Why Is Anchor Text So Important When..

by SladeK
32 replies
  • SEO
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Why is it so important to have the keyword you are trying to rank for in the anchor text when it seems that every site ranking in the top 5 for my current keyword has a variation of keywords in their anchor text?

They are all related to my keyword, but most of them are nowhere close. Should this be what I should be doing? Currently I have 60 articles pointing to my landing page all with the exact same keyword I want to rank for as the anchor text.
#anchor #important #text
  • Profile picture of the author RedEvo
    Perhaps your links look un-natural, would 60 links all have the same anchor text if they were natural?

    d
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Hi SladeK,

      Search engines rank pages based on relevance. Backlinks from pages that are relevant to your targeted keyword help to improve your page's relevancy score. Anchor text is one of the most important factors that influence relevance. So it helps when your backlinks contain your keyword, but it's not the only factor that influences relevance.

      I have seen many top ranked pages, for very competitive keywords, where the keyword is not included in anchor text of any of their backlinks. It's not just the anchor text that influences relevance, there are other factors like page titles, page text, URLs, etc. that have strong influence on the relevance of your backlinks, which in turn impact the relevancy score of your page.
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      • Profile picture of the author SladeK
        I gotcha, so ultimately, if the site I am trying to topple has a PR of 5, I need to get PR 5 for that keyword to even have a chance of taking the position the current site is in, right?

        I assume this will probably take a while going the current route I am; writing 10 Ezine articles a day optimized for the keyword, and linking them back to my landing page, then manually building back links to my articles to increase their pr.
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        • Profile picture of the author dburk
          Originally Posted by SladeK View Post

          I gotcha, so ultimately, if the site I am trying to topple has a PR of 5, I need to get PR 5 for that keyword to even have a chance of taking the position the current site is in, right?
          Hi SladeK,

          I'm sorry, that's not right.

          Your page's PR has little direct influence on your SERP ranking. It's all about relevance. PR might become a tie breaker if you just happen to have the exact same relevance as another page, but a slight improvement in relevancy will outrank the higher PR.
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      • Profile picture of the author jasonmorgan
        Originally Posted by dburk View Post

        Hi SladeK,

        Search engines rank pages based on relevance. Backlinks from pages that are relevant to your targeted keyword help to improve your page's relevancy score. Anchor text is one of the most important factors that influence relevance. So it helps when your backlinks contain your keyword, but it's not the only factor that influences relevance.
        I wanted to follow up on this... what about page content manipulation?

        I started a thread on this about a month ago and it was more or less ignored, but...

        Say I'm adding backlinks to one of the profile sites that allows me to include a bio.

        In the bio, not only do I add my link but I add a couple of paragraphs about the same topic of my site.

        I've now manipulated the content of that page so it's relevant to the site I am linking too.

        Any ideas on this theory?
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        • Profile picture of the author dburk
          Originally Posted by jasonmorgan View Post

          I wanted to follow up on this... what about page content manipulation?

          I started a thread on this about a month ago and it was more or less ignored, but...

          Say I'm adding backlinks to one of the profile sites that allows me to include a bio.

          In the bio, not only do I add my link but I add a couple of paragraphs about the same topic of my site.

          I've now manipulated the content of that page so it's relevant to the site I am linking too.

          Any ideas on this theory?
          Hi jasonmorgan,

          Yes, absolutely!

          Use your targeted keyword in the text of your Bio, comments web 2.0 posts, thread titles, subject lines etc. It's particularly useful when you are able to get your keyword into the page titles and URLs. With profiles you can often manage this by using your keyword as a user name. The URLs sometimes include you profile name and the page titles frequently do as well.

          For example, if I wanted to make this page relevant for something like outsourcing your PPC management, then I might add the term "Outsource your PPC Management" some where in the post. I could also put outsource your PPC managemnt in bold typeface to give it extra emphasis. And then naturally I'd want to add a link to my website about outsourcing your PPC management and make sure I used outsource your PPC management as the anchor text.

          Just be careful how you use it, you want to make sure that it is used in context with the topic and that it doesn't look too spammy, else it gets deleted.
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        • Profile picture of the author kkchoon
          Originally Posted by jasonmorgan View Post

          I wanted to follow up on this... what about page content manipulation?

