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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru Rebirth Studios's Avatar
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    Question Multiple Links to the Same Page

    I've wondered about this for a while and I'm asking now because I'm working on an additional section to my company's website.

    The section's objective is sending people to a product, but for SEO purposes, we're including a footer. It currently has the company name linking to the homepage and then the company name followed by a few products, which would be linked to their corresponding product pages.

    My question is, which way is best?

    1.) send them to each product page individually
    2.) one long link incorporating all of the keywords,
    3.) or by sending each product keyword to the homepage
    1. Acme | Exploding Boxes, Bird Seed, Missles
    2. Acme | Exploding Boxes, Bird Seed, Missles
    3. Acme | Exploding Boxes, Bird Seed, Missles
    My inclination is #1. I've seen #3 quite a bit around the web and particularly here in forum signatures where people have like 5 different sets of links to the same page.

    Obviously we want to send our targeted keywords back to the homepage, but not at the expense of being spammy. Particularly since they're all listed consecutively.

    The amount of pages will be considerable, so I want to get it right the first time.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I'd go for #1 as well.

  3. #3
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    Definately # 1. Take SEO out of it and think what is best for visitors. Because that is usually best for search engines too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akdiver View Post
    Definately # 1. Take SEO out of it and think what is best for visitors. Because that is usually best for search engines too.
    Yeah but if you know what search engines think is best for visitors, you can use that info to your advantage. It's a big bad world out there and taking advantage is a survival behaviour.

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    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    Yeah but if you know what search engines think is best for visitors, you can use that info to your advantage. It's a big bad world out there and taking advantage is a survival behaviour.
    Actually search engines figure out what is best for visitors by how visitors react when they see your pages (A.K.A. linking to your pages). That's what we mean when we say cater to your users and the search engines will benefit as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    Actually search engines figure out what is best for visitors by how visitors react when they see your pages (A.K.A. linking to your pages). That's what we mean when we say cater to your users and the search engines will benefit as well.
    Seriously Stymiee, you don't need to preach to me about catering to users. I'm a professional and ethical website developer, not a spam merchant. If you will accept that then we can save a lot of time you would have spent needlessly trying to get that across to me.

    The SEO guidelines/rules come from Google (I'm only really concerned about Google right now) because that's the only way they can influence the design of sites, so if that's how they want websites designed then I'm going to do the best job I can of it because it benefits Google, my clients and ultimately me too.

    Google have had a massive influence on the way websites are built these days, you want to throw that out of the window and go back to the days when there were no standards? What level of (white hat) SEO is acceptable to you?

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard
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    JJMcClure, if you would listen to what stymiee said instead of taking offense to it every time, then he wouldn't have to repeat it every time you post.

    Simply create your content for your users. You don't need to be so focused on SEO. When I create websites, I create them without ever worrying about SEs, and I'll usually look at it and be like "the search engines will probably like this".

    Make your site the best for your users and the search engines will follow.

    Now, more to the topic, I agree with #1 as well. I think it'd be the best method for your users.

  8. #8
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    Seriously Stymiee, you don't need to preach to me about catering to users. I'm a professional and ethical website developer, not a spam merchant. If you will accept that then we can save a lot of time you would have spent trying to get that across to me needlessly.

    The SEO guidelines/rules come from Google (I'm only really concerned about Google right now) because that's the only way they can influence the design of sites, so if that's how they want websites designed then I'm going to do the best job I can of it because it benefits Google, my clients and ultimately me too.
    I'm not preaching. I'm explaining a very basic and important aspect of SEO. Search engines can't decipher what is a good for a user by reading a page. We haven't reached that level of AI yet. How they do it is by looking at factors that tell them what is relevant and what isn't. Inbound links is a huge factor in that and they are controlled 100% exclusively by users. That's why we all say to write great content and to write for users. Because they are the ones who tell the search engines what is relevant and what is not. That's the basic concept that separates the successful webmasters form the newbies who chase PR and meta tags.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    What level of (white hat) SEO is acceptable to you?
    It's all white hat for me. That's why my sites only ever go up and you never hear me complain about any changes Google makes. I write great content and place it in a search engine friendly website. I then promote it patiently and am never dissatisfied with the results. Gimmicks and tricks are for the unsuccessful.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    JJMcClure, if you would listen to what stymiee said instead of taking offense to it every time, then he wouldn't have to repeat it every time you post.
    I don't take offense every time, I'm taking offense at a particular attitude that is prevalent on this forum and surfaces every time someone tries to figure out exactly what the SEO rules are. That if people stopped worrying about 'gaming' search engines and concentrated on the user, the world would be a better place.

