Does the next iteration of Penguin make you feel anxious about all of your site links? Even if you’re confident you haven’t paid for them? Even if they’re coming from your own domain? In a new Webmaster Central video, Cutts confirmed that internal website links using the same anchor text typically won’t hurt a site in the face of Penguin, as long as these links are aimed at making navigation simpler for users.
Google has long advised brands that SEO success is born out of creating great user experiences (and the same rules apply for content marketing). With Panda and Penguin working hard to keep sites honest, even some of the marketers focusing on content for their audiences and following traditionally white hat SEO tactics are growing paranoid about disappearing from SERPs. But breadcrumb structures resulting in internal links with a lot of the same anchor text are one thing site owners shouldn’t sweat, Cutts said. [Watch the video below.]
While he was careful to mention that there are always extreme cases subject to penalty (“There will always be someone with 5,000 links all with the exact same anchor text on one page.”), Google recognizes that certain types of navigational structures can naturally yield a lot of links to a single page using the same text. “As long as that’s all within the same domain, that’s just on-site links – and the nature of having a template and many pages makes it kind of expected that you’ll have a lot links with the same anchor text that point to a given page.”
Cutts’ video is quite timely, as he spoke candidly last month about the next version of Penguin – predicting it will be “one of the the biggest algorithms of the year.” While content writers should still be conscious of using variety when it comes to blogs or articles with manual links on keywords (and keyword use in general), Cutts’ insight may alleviate concerns for brands that want to maintain intuitive navigation options without taking an SEO hit.