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We are building a review based website. We were currently building internal links to improve our SEO. From the information available on moz, it is mentioned that having the same anchor text from various pages can lead to google penalizing your website. This is what I read " If too many of a site's inbound links contain the exact same anchor text, it can start to appear suspicious, and is often a sign that the links weren’t acquired naturally."

In our case multiple listings will be tagged under the same category. For example Listing 1 and Listing 2 are both Lounge Bars. On both these pages in the 'Tagged Under'(lower down the page) section, there is a link to the list of lounge bars which uses the anchor text 'Lounge Bars Dubai'. There might be 30 other Lounge bars in the same city, so it is possible that our website might have 30 internal links to the same page with the same anchor text. Is the currently internal linking structure of ours going to be considered a bad practice. If so, what can be the alternative keyword to have the internal link to the list of Lounge bars. Any other inputs will are welcome. Thanks in advance.

  • Just for the record, inbound links are back links. Internally, this is not as much of a problem. However, there are some immediate limits that come to mind. Links should not exceed 15% of the pages content and not more than, say, about 100 links per page if that. As well, if you have 30 links to the same page, that would be alright if they are spread-out over other pages and not on the same page. – closetnoc Jan 6 '15 at 15:06
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Having many interal links to any single page that has the same anchor text is fine. On this site, almost every link to a question will have anchor text of the title of the question. Repeated anchor text just indicates that the site is powered by a database. There is no penalty for having a database driven site. It is a very common case.

There are some cases where anchor text can get you into trouble internally. Repeating the same words in a list of links is really bad SEO these days. Consider the following list of links:

  • Lounge Bars Dubai
  • Lounge Bars Paris
  • Lounge Bars Copenhagen
  • Lounge Bars New York
  • Lounge Bars Taiwan

That looks really spammy. Users are not going to appreciate that. Something like this looks much better:

Lounge bars in other cities

  • Dubai
  • Paris
  • Copenhagen
  • New York
  • Taiwan

A few years ago, internal anchor text was very important. It was best when it matched the pages that it was pointing to. To rank well you had to use "Lounge Bars Dubai" as your anchor text on links to those pages.

That is no longer the case. Internal anchor text doesn't count for much of anything these days as far as I can tell. Only anchor text from external links seems to have any keyword weight.

In fact, Google has started to penalize spammy repetition more. You are much more likely to penalized for keyword stuffing than get a boost for exact match anchor text if your list of links looks like the first one.

I would also recommend putting no more than 10 items in any list of links. Users almost never use more links than that in a list. Long lists of links are another sign of spam.

  • Thank you. I highly doubt we would have such similar kind of keywords. We might have more than 10 links under tagged under, but they will be varying to a good extent in terms of context. For example Lounge Bars, Night Parties, Cocktails, Live Music, etc. Will that still be a bad practice or should we stick to a max of 10-15 links? – Maxim Dsouza Jan 7 '15 at 6:25
  • Users can digest and understand lists of links better when they are smaller. Splitting large lists into smaller lists makes them easier to read. – Stephen Ostermiller Jan 7 '15 at 10:48
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If you have a dynamic website such are yours, naturally, you're going to have a lot of internal links with the same anchor text.

As long as you're providing descriptive and useful content on the page and not trying any blackhat tactics, you should be fine.

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