          I started a thread on this about a month ago and it was more or less ignored, but...

          Say I'm adding backlinks to one of the profile sites that allows me to include a bio.

          In the bio, not only do I add my link but I add a couple of paragraphs about the same topic of my site.

          I've now manipulated the content of that page so it's relevant to the site I am linking too.

          Any ideas on this theory?
          If you can put the links between the content, it will became in context link, more link juice would be pass to your site!
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  • Profile picture of the author CliveG
    The often quoted example of why you should do this is the term "Click Here". If you do a Google search for this (with quotes) you get the Adobe site because so many sites link to that site with the anchor text "Click Here". "Click Here" does not appear anywhere on the Adobe home page; indeed the words "click" and "here" do not appear either - there is one instance of the word "clicking" though.

    So anchor text is very important.
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  • Profile picture of the author thmgoodw
    Originally Posted by SladeK View Post

    Why is it so important to have the keyword you are trying to rank for in the anchor text when it seems that every site ranking in the top 5 for my current keyword has a variation of keywords in their anchor text?

    They are all related to my keyword, but most of them are nowhere close.
    My advice is to stick to the exact keyword(s) that you want. Top sites often have just been around longer, and really had no clue as to ideal SEO strategies. IMHO.
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    • Profile picture of the author SladeK
      The number 4 ranked site for my keyword when I type it in the search engine without quotes has a PR of 5, but only 20 back links, and I could find no instance on page SEO for my keyword.

      So theoretically, all I should continue doing is writing articles optimized for my keyword, with that same keyword as the anchor text pointing to my landing page, and I will be able to knock that page out eventually?

      I guess the whole concept of pages having such high pr for keywords when they have so few back links and no on page seo for that word still confuses me.
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      • Profile picture of the author dburk
        Originally Posted by SladeK View Post

        The number 4 ranked site for my keyword when I type it in the search engine without quotes has a PR of 5, but only 20 back links, and I could find no instance on page SEO for my keyword.

        I guess the whole concept of pages having such high pr for keywords when they have so few back links and no on page seo for that word still confuses me.
        Hi SladeK,

        Search engines rank pages based on relevance, your page's PR only effects outbound links, not your SERP rankings.

        PR is a score based on a logarithmic scale that represents the relative number of pages that directly or indirectly link to that page. So a page with a single backlink that is from a high PR page will have a large number of indirect links, hence a higher PR.

        Again your page's PR has little direct influence on where it ranks, just how influential the outbound links will be.

        You can rank a page based on the relevance of the pages that link to it, on-page factors are important, but not the only influence.
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        • Profile picture of the author SladeK
          Alright, I definitely have a clearer understanding how SERP ranking, but obviously I have plenty to learn still. As it seems so many people put such a strong emphasis on page rank, so I figured that was a main determinant in where your page ends up in the search engine rankings.

          I guess since I cannot afford any of the tools that actually give me a number for strength of competition, I should gauge my competition mostly on how many back links they have, and the relevance of those back links in conjunction with the keyword I am trying to rank for, right?

          So for instance, if a page that is not optimized for my keyword has 400 back links, all from 0-1 PR sites, I should scan through those links and check for general relevance of the keyword (IE the on page SEO for that keyword, etc).
          And if most of them are not relevant, then theoretically me having 401 articles with a pr of 0-1 optimized for the keyword with correct anchor text would be enough to push me forward?

          (I understand I do not want to build backlinks solely from articles, but just an example)
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          • Profile picture of the author dburk
            Originally Posted by SladeK View Post

            Alright, I definitely have a clearer understanding how SERP ranking, but obviously I have plenty to learn still. As it seems so many people put such a strong emphasis on page rank, so I figured that was a main determinant in where your page ends up in the search engine rankings.

            I guess since I cannot afford any of the tools that actually give me a number for strength of competition, I should gauge my competition mostly on how many back links they have, and the relevance of those back links in conjunction with the keyword I am trying to rank for, right?

