My mega menu and keyword stuffing

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Hi - I have a problem Ive not seen talked about anywhre which may not even be a problem but I needed a few opinios on this. The reason I stumbled on this was I was using the new page optimizer pro tool and have seen some success on the sites I have been working on reducing keyword use as most sites I am invovled with are over optimized.

A site I am working with at the moment sells lots of wooden watches and has a mega menu, this means every page has the menu which contains for example oak watches, pine watches, mixed wood watches etc there are about 20.

Because of this every page has the word "watches" on it about 20 times..... I wondered if anyone has any useful insight with regards to if this may impact the ranknigs or trigger some kind of over optimization?

The second part of the question, the menu is built using <h4> elements in a list, I guess that having these as H4 is not a good move?

Thaks for reading
 

Ryuzaki

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I would change the H4's of the menu items to be <li> or <div> or <span> simply to get the semantic part right. That's what I hate about pre-built themes and plugins. They do absolutely stupid stuff like that. I don't think this is going to make or break anything, but if you want it right that's what I'd do, and just make sure the CSS matches for the new HTML element you choose so the look stays the same.

Regarding the overuse of the word 'watches,' Google understands the difference between navigation, main content, and supplementary content (like sidebar and footer). At this point in time I wouldn't worry about it, though you could test it. The only time I've seen this be an issue is when there's something like a loop of posts in the main content where each post title crams in too many of the same keyword and hurts a homepage's chance of ranking for the desired term (which should be attempted on an inner page anyways).

Usually these kind of menu and sidebar navigation issues with the overuse of keywords arise on eCommerce sites where you end up over-optimizing internal links. If you had 300,000 pages, then that's a lot of exact-match anchored links going to the same pages.
 

Calamari

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I've tested this but not recently. At the time, maybe 4 years ago, reducing the use of the keywords in the navigation did make a difference. When I create new sidebars and menus I still consider them when I'm working out on page optimizations.
 
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You could tone the keyword usage down and make it easier to navigate by breaking it out. Instead of:
  • Pine Watches
  • Oak Watches
  • Maple Watches
  • Mixed Wood Watches
  • etc...
Categorize it:

By Finish
  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Mixed Wood