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We have an automobile website with a product page for each bikes/cars available in the Indian market. The product page has product description and different slugs to show other relevant products too i.e.

1) Similar bikes/cars in that budget
2) Sponsored bikes/cars related to the bike/car customer is currently viewing
3) Similar bikes/cars with better mileage

There are cases where the same car/bike is coming in all the above 3 categories and we end up putting 3 links from this product page to another product page.

Does that hurt SEO i.e. a page linking to another page several times? If yes, how can we avoid this?

Also, Category 2 is a subset of Category 1. We still need to have two different slugs as Category 2 i.e. Sponsored content comes on the top while the other 2 category comes relatively low on the page.

Do such duplicate linkages hurt SEO? If yes, can be put no follow tag on sponsored products links to avoid this SEO penalty?

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Linking to the same page multiple times does not cause problems. From the experimenting I've done, Google just ignores the second link in terms of PageRank and anchor text.

Many sites duplicate navigation elements. I worked with a site that had some of the same links in the left navigation sidebar and in the header. They did user testing and found that experienced users used the left nav because it had more links. New users usually noticed the header links first and would be confused by the left nav. They couldn't remove either set of links without hurting user experience. Linking to the same page twice is very common and nothing to worry about, it won't cause problems.

Can you use nofollow on a duplicate link to avoid problems?

NO! -- Using nofollow on one duplicate link causes Google to treat all the duplicate links on that page as nofollow. Why? Because Google views nofollow as a sign that the link can't be trusted. If Google can't trust the link in one spot, they figure they can't trust it anywhere on the page. It will cause Google to treat all the duplicate links as if they were nofollow.

Google changed the way the nofollow works. They originally said that it causes Googlebot to ignore the link. Now it causes Googlebot to throw away the PageRank that would otherwise be passed through the link. Because of this, there is no value in using nofollow on any internal links on your site. In may cases, doing so can hurt.

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