            So for instance, if a page that is not optimized for my keyword has 400 back links, all from 0-1 PR sites, I should scan through those links and check for general relevance of the keyword (IE the on page SEO for that keyword, etc).
            And if most of them are not relevant, then theoretically me having 401 articles with a pr of 0-1 optimized for the keyword with correct anchor text would be enough to push me forward?

            (I understand I do not want to build backlinks solely from articles, but just an example)
            Hi SladeK,

            It's not quite that simple, a backlink's value varies according to a number of factors. So 1 really good backlink could have more value than 400 other backlinks. You only need 1 really good backlink to potentially outrank that page with 400 backlinks. It's not the number of backlinks that is important, it the total value of your backlinks combined with on-page factors.

            You may be looking at a page with 400 backlinks, but perhaps only 12 of those backlinks are relevant, and perhaps only 2 of those are of high value. SO all you need is 2 high value links and 11 low value links. Or just 3 high value links, or just 1 really high value link.
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            • Profile picture of the author SladeK
              Wow, fantastic information, thanks Don.

              So as someone in my situation, with no tools. It is actually pretty necessary to check the back links of say, the top 5 sites ranking for my keyword; and actually analyze each of the links they have if I truly want to know what I have to do to outrank them? (in terms of getting more high quality and relevant back links than they have)

              Dare I ask what makes a back link of really high value?
              Relevance and the source of the back link I presume? (such as a blog at an .edu domain for the keyword "mathematics" would be of more value than an article optimized for "mathematics" at an article directory domain)
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              • Profile picture of the author dburk
                Originally Posted by SladeK View Post

                Dare I ask what makes a back link of really high value?
                Relevance and the source of the back link I presume? (such as a blog at an .edu domain for the keyword "mathematics" would be of more value than an article optimized for "mathematics" at an article directory domain)
                Where:
                Re = Relevance
                PR = PageRank
                OBL = Outbound Links
                BV = Backlink Value

                ( Re³ * PR² ) ÷ OBL = BV

                This is over-simplified and not the exact formula, but may be useful to help you understand how Backlink value can be calculated.
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  • Profile picture of the author sanjid112
    Anchor text is important because search engines use algorithms to determine ranking. Here's how it works. Search engine keep checking anchor text of your site. Whenever you have a link to other sites, search engines will note the anchor text of that site. With each instance a word or phrase shows up in your anchor text, your chances improve for increasing your ranking for that word or phrase.

    Say you have a blog movie review. If you have a lot of links with the word movie reviews, and build your anchor text with its, you can increase your ranking for movie reviews.

    -Malik
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    It's all about relevance. Just because you don't consider their anchor text relevant, does not mean Google or search stats don't.

    When you type in your keyterm into google, what suggestions does it also ive you in the dropdown? And also at the bottom of a search page does it give you alternate suggestions? These can sometimes be very helpful to spot what Google is seeing a relevant, even if your gut feeling is that it isn't.
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Originally Posted by jazbo View Post

      It's all about relevance. Just because you don't consider their anchor text relevant, does not mean Google or search stats don't.

      When you type in your keyterm into google, what suggestions does it also ive you in the dropdown? And also at the bottom of a search page does it give you alternate suggestions? These can sometimes be very helpful to spot what Google is seeing a relevant, even if your gut feeling is that it isn't.
      Hi jazbo,

      I'm sorry, I must disagree. The search box's auto-completion feature is all about saving keystrokes and has absolutely nothing to do with keyword relevance, just spelling.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikeey
    Hi all, been it the warrior forums for a few week now and i must say the info in here is amazing to say the least.This is my first time so be gentle with me!

    Have i got this right, when I'm looking at my competitions back links what i should be mostly concerned with is the back links to the page im competing with and not the whole domain? I have come across some keywords that get 5600 exact match searched in my local search and the top ten pages only have 20-30 back links to that page but 100k+ for their domain.If i purchase Angela's back links do what are my chances to break into that top ten?
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonmorgan
    I guess since I cannot afford any of the tools that actually give me a number for strength of competition
    There is a free version of traffic travis that will do just about everything you want including strength of competition. Like all tools, the results are sometimes questionable but it does a lot for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonmorgan
    If i purchase Angela's back links do what are my chances to break into that top ten?
    They should get you into the game... somewhere in the top 3 pages. Beyond that it's really tough to say without knowing more about the competing sites.

