Easiest (and Fastest) SEO Fix You Will Ever See

By: Brian Horn on: May 4th, 2011 23 Comments

Its been a couple weeks since I gave a hard core SEO tip, so guess its time for a good one.

I want to show you an simple way to remedy a typical issue that leads lots of websites to not get the rankings that they could…that they really deserve.

The issue is that most web desingers have never even heard of something called “First Link Priority”. What sucks is that websites (in particular those with lots of pages) are hurting because they fail to address first link priority correctly.

But…it is VERY, VERY easy to repair on your current site(s) and to totally avoid going forward.

According to Leslie Rohde:

“The First Link Priority rule states that when a page links more than once to the same target page, Google will completely ignore all links after the first, often with negative SEO consequences.”

The problem is that most websites have their logo linking to their home page as the first link…or have the word “Home” as the first link. Then they try to link to their home page throughout the site with a rich anchor text link back to their home page.

But Google only sees the graphical link…which contains no anchor text. The subsequnet anchor text links are of no value at all. You’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity by wasting this first link without using anchor text (which is a valuable source of optimization).

This is important because the links you get from around the Internet are much, much harder to control. Usually you don’t get two links on a page other that your own site, so First Link Priority isn’t an issue.

But, almost all websites link to themselves at least twice, so almost 100% of the time, First Link Priority problems are happening within your own website.

This is actually a good thing, because internal linking is VERY easy to control.

How powerful can this be?

Say you have a 1000 page blog where every page on the site links to home using a logo at the top left. That’s 1000 links that have wasted a potential bump from using anchor text.

How can you fix it?

Use this method..or pass along to your web designer (courtesy of NobleSamurai.com):

Using CSS you can have a simple anchor with desired text and replace the text with an image.

HTML Required

<a href=”http://www.google.com” class=”logo”>Your link text</a>

CSS Required

.logo{
display:block;
text-indent:-1000em;
background: url(images/noble-samurai-logo.png) no-repeat 0 0;
width:90px;
height:90px;
}

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Brian Horn, of HornDog Search Marketing, is recognized by many as the "Glazer-Kennedy Secret Weapon", because of his role in helping not only Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer with search engine optimization and social media, but also many of the top Information Marketers in the world. Brian shares SEO tips for small businesses over at at his blog, BeOnPage1Blog.com.

    23 Responses

    1. Simple, but powerful tip that SO many websites are missing.

      Thanks, Brian!

    2. Small Business Marketer says:

      Thanks Brian for the share I kinda get what you’re saying, but am unclear on the solution. You don’t reference the class you created in the html. Are you saying to use CSS to control your site logo and add a link as opposed to creating the link in HTML? I’m just not getting it.

      Also, does that mean if I have a link in a post that links to another post or page (or even a different website) that I should ONLY link to that page/post/website once from another page or post? I am just a little unclear in what exactly you mean.

      Thanks again!

    3. Great information but i’m still unsure how to add this or where. I use WordPress and maintain my own site. I’ll take any SEO help I can get.

    4. Brian,

      This is a great tip, but some of use novice web (wannabe) masters may not know where to make these changes in our blogs. Is it in the theme CSS header? Or somewhere else?
      Is the html link put in as it is shown? And where do you put the html? Or do they both go together in a particular part of the theme CSS?

      Thanks,
      John

    5. Kelvin says:

      thanks for sharing, very practical tip

    6. Scott Martin says:

      Thank for the tip–I’m redoing my site, so the timing is BRILLIANT.

    7. Richard says:

      Hi there

      I was forwarded this in an email and asked if I understand it.

      The whole email is based on the statement “The First Link Priority rule states that when a page links more than once to the same target page, Google will completely ignore all links after the first, often with negative SEO consequences.”

      This statement says that “if you have multiple instances of the SAME link, Google will only refer to the first one”

      What then is this fix about? By changing the link from text to image, you do not remove the link. Google still sees the link. It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether it is linked to an image or text. There are still two links on the page, so you still have only one link being referred to instead of 2, which this article seems to be implying you can work around.

      This fix does not fool google. The CSS only removes the text from the viewers screen, not from the Googlebots.

      If there are indeed negative consequences for having multiple references to the same link then most websites are screwed and this fix, does not help them so why tell people that it does?

