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Exceptions from the first link counts rule

  • Post published on 27 Feb 2013 by Marta Gryszko

Most of us should now what the first link counts rule means. If the page A has more that 1 link to page B, Google counts only the first one and only its anchor text influences the rankings of page B. But do you know what are exceptions of this rule? Is it possible to make Google count anchor texts from 2 or 3 links from page A to page B?

Some time ago I did some tests and below you can see the results:

Test no. 1

Page A has 2 text links to page B, both are dofollow. In this case, Google follows only the first one and counts its anchor text.

Text no. 2

Page A has 2 links to page B – both are graphic links with alt attributes. Google follows only the first one and counts its alt attribute.

OK, those 1 situations are clear for us – if Google sees more than 1 link to the same page and these are either all text links, or graphic links, the rule works as we know it.

Test no. 3

Page A has 2 text links to page B – the first one is nofollow, and the second one is dofollow. The nofollow link which is displayed as the first, makes it impossible for Google to count the anchor text of the other link.

It’s quite important as those of us who are still used to use PR sculpting, may put nofollow to link such as “home page” and then put the second (dofollow) link to the same page in order to pass well optimized anchor text. That won’t work.

Test no. 4

Page A has 2 text links to page B – both are dofollow text links with different anchor texts but… they look like this:
I could also put there:
as I did all those tests on more domains and results were the same.

On the one hand, Google will index only and will ignore the rest part of address beginning with the “#” sign. But on the other hand, it’ll count all anchor texts from those links.

I already wrote a post about it over 2 years ago so you can check the details on SEOmoz. Now I see that nothing has changed till now so you can still pass a few anchor texts by linking from page A to page B. So, that’s one of the ways of how to break the first link counts rule.

I have some ideas to continue these tests and I’ll let you know about the results.

Marta Gryszko

I've been working on SEO since 2005, focusing on long-tail SEO. I'm a partner at Wake App - the owner of SEO tools such as SEO Station and Brandle. I also own a SEO company: INFEO Marta Gryszko. Follow me on Google+ and Twitter.

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