    In some cases, backlinks like these work wonders but in others they fail to deliver. It also seems that since these are lower value backlinks you need quantity to make up for quality.

    It's really a case by case issue and so much depends on your competition it's hard to give straight answers.

    Typically, I'll drop a hundred or so of these types of backlinks along with backlinks from my own feeder blogs to see where a site lands. At this point I can figure out what I need to do next.
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  • There is no magic formula for anchor text keyword inclusion. If there were everyone would exploit it.

    Search Engines determine what is "natural' and what is not. What is important to remember is your anchor text should tell people what your site is about.

    I just ran some more keyword research today on printer ink.

    And there were about 25 keyword variations that essentially said the same thing.

    People will search for your site using all kinds of similar phrases... so you should vary your incoming keyword phrases as well. Afterall when people link to you "naturally" they will use a slight variation of whatever they think your site is about.
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    • Profile picture of the author SladeK
      Alright. I guess I was under the impression that in order to rank for a specific keyword; you write tons of articles optimized for that keyword, using that keyword as the anchor text linking back to your page. Then when you get that keyword ranked where you want it, you move on to the next keyword and do the same for a different landing page on your site.

      But now I am beginning to pick up that in order to rank for a keyword, you optimize your landing page for that keyword, and use a variety of anchor text keywords for your articles and web 2.0 properties that are relevant to your landing page keyword. It is not as much of the anchor text that determines how you rank, but your on page optimization, and the relevancy as well as quality of your back links.

      This way everything looks more natural to Google over having 60 articles with the exact same anchor text linking to a page optimized for the keyword within that anchor text.

      Am I missing anything else?
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      • Profile picture of the author dburk
        Hi SladeK,

        The only reason people suggest that you vary your anchor text is because they assume you are spamming your links all over the place and this may look more natural and could fool the search engine's anti-spamdexing teams. You don't need to vary the text if you are placing your links on relevant pages and not using spammy techniques.

        Your first assumption was spot on:

        Alright. I guess I was under the impression that in order to rank for a specific keyword; you write tons of articles optimized for that keyword, using that keyword as the anchor text linking back to your page. Then when you get that keyword ranked where you want it, you move on to the next keyword and do the same for a different landing page on your site.
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        • Profile picture of the author SladeK
          Thanks again Don, for all the assistance, as well as everyone else who has contributed to this thread.
          I feel confident enough to continue on with my campaign now. Time to start pumping out those articles. I have learned more today than I have the entire month I have been doing IM.
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          • Profile picture of the author kkchoon
            Originally Posted by dburk View Post

            Hi SladeK,

            Search engines rank pages based on relevance. Backlinks from pages that are relevant to your targeted keyword help to improve your page's relevancy score. Anchor text is one of the most important factors that influence relevance. So it helps when your backlinks contain your keyword, but it's not the only factor that influences relevance.
            I need to re-test and re-think about relevancy. From my previous reads and experiment, it seems like "relevancy" doesn't really direct affect your ranking for certain keywords, but...

            It will certainly help Google "profile" your page and site, and the theme category and inner linking of your site put more weight in helping Google send "relevant" traffic!

            I think setting up your on page with the correct theme keywords are far more effective than getting relevant links.

            I get links from all over the place, relevant or not, but my page rank good and high for many long and short tail keywords!

            May be I should start experimenting relevant links, anyone has recently tested this? Care to post their outcome here?


            Originally Posted by dburk View Post

            Hi SladeK,

            The only reason people suggest that you vary your anchor text is because they assume you are spamming your links all over the place and this may look more natural and could fool the search engine's anti-spamdexing teams. You don't need to vary the text if you are placing your links on relevant pages and not using spammy techniques.

            Your first assumption was spot on:
            This I got to test!

            However, even if you are spamming the engine, your site won't caught in the filter, unless it is new and no authority links yet
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  • Are you only submitting to Ezine? Ten articles a day? You need to submit one article a day to ten directories. What will happen is that the article will get picked up elsewhere and THOSE links help you out.