    8. Richard,
      Read the article again. It is removing the graphical link and inputting the text so that google will see it.

    9. Richard says:

      The coding that has been suggested is just standard web coding. It is against all web conventions to place the image in the HTML anyway; all images should be referred to in the CSS.

      The quote “The First Link Priority rule states that when a page links more than once to the same target page, Google will completely ignore all links after the first, often with negative SEO consequences.” has nothing to do with that.

      If you have a link on your logo to the home page “myWebsite.html” then a link to “home” in the navigation “myWebsite.html” Google will only count one of these references, not two…. “completely ignoring all links after the first”.

      This suggested code DOES NOT change the fact that you have more than 1 link on the same page. You would still have 2 links. and so Google would only count the first reference according to the statement quoted.

      The quote does not talk about swapping graphics and text around. It says “don’t bother trying to put many instances of the same link in your pages, because Google will slap you”.

      This makes sense: Some people might think that by having lots and lots of the same link on a page that it will increase their ranking, but it wont, because Google will only count the first one. It is likely that if you have a large amount of the same link, that they will penalize you because it looks like you are trying to cheat your way to the top.

      As I stated before: this fix DOES NOT change the fact that you have more than one instance of the same link.

    10. I agree with that, but I believe the point is that instead of that first link being a graphical one, it should be text. That way it can be changed from page to page, in turn broadening the keyword base.

      It’s not changing the first link issue, it’s just making the first link count.

    11. Brian says:

      It is a text link when Google sees it. The CSS call in the link just shows the site visitor the graphic, but the SE sees the text link.

    12. Richard says:

      OK, so the question now is:

      what does: “The First Link Priority rule states that when a page links more than once to the same target page, Google will completely ignore all links after the first, often with negative SEO consequences.”

      Have to do with any of this other stuff?

      If this issue is about gaining extra SEO points, it has nothing to do with multiple links being displayed on the same page and thus the whole page becomes a heap of unrelated confusion.

      This statement by Leslie Rohde is about preventing negative consequences, or in the very least, saving you time by stopping you from flooding your page with the same link over and over (as Google only sees the first one).

      I guess the real question is this:

      If Google are ignoring every link after the first, do they just ignore the link, or the whole line of code that is working with the link?

      Does it ignore:

      Your link text

      or just

      http://www.google.com ?

      If they don’t ignore the whole lot then you could add masses of hidden code by hiding the text with the CSS: “text-indent:-1000em” will just take it all off screen.

      If this is what the real story is here, why not just put a whole heap of key words in the code and hide it all with the CSS? Why bother to connect it with the hyperlink (which is being ignored ANYWAY)?

      This article is confusing because it is mixing together unrelated things and presenting them as a singular, whole, related thing.

      Or have I missed it? Show me how Leslie Rohde’s statement is relevent to the presented fix.

    13. Brian says:

      The point is that if you can have every page on your site linking to your home page with your main keyword in anchor text…it is better than having an image link to it (which is the case in most sites).

      This fix, swaps out the logo for anchor text in Google’s eyes.

    14. So to be clear, it changes the graphic link to an anchor text link and the first link rule only applies to links that are pointing to the same page.

      For those of you that are unclear where to use this fix (like I was), if you upload a graphic to a word press site and then go to the Advanced Settings in the graphic editor page, you will see where to input the html and CSS code in those settings.

    15. Brian,

      You have not yet answer the first question which I also would like to know, which I also believe that this is what is lacking in this post:

      Where “exactly” are we going to place these codes? Is it in the css file? How about the link?
      Should they come together?
      Are they placed on separate files?

      Please answer the question so that your post will be somewhat complete. :) Thanks!!!

      Vince

    16. I’m happy to have found your very excellent article! Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles.
      thanks

    17. Janae Poles says:

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    18. gaowpeawoa says:

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      • Mike Stodola Admin says:

        Glad you like it. What did you find most useful? What would you like to see more of?

    19. Alana says:

      This stuff is something I have never read.Good post, I really have been taught by this topic

    20. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

    21. Great delivery. Great arguments. Keep up the good
      spirit.

    22. Yasser Khan says:

      But I thought Dan Kennedy is against SEO?

      I read his books and attended direct marketing courses and I do get the general impression from the direct response community that SEO is something of Google’s whim and we do not have total control over it.

      How do you reconcile this?

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