Recently, John Mueller of Google spoke about placing links and where on the pages they hold the most value.
This topic was talked about during a May 1 episode of Google Webmaster Central hangout where the following question was submitted:
“Is there any difference in link value between static and main content? I mean links from navigation and product pages. Do they have the same value.”
Here is Mueller’s response – don’t focus on algorithms over users.
As a preface, Mueller gave a warning about not focusing on SEO over doing what makes the most sense for users.
According to Mueller, the search engine’s algorithm was designed in order to respond to things how actual users do.
Basically, what’s good for the user is good for Google’s algorithm.
Mueller suggests to optimize for users first if you are trying to focus on trying to “game the algorithm.”
Relating to the specific question of where links are the most valuable, Mueller brought up the point of optimizing for users again. Users should be focusing primarily on a page’s main content, which Google’s algorithm does as well:
“So with this specific situation – usually what happens here is we do focus on the primary content on the page. And that’s something that make sense from a user point of view.”
Although primary content is the main focus, Google will still pay attention to the rest of the page.
Here’s the full question and answer here: