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My website is about collections of photos at clubs. I have a two-column design where one column is narrow and has the same information on every page and the other column has information specific to the page the user requests.

On the narrow column, there are links to different sections of the site with generic names underneath, and there are five links to five new photo galleries.

In order for no search-engine spam filter to go off, I worded my photo gallery links so that the words do not cause keyword stuffing on any page. For example, I named a photo gallery link as "Newest", "Brand new", "newer" etc instead of "Party venue photo Gallery 1", "Party venue photo Gallery 2", "Party venue photo Gallery 3" even tho the body of the page the links point to contains the party venue photo gallery.

Just from this message alone, you can see that the descriptive links will outweigh the rest of the document as each page is between 200 and 300 characters and having five links with the same name mean that they alone make up between 2.5 and 5% of keyword density and I'm afraid if I go higher, I might end up in google's spam books.

My other options to renaming the links would be to use the party venue name but sometimes the gallery publisher decides to have 3 to 5 consecutive albums of the same place. If I tried naming the links as the date of the pictures, then search engines might see the topic of the site as months.

So before anyone places this question "On hold", I want to know how one would approach making links with rich keywords in a two-column website where a portion of a common column changes daily and where the keyword density doesn't trigger a spam filter on any page.

  • Google does understand sidebars along with headers and footers and does not penalize you for duplicate content within these areas. Are you experiencing a specific problem that is taking you down this road?? I do recommend pushing these down in the HTML code. I had a site that performed extremely well with the same issues even before pushing the divs down in the HTML. – closetnoc May 5 '15 at 23:37
  • I'm looking at the financial aspect of it. The best names for the links are the names of the venues themselves but if I use specific terms, then I might not get enough advertisers and therefore less money. And my setup already has the common stuff further down in the HTML code. – Mike May 6 '15 at 1:22
  • Gotcha!! I have money terms in the middle of my content with h3 tags. This has changed my search results, but it also up'ed my RPM rather well. I am thinking of changing the h3's for a styled div or span. The idea was to perform in search as I had all along which was rather good considering how my site sucks, but put money terms that would attract higher bids for ad space. It is a balancing act. BTW- I was waiting to finish a bunch of updates to content, but then I decided to deploy my responsive template anyway and I am glad I did. Very light weight. – closetnoc May 6 '15 at 2:12
  • Maybe I need to style H1's then – Mike May 6 '15 at 2:33
  • Be careful. ;-) I just dropped my pipes in title tags test because it is far too easy to mess up your placement in the SERPs. This is why I am considering changing the h3s to something that is not a header tag. One thing I learned is that it is far better to let search engines pick your keywords than you picking your keywords. Okay. This may not be what your thinking of course. I am just saying be careful of changes. Style is one thing, but do not get too crazy changing important signals. BTW- my RPM went up while my user count dropped to just 1/4 of normal. – closetnoc May 6 '15 at 2:38
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I would keep the keywords in the first link or in the heading of the section and then omit any repeated words in subsequent links. For example:

  • Party venue photo gallery 1
  • gallery 2
  • gallery 3
  • gallery 4
  • gallery 5

OR

Party venue

  • gallery 1
  • gallery 2
  • gallery 3
  • gallery 4
  • gallery 5

Neither users nor Google like many links on a page that repeat many keywords. It would be even better if you could somehow describe the galleries in the links.

Party venue

  • DJ Joe night
  • Late night dancing
  • The dance floor
  • The club in late March
  • Crowded dance floor
  • Thank you but I have to go with what I know. I can't label something as a crowded dance floor if the floor isn't crowded. I don't want to lie to google and at the same time, the other people on my team don't give much info which I am aware is an ongoing problem. The problem I have with labeling links as "gallery 1", "gallery 2" ... is that the word gallery will appear on every page of the site at least 5x which can throw off keyword density, but I'll credit you for trying to find some good link names for me to use. – Mike May 6 '15 at 20:06
  • I've never found a case in which keyword density was an important factor for SEO. It just isn't something I would worry about. – Stephen Ostermiller May 6 '15 at 20:07
  • To me, its an issue because even though my link names could be improved, keyword density is ok for now, but I'm afraid if one keyword is overused, then my site could sound almost like a broken record and depending on how search engine bots handle it, I may be flagged. I never had a "manual action" applied to my site and don't want one in the future. – Mike May 6 '15 at 20:09
  • I've never seen manual action applied for overusing relevant keywords. Algorithmic keyword stuffing penalties tend to effect only searches for the keyword in question. So if you overuse "gallery" you will have trouble ranking for it, but not for other (probably more important) keywords. – Stephen Ostermiller May 6 '15 at 20:11
  • and that's the problem.... gallery is an often searched word. My only other way out is to show fewer newer galleries but that will result in user dis-satisfaction. – Mike May 6 '15 at 20:15

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