    We wouldn't be in the situation we're in now if that were the case.

    Google made the rules by trying to influence how sites were built back in the day. It's their game, they invented it. You can't blame me for wanting to get good at it.

    'Cater to the user' is great advice but it's not the answer to almost every SEO question asked on here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    I write great content and place it in a search engine friendly website. I then promote it patiently and am never dissatisfied with the results. Gimmicks and tricks are for the unsuccessful.
    So you do use your SEO knowledge to improve your chances of ranking well on search engines. Exactly what I'm trying to do ....... ethically.

    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    Gimmicks and tricks are for the unsuccessful.
    I totally agree. Are we done with this now?

  11. #11
    Object Not Found junjun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    That's why we all say to write great content and to write for users. Because they are the ones who tell the search engines what is relevant and what is not. That's the basic concept that separates the successful webmasters form the newbies who chase PR and meta tags.
    Amen!

  12. #12
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    A search engine friendly website, as stymiee was referring to, has nothing to do with content. It has to do with semantic-compliant usage of markup, such as headers, anchors, and other elements and headers and links that describe the content without trying to flood it with extra keywords.

    Remember, search engines are always evolving and are always trying to prevent people from "gaming" their system in any ways. As soon as some method comes up that helps get higher search rankings without providing better content for your users, they're already making it so that method is doesn't help much anymore.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    A search engine friendly website, as stymiee was referring to, has nothing to do with content. It has to do with semantic-compliant usage of markup, such as headers, anchors, and other elements and headers and links that describe the content without trying to flood it with extra keywords.
    That's all I'm talking about too.

    If 3.5% was actually a density that Google preferred, it wouldn't exactly be 'flooding' the page with keywords would it. 3 keywords in every 100 words including links, headings, content text and title? Seems like a fairly natural amount to me which is probably why it's come about and is considered the maximum. IMHO.

    Until I have a better feel for it through years of experience, I'll use it as a rule of thumb to avoid accidental penalties.

  14. #14
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    'Cater to the user' is great advice but it's not the answer to almost every SEO question asked on here.
    Not almost everyone but most of them and the really important ones to boot. As the competitiveness of a search term increases the more important content becomes and the less important other factors become. This is because the content gets what you need to compete on a higher level: quality links. You can optimize your site to perfection and rank poorly because that optimized site doesn't contain link-worthy content. As Google and the other search engines crack down on spam and other forms of manipulation the focus on content and its ability to get links grows more and more important.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    So you do use your SEO knowledge to improve your chances of ranking well on search engines. Exactly what I'm trying to do ....... ethically.
    But you're focusing on the wrong areas. Yes, you should be aware of what on page factors are important. But it seems you readily dismiss content as being important for SEO and by doing so you're missing the larger picture. Great content will do more for your website then keyword density no matter how you look at it. That's all we're trying to say. (Well that and there is no magic keyword density number and if there was you can't determine what it is and it probably has so little weight it isn't worth dedicating any time to).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    But you're focusing on the wrong areas. Yes, you should be aware of what on page factors are important. But it seems you readily dismiss content as being important for SEO and by doing so you're missing the larger picture. Great content will do more for your website then keyword density no matter how you look at it. That's all we're trying to say. (Well that and there is no magic keyword density number and if there was you can't determine what it is and it probably has so little weight it isn't worth dedicating any time to).
    Perhaps the misunderstanding that's happened here is due to the fact that I don't mention content because to me it goes without saying that the content should be genuinely useful and that the users experience of it being as natural as possible is of paramount importance.

    I agree with you 100% about content. That's the base position from which I've always worked in web design.

    I'm not the dodgy car dealer who tries to sell junk that looks ok but is about to fall apart, I'm the guy with the faithfully restored classic which runs as good as it looks and I'm trying to figure out how to add nitro to it.

  16. #16
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Actually you don't come across as dodgy at all (at least to me). That would only occur if you asked about cloaking and landing pages and stuff like that.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    I'm taking offense at a particular attitude that is prevalent on this forum and surfaces every time someone tries to figure out exactly what the SEO rules are.
    Yeah, I noticed that too. For my part, I am also interested in figuring out SE rules. Not to best it or do some unethical tricks.

