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I have a site that uses a lot of the same anchor text. For example, "read full story".

When I do an SEO audit for my site, I find that these are my most frequent keywords, but I am not trying to rank for these "common" keywords.

Is there a way to exclude them or weight them in such a way that Google (and other search engines) do not think these are the main keywords for any particular page on my site?

  • They don't think they are the main keywords for your site. Every page ranks individually and can rank for an unlimited amount of keywords. The main content on that page and incoming links will affect those pages' rankings more than that one snippet/link. – John Conde Dec 10 '14 at 18:34
  • Generally speaking, these lists of site keywords really end-up being useless. @JohnConde is right. I do not even like the Google Webmaster Tools list. There is not one keyword on that list that has returned a search user in the past 2+ years. But at the same time, you do not want links like this even though search engines know how to handle them. I always use the target page title tag or h1 tag for the link text. Of course I follow that up with read more... no one is perfect! – closetnoc Dec 10 '14 at 19:36
  • @closetnoc "I do not even like the Google Webmaster Tools list". Are you referring to the Queries Report or Content Keywords Report in GWT? – dasickle Dec 11 '14 at 3:50
  • @dasickle It was just a comment on these kinds of lists in general, but yes, I was referring to the Google Webmasters Tools Content Keyword list. It can be misleading as is the various density tools, keyword sites and so on. I am not saying there is no purpose for these lists, I assume there is, they just do not seem to apply nearly as much as people feel they do. In short- I see SEO sites of all stripes (but not all of course) leading poor folks down rabbit-holes instead of really helping them get a handle on what can be a really tough thing to figure out- how to rank their site. – closetnoc Dec 11 '14 at 4:13
  • @closetnoc Got it. I am with you on this and barely look at those myself but I did find "There is not one keyword on that list that has returned a search user in the past 2+ years." interesting. – dasickle Dec 11 '14 at 4:22
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I think you answered your own question in the first statement.

Using the same anchor text for a lot of your links is not a good idea. Instead, try using something more descriptive. However, this is very common so I would not get fixated on this unless your entire page says nothing but "read more". Search engines are smart enough to recognize that "Read More" is not your primary keyword.

Based on your description this is blog type website with article exerts. Make sure that instead of using "read more" to link to your articles you hyperlink the titles AND make sure that your titles are properly optimized. Having articles that are closely related to a particular subject is also key for relevancy so "bundled" your articles by subject.

Also, I would concentrate on optimizing the following:

1) Page Title + Meta Title

2) Page Header (h1,h2)

3) Page Intro paragraph + Meta Description

Lastly, sounds to me like your SEO audit is being done using one of those free tools. They can often be misleading.

Have you checked your Google Webmaster Tools account to see what queries are coming up? If you linked your GTW account with your Google Analytics account you can look under Acquisitions --> Search Engine Optimization --> Queries. This will give you a better idea of how people are finding you in search.

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Using a word many times on your site does not help you rank for it. Nor does Google determine what your website is about based on which words you use most.

One of my sites uses the word "rectangle" four times on every single page. It is the text about different sizes of images to download. My site isn't about rectangles. Google knows my site isn't about rectangles.

Google determines what your site is about from the words that you use prominently on the page (titles and headings) and from the context of the inbound links that you get.

When words are very common, Google expects sites to use them. Many blogs have "full article" all over them. When your site is similar to other sites that are ranking well, you won't have any problems using the same techniques.

There is no problem with using common words on lots of pages on your site. You don't need to worry about hiding these keywords or getting Google to put less weight on them.

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