Matt Cutts On Penguin And Internal Links

    April 16, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

In the latest Webmaster Help video from Google, Matt Cutts responds to a question about Penguin’s effect on internal links that use the same anchor text. The exact question is:

Do internal website links with exact match keyword anchor text hurt a website? These link help our users navigate our website properly. Are too many internal links with the same anchor text likely to result in a ranking downgrade because of Penguin?

“My answer is typically not,” says Cutts. “Typically, internal website links will not cause you any sort of trouble. Now, the reason why I say ‘typically not’ rather than a hard ‘no’ is just because as soon as I say a hard ‘no’ there will be someone who has like five thousand links – all with the exact same anchor text on one page. But if you have a normal site, you know…a catalog site or whatever…. you’ve got breadcrumbs…you’ve got a normal template there…that’s just the way that people find their way around the site, and navigate, you should be totally fine.”

He continues. “You might end up, because of breadcrumbs or the internal structured navigation, with a bunch of links that all say the same thing, that point to one page, but as long as that’s all within the same domain, just on-site links, you know, that’s the sort of thing where, because of the nature of you having a template, and you have many pages, it’s kind of expected that you’ll have a lot of links that all have that same anchor text that point to a given page.”

Long story short, this isn’t an issue you should have to worry about. Like with everything else, just don’t abuse it and make it an issue.

  • http://www.xponex.com John Beagle

    I was hoping to hear more about Penguin.

  • Robert

    it talks about nothing. If you get links from wikipedia/coca cola/etc – your business grow, if not – you will go offline. It easy as is.
    google kills all internet freedom, if some small niche specialist will create blog, no any ranking expected. Because negative seo, penalties for any kind of links which even out of webmaster control.

    Why need to post site updates now??? Anyway no ranking expected, peoples who know this guy/site can ask webmaster directly and him will post/create new article when him want it, but not when google expect it.

    Also panda will eat website because ‘him put some incorrect html tag’ or ‘used to small % of lsi’ or something else. Later penguin will come and tell some bad guy put link to your site, but because him put not naked link – we going to apply penalty to your small but nice site.

  • Nick

    I don’t believe what he says in this video. I had the WordPress recent posts widget on my site. My recent posts were showing up in the widget with my post titles as the anchor text. After the pages were indexed, they were at least ranking for my exact title.

    However, after Webmaster Tools picked up these internal links from my recent posts widget on a bunch of blog articles (and not an extreme number like he says in the video, more like 100 links) with the same title anchor text, those pages were wiped out of any search results.

    Those links were dofollow, which could have been the problem and Penguin crushed those pages. So maybe make sure those exact anchor text links showing up on a lot of your pages have the nofollow tag?

    What sucks is that the recent posts widget is good for users because it gives them more content to click on your site. Too bad Google thinks otherwise, so I removed the widget.

    Since then, I have posted other articles without that widget, and the pages rank fine for the keywords.

  • http://www.vacuumspot.com.au Alec Nelson

    I think here what he is really saying (as always) is that as long as your page is still good reading and isn’t overtly spammy the links are going to be fine. Our website uses a couple of anchor text keywords to navigate to appropriate related products and when we take the time to actually reformat a page with good quality descriptions and links we generally see an increase in ranking but more importantly an increase in sales.

  • Nic

    Is only talking about “navigation links” cause by template (breadcrumb and navigation menu), but he’s avoiding the in-content link inside a blog post directing to another one.

    I believe that it has an influence for which keywords you are ranking for, therefore having the exact same anchor text from “inside a blog post” will result in some over-optimisation penalty (that’s why you have to avoid plugins that links internally automatically using same anchor text).

    Another great example from Matt Cutts answering only a small part of the question!

  • http://lovingaerons.com/best-sellers-focus-chair-with-mesh-back-and-leatherette/ Minka Kelly

    I am glad to hear Matt Cutts answer. Link has always been a crucial problem in every page of the site. Do weyou have to use anchor text can be the same or vary for all the links. I am very pleased with the variety, although less powerful punch as the same anchor text for all the links. It is convenient for readers. Thank you.

  • http://www.foot-pain-explained.com Marc

    Take the article at face value and stop trying to read in to it. Internal linking will not hurt your site as long as you do not try to game the system.

  • http://www.graciousstore.com Nina

    I don’t see any problem here with internal links

  • mark

    Hi, I noticed Nic mentioned about blogs or articles that link to other INTERNAL webpages or articles using keywords. I cant see why this would cause a problem, as they are internal links and if the articles are about the keywords then this shouldnt be an issue. I understand Matt cleverly advoided answering this one.

    I can’t beleive that they would have different rules for different sites. Why would they let wikipedia get away with linking to hundreds of internal pages on every page using keywords and punish others? Wikipedia’s popularity is based around this method and other people using this method shouldnt be punished for it.

    As long as you dont overdo it and have 100’s of keywords highlighted per page.

    It would be great to get Matt to directly answer this one, but I very much doubt he will.

  • http://www.lizmy.com tiky

    I agree with his point of view hope to hear more from him!

  • http://www.servicelaptop.net Catalin

    Something happens with my domain and I don’t know. I have a 2 years old domain , one yeat ago i was on the firs page on search, i have one domain keyword. After what happend ( pinguin stuff ) i don`t find my website on search. I saw a lot of new websites on the first page , with a low Page Authority and Page Authority. So i can say that the content it`s not enough. What happend with google in last years ? It`s a real mess….

  • http://www.searcheccentric.com/ Faisal Kaleem

    i believe that we need to use i frame for footer links that will save game.

    Google never recognize i frame links and we can maintain our navigation for huge site also.