text, they are just a laundry list of keywords with links to the associated page.

This resulted in an increase in rankings for many of these pages. It turns out the person they had create their sitemap.xml file had done a poor job, and this stunt finally allowed Google to see their other content.

But now I am trying to convince them to replace this list with relevant content that contains these terms. Has anyone heard of other sites that have done this and then saw huge drops in rankings? Sort of a rotten tomato of site links? If you can just leave a name of a site I can find it - know this is a long shot, but have to try.

I really want to get them to make a more visitor friendly version of these links before they get punished. And I have already tried to sway them with the argument that this list offers visitors no value, as it is too long to sift through - but they are very cynical about SEO and only care if it gets them rankings.

pageoneresults

7:17 pm on Jun 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



We have a client who has updated their own page with an enormous list of keyword phrases, linking to other pages on their site. They are not couched in any text, they are just a laundry list of keywords with links to the associated page.

Yuck! What a mess to be thrown into. Now you have to make a decision...

This resulted in an increase in rankings for many of these pages.

Are we sure of that? We're there any other activities that occurred at the same time these links were included? Usually there are. Unless you were in a "controlled" environment, it may be difficult to pinpoint that one. But, your statistics may prove me wrong. ;)

But now I am trying to convince them to replace this list with relevant content that contains these terms.

Hmmm, precarious situation. If you redo that original laundry list, what happens? From my experience, it can only benefit. But, there are other things that need to happen at the same time to make sure that the laundry list is not responsible for the "flow" of PR through the site. If it has now become the "navigational" flow for the bots, reworking that becomes a challenge.

Has anyone heard of other sites that have done this and then saw huge drops in rankings?

I think that would be common in this scenario. They took the existing flow and "disrupted" it. Maybe they had 10 links there before distributing PR3 across a shallow structure. Change that to 100 links across any structure with only PR3 and it may upset the tide.

If you can just leave a name of a site I can find it - know this is a long shot, but have to try.

Ummm, that would violate the WebmasterWorld TOS so we'll refrain from mentioning any specific sites. I can think of one industry where this is common and that would be Real Estate. What a mess they have on their hands.

I really want to get them to make a more visitor friendly version of these links before they get punished.

Before? It may be too late now. How long have they been there now?

But they are very cynical about SEO and only care if it gets them rankings.

Yikes! I'll take it that is what "you" would expect in this client's industry? If so, you've got your work cut out for you.