    On the other hand...

    The advantage of focusing on content, and designing for the human visitor instead of the search engine, is for the long run... The search engine changes its algorithms frequently, so designing based on known SE algorithms won't last long, but the benefits of designing for human visitors will.

    I also design websites based and focus on quality content, but that comes in more naturally. I am newer to SEO, compared to the former.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee View Post
    Actually you don't come across as dodgy at all (at least to me). That would only occur if you asked about cloaking and landing pages and stuff like that.
    Great, glad to hear it.

    I have to say though that you don't always come across as you mean to then, not just you, several of the more established members give the impression that if you're asking about SEO specifics, you intend to 'game' the search engines.

    And it doesn't seem to just be me goin by the post above this one. I've not noticed this on any of the other SEO forums I've been going on recently.

    Frankly, I'm going to take it as a good sign, perhaps the level of expertise on this forum is higher than any of the others.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Guru Rebirth Studios's Avatar
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    To follow up on my original question...

    As a general practice, is it best to just link to a page once from a given page, or in many cases where the page is long, would it be good to link several times, ensuring that the user is sufficiently given the option to get there?

    On paper, it's easy to see spammy techniques, but how do SE's view these kind of things?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebirth Studios View Post
    To follow up on my original question...

    As a general practice, is it best to just link to a page once from a given page, or in many cases where the page is long, would it be good to link several times, ensuring that the user is sufficiently given the option to get there?

    On paper, it's easy to see spammy techniques, but how do SE's view these kind of things?
    Sorry for hijacking the thread, it just evolved like that!

    I would go for option No.1. That way you have a relevant link to each product page from every other page and a link from every page to the home page if there wasn't one already. Should make it nice and easy for the spiders to crawl your site.

    Not sure if it's the optimum architecture for spreading PR around though but I wouldn't worry about that!

  21. #21
    Object Not Found junjun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebirth Studios View Post
    As a general practice, is it best to just link to a page once from a given page, or in many cases where the page is long, would it be good to link several times, ensuring that the user is sufficiently given the option to get there?
    I would do whatever seems natural and best for the user. If it's a blurb about an article, you might want to link both the header and a 'read more' link at the end of the blurb. I would use usability as a measurement. There's some SEO relevancy to how you internally link within your website (well alot actually if you you completely screw it up), but I think it would be best for the website to focus on what has a large impact on the site's success and not what might have little impact.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Guru Rebirth Studios's Avatar
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    Not sure if it's the optimum architecture for spreading PR around though but I wouldn't worry about that!
    Right, that was why I initially asked...

    As a general practice, is it best to just link to a page once from a given page, or in many cases where the page is long, would it be good to link several times, ensuring that the user is sufficiently given the option to get there?
    I wasn't asking this per my example, but as a general rule how a SE would interpret it.

    For example:
    Say if I have a 12 paragraph page with a link to the homepage occurring twice versus 12 times. Twice seems plausible for usability, whereas 12 might raise eyebrows. Does say Google have a beef with the amount of different links going to the same page or no?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebirth Studios View Post
    Right, that was why I initially asked...
    Sorry, your original post doesn't mention PR, just look it up.

    I would have thought that a standard tiered architecture is the best for funneling PR around logically and naturally. The more outgoing links you have on a page the more the PR gets divided up. But... PR won't help your search engine rankings so why are you doing it?


    Quote Originally Posted by Rebirth Studios View Post

    Say if I have a 12 paragraph page with a link to the homepage occurring twice versus 12 times. Twice seems plausible for usability, whereas 12 might raise eyebrows. Does say Google have a beef with the amount of different links going to the same page or no?
    Why would you have 12 links to your home page off one page? If it looks dodgy to you, it most likely looks dodgy to the search engines so don't do it.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Guru Rebirth Studios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    Why would you have 12 links to your home page off one page? If it looks dodgy to you, it most likely looks dodgy to the search engines so don't do it.
    The figure was purely hypothetical. But how does a search engine determine if it's dodgy? They're not human, so it must be some formula, right?

  25. #25
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebirth Studios View Post
    They're not human, so it must be some formula, right?
    Good luck finding it. That kind of information is definitely not publicly available.


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