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List Internal Links Bottom Website After Penguin Update


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12 replies to this topic

#1 seobarry

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 01:48 AM

For a website which contains close to 1500 pages we have near the bottom of the website (on every page) a box with 45 links to the most useful pages of the website. The idea of this box is that visitors that read an article or page on the site and have scrolled down, can easily find great articles/pages in that box and click the corresponding link so that they can read on and remain on the website.
The idea of this box is thus purely navigational and for usability and we didn't add it for SEO purposes.
The anchor texts of the links are not spammy but obviously contain a main keyword (one word) for the page they are pointing too, as that comes just natural, it is of course very logical to link with such a word because it is in the title of the page as well and it is simply the best way of letting the users know what they can expect when clicking the link.
The box with link is the same on every page, and so are thus the anchor texts of the links.

This means that these 45 pages linked from this box have now an internal link with the same anchor text pointing to them from every page of the website. Additionally, some of these pages are linked from the main menu as well as from the sidebar, which means that some of them are linked twice from every page of the website, and a few of them almost 3 times from each page of the website.

I want to stress that none of this has been done for SEO, but in the light of the recent penguin update I guess it could look bad to Google? They might mistakenly think that this is internal link spam?
What do you think, would there be a chance that Google sees it this way?

I have been thinking how to prevent Google from misinterpreting all this. One way would of course be to completely remove the box with the link but I don't prefer this as it is a nice navigational function used by quite a few users.
I have also considered making the box "not crawalable" for search engines. I could for example make the box load with Ajax/JS and then in a way that hopefully Google wouldn't crawl it. However, this could then maybe be interpreted as cloaking? After all, it would be in some sense hiding a bit of content from Google.

Maybe there are other/better ways to deal with this? And ideas?

Thanks!

#2 chrishirst

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 06:37 AM

The idea of this box is that visitors that read an article or page on the site and have scrolled down, can easily find great articles/pages in that box and click the corresponding link so that they can read on and remain on the website.


In that case what's your problem??

#3 Jill

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 07:56 AM

If you haven't been hit with a penalty, then I wouldn't worry about it. Although you may want to do some checking to see if people ar actually clicking those links. They may be less useful than you think.

#4 qwerty

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:15 AM

Are these 45 links just sitting there in one big clump or are they organized somehow with headings or tabs? If this is really just for users (and I'm not suggesting there's anything else behind your intentions), it wouldn't surprise me if there were usability issues with having so many of them.

It might make more sense to users (and yes, to search engines too) if you considered what people on a given page would be most interested in seeing and break up the links into a number of different server-side includes. That way, you could decide that Page A's readers would be interested in the links in one grouping and Page B's readers might be interested in a different group.

#5 chrishirst

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 02:36 PM

And you could get your users to tell you what they like and which links they click on from any particular page by tracking the clicks.

#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:15 AM

I don't care what the search engines think. Users do NOT like huge lists of links. You would do better to give them a prominently placed search box that allows them to specify what they want to find.

#7 chrishirst

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:34 AM

1
: the act or fact of being raised in position or rank :

2
: the act of furthering the growth or development of something; especially : the furtherance of the acceptance and sale of merchandise through advertising, publicity, or discounting


http://www.merriam-w...onary/promotion

How do BOTH of those definitions not describe precisely how search engines use links.

Post links somewhere and you are telling others about the presence of the document (advertising or promoting it) at the other end of the link and if more people accepted that fact there wouldn't be as much confusion and mis-information about "link building!!

#8 trishH

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:58 AM

I have internal links on the bottom of all my websites pages too. Reason being I have an ipad, and I noticed that the flyouts from my navigation menu don't work well on a touch screen. Rather than have visitors not know what's on the rest of the site, I've listed all the pages (as well as providing a sitemap for humans).

Since last Friday (11th May) I lost my No 1 slot for one of my main keywords - I'm now showing at the bottom of the first page instead. I'd hate to think that what I put on for humans has made Google penalise me!

Has anyone else noticed something strange happening from last week? I thought I'd escaped Google's black and white animal blitz!

#9 Mikl

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 08:01 AM

Instead of having the same 45 links on every page, wouldn't it be better to have just four or five links, with each set of links pointing to subject matter that is directly relevant to the page in question? In other words, links to "More articles like this".

I realise this will mean more work up front, but a decent content management system should be able to handle it.

Mike
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#10 seobarry

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:33 PM

thanks for all the useful answers!
A lot of you guys indicate that it might be better to tailor the links at the bottom to the article on the page rather than showing the same links on each page. This could definitely be an option, so I will consider this.

However, if it would make sense for this site to keep still a good number of links at the bottom that are the same on each page. What do you think? Could Google misinterpret this then as internal link spam?

#11 Michael Martinez

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:02 AM

thanks for all the useful answers!
A lot of you guys indicate that it might be better to tailor the links at the bottom to the article on the page rather than showing the same links on each page. This could definitely be an option, so I will consider this.

However, if it would make sense for this site to keep still a good number of links at the bottom that are the same on each page. What do you think? Could Google misinterpret this then as internal link spam?


Watch this video from Google Webspam Team leader Matt Cutts. Then make the call for yourself. We can only share opinions. You're not asking about "tag clouds" but a pack of links is a pack of links.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYPX_ZmhLqg

Edited by Michael Martinez, 16 May 2012 - 03:02 AM.


#12 1dmf

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:53 AM

I find Matts video interesting, as I see the use of 'tag clouds' being of no benefit what so ever to humans.

I certainly wouldn't click those spammy made for SE links on a website and all they do is take up valuable real estate that could be used for something of benefit for your visitor or a place for Real Content or even a user friendly GUI to navigate or search your site better as Michael suggests.

OK Matt discourages them and doesn't use them, but won't say out right, it's rubbish, has no value to humans, don't do it!

#13 clandestino

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:49 AM

However, if it would make sense for this site to keep still a good number of links at the bottom that are the same on each page. What do you think? Could Google misinterpret this then as internal link spam?


You could nofollow them. Most people think they have little link value anyway. I removed the footers on all my sites -- no effect on rankings.

You had mentioned using javascript so Google wouldn't follow your footer links. This was interesting on that point, it was just posted yesterday -- http://news.ycombina...item?id=3979701

Edited by ChuckFinley, 18 May 2012 - 11:50 AM.





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