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When not to link

Fergus Clawson

When not to link

I want you to imagine the following example of a website, which I come across far too often:

The site has a homepage focused on a handful of terms. This then links to other pages that each concentrate on one of these key terms. All text with mentions of key phrases on the homepage are therefore linked to these other pages. The homepage is used as the landing page for a link building campaign, yet doesn’t perform that well.  Website owner isn’t happy.

It is a classic mistake – one I like to call a case of ‘confused landing page strategy aggravated by misappropriation of internal links’. (‘Geek!’)

I’ll explain.

Firstly, you should never have more than one page concentrating on a key phrase/term. This causes conflict and dilution of focus. Big no-no.

Secondly, Google does not read links in the same way as it reads normal text. Google assigns anchor text to the page that the anchor text links to. The page that contains the anchor text does not gain the benefit of the mention of the phrase. Therefore the page that is linked to is seen as being relevant to the phrase whereas that page that contains the link is not.

So in the case of the example mentioned, the homepage is the focus of a load of links yet effectively has no mentions of any key phrases on the page – as all mentions are linked to other pages. Result? Google says SPAM.

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