    Don't worry about the exact wording of the anchor text. I would say vary it so you can grab lots of combinations. Also spin your articles to grab other search terms. Of course you should make sure you're submitting your articles to the right categories in the directories, too.

    Also submit your rss feeds everywhere. When people start putting those in their readers and aggregators, it gets you a ton of backlinks.
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    • Profile picture of the author SladeK
      Originally Posted by SurviveUnemployment View Post

      Are you only submitting to Ezine? Ten articles a day? You need to submit one article a day to ten directories. What will happen is that the article will get picked up elsewhere and THOSE links help you out.

      Don't worry about the exact wording of the anchor text. I would say vary it so you can grab lots of combinations. Also spin your articles to grab other search terms. Of course you should make sure you're submitting your articles to the right categories in the directories, too.

      Also submit your rss feeds everywhere. When people start putting those in their readers and aggregators, it gets you a ton of backlinks.
      Yeah, I was writing 10 articles a day, submitting to ezine. Once they get approved, I then spin each article slightly, and submit that spun version to 5 of the other top article directories, only I change one of the links to point to the original ezine; and leave the other one pointing to my landing page.

      Then when I finish, I rinse and repeat with 10 new Ezines.

      Is this kind of what you are talking about?
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonmorgan
    and another follow up...

    what if you were to write a short article for your bio including your links and then used that for a couple hundred profile pages... do you think this would lead to a duplicate content or spam flagging issue?

    I was trying this and I gave up due to my fear of raising red flags and it's not practical to keep spinning the bio content when your dealing with hundreds of profiles.

    I agree with the everything else you said.. it's a balancing act keeping under the radar and trying to manipulate a page to your needs. Member: Ugg Boots <-- not hard to miss for webmasters weeding out spammers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelvin Brown
    Originally Posted by SladeK View Post

    Why is it so important to have the keyword you are trying to rank for in the anchor text when it seems that every site ranking in the top 5 for my current keyword has a variation of keywords in their anchor text?

    They are all related to my keyword, but most of them are nowhere close. Should this be what I should be doing? Currently I have 60 articles pointing to my landing page all with the exact same keyword I want to rank for as the anchor text.
    If you are only going to do 60 articles then you may be ok.

    However, one thing that has not been mentioned in detail, is just because you want to rank for that keyword, have you in fact done research to see if your prospects, are using that same keyword.

    Or are they using some variation.

    dog training
    puppy training
    paper train your dog
    house train your dog
    house train your puppy

    What is it that those looking for your products or services are likely to type in?

    So, if you are going to do more, I suggest you vary your keywords ( anchor text ), as noted before, it also looks more natural to verify the keywords through-out the page or document, ie. title, body, signature, etc.

    Kelvin
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  • Profile picture of the author __internet__
    You will eventually outrank that website if you build anchor text backlinks for that keyword. If the site does not have links with the keyword, then they are ranking in that spot based on authority. The problem is that if you just started optimizing for that keyword recently, you are still going to have to wait about 6 months for the work to show.

    It would make sense that your website should be first if you are getting all of the relevant backlinks, but Google avoids giving them any value for a while. They want to avoid manipulation of the SERPs so they purposely make sure that you will have to wait before the links gain value.

    In about 6-7 months, if you continue working on building for that term and others, your links will eventually give off the value. Most people kill themselves before they get to 6-7 months which is why you constantly see bad advice on the internet about SEO.

    By the way, people who think relevance of the link doesn't matter are clueless about SEO. If you want to be successful online, then you are going to have to think about how you would run a search engine yourself. Relevance may not have been a big deal in the past, but it is now. Search engines have evolved.

    If you were running a search engine, you would want it to be as relevant as possible. Therefore, your backlinks should be as relevant as possible.

    If you had a search engine, you would come up with a method that helped avoid link manipulation as well. You wouldn't want spammy webmasters gaining thousands of backlinks to manipulate the SERPs everyday.

    Your search engine would also have a timeframe before links are actually counted for ranking. It would make a lot of sense to have this because most spammy links disappear before they reach a certain age. If you are spamming on blogs, most of these links will be gone in 2-3 months.
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