Exact Match Anchor Backlinks Baaaaad! <-----Penguin (How-To Fix)

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Haven't posted in a while... Figure I'd regurgitate some of this live chat crap I just listened too that DFB emailed me about! Ha!

My cliff's notes:

Exact match anchor text over optimization! Google discounting exact match anchors - shake it up. Exact match anchors should not account for more than 50% of total backlinks!

Exact match, partial match, secondary keywords, generic, straight links (URL no anchor). People are using too much exact match anchor text for their backlinks and Google no like...

Not really a penalty - more of a devaluation of backlinks.

Don't worry about getting penalized for having irrelevant backlinks. No such thing.

Good article to give a read:
Case study in above article: sites with the MOST exact match anchor text were penalized.

Up UNIQUE ANCHORS - natural looking anchor text - diversify backlink sources - unique content (to pass Panda!)

Examples of Backlink Diversified Anchors:
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*******************EDIT 05/05/2012:

The DFB Live Chat Video Discussing the Penguin update and what to do:

Live Chat on Penguin Update and Natural Anchor Text - YouTube

The Anchor Text Data Spreadsheet (Google Docs):

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...FVFhNM3c#gid=0

The Spreadsheet is pretty cool, site averages (120 different sites) for backlink anchor text:

Exact Match - 33.53%
Partial Match - 12.89%
Generic - 20.25%
URL - 33.13%
#anchor #baaaaad #backlinks #exact #match
  • Profile picture of the author ryanoryan
    Good post Scott. I would always try to keep a mix of anchor text. I've never noticed any particular problems with exact match links, but keep a mix to make it look more natural
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  • Profile picture of the author derprinz
    and the site who got penalized, does it have any hope for recovery ?
    or a penalized site can't go back
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    • Profile picture of the author scott g
      Originally Posted by derprinz View Post

      and the site who got penalized, does it have any hope for recovery ?
      or a penalized site can't go back
      From the sounds of their research... The sites aren't necessarily being "penalized" but rather their backlinks are being "discounted" which would affect the site the same as if it straight up lost a bunch of backlinks. Never good. Just build more and diversify your anchors.
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      • Profile picture of the author derprinz
        Originally Posted by scott g View Post

        From the sounds of their research... The sites aren't necessarily being "penalized" but rather their backlinks are being "discounted" which would affect the site the same as if it straight up lost a bunch of backlinks. Never good. Just build more and diversify your anchors.
        yeah, they can't penalize the site !
        because everyone who want his competitors to get penalized would by a fiverr gig for them
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        • Profile picture of the author scott g
          Originally Posted by derprinz View Post

          yeah, they can't penalize the site !
          because everyone who want his competitors to get penalized would by a fiverr gig for them
          EXACTLY! And this is something that has been argued about on here since the beginning of time... LOL!

          "Well what if I build a bunch of low quality, irrelevant backlinks for to my competitor's site."

          Sites get "penalized" for being spammy, cloaking links, plagiarized, non-diversified anchor backlinks from non-diversified IPs.
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        • Profile picture of the author cooler1
          Originally Posted by derprinz View Post

          yeah, they can't penalize the site !
          because everyone who want his competitors to get penalized would by a fiverr gig for them
          If they can't penalize a site, why are people getting a message about unnatural link detection in Webmaster tools saying they need to remove the backlinks then submit a reconsideration request? It sounds like it isn't just for people using public blog networks either because many people recieved the message.
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          • Profile picture of the author stevo235
            I completely agree with the op, I started up a small blog network the day before penguin hit and my clients have all used the same anchor on all of the sites on my network and the results have definitely not been good. Meanwhile I used a few of the sites from my network on one of my own projects and I varied the anchor text and have seen great results. I've sent emails out to all of my clients promoting the idea of diversifying there anchors and I'm pretty sure there results will start turning around.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheProgrammer
      Originally Posted by derprinz View Post

      and the site who got penalized, does it have any hope for recovery ?
      or a penalized site can't go back
      yes Only have "HOPE" someone will suggest you to build high quality backlink and your site will be re-up. but i have never heard about any story yet.

      Great Post Scott
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    • Profile picture of the author Pyramid Linkers
      Originally Posted by derprinz View Post

      and the site who got penalized, does it have any hope for recovery ?
      or a penalized site can't go back
      Sure it has hopes of recovery. Start using better link sources and think outside the box. I don't think one-time link building packages are the answer though. So be mindful of that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Saulyx
    Well google is trying to deliver best match to the user, so if a site owner has 10k back links with same anchor and maybe just a few with different ones, it must be ringing some bells on google's end about the content being most relevant or not... That's my opinion and I think you're right about it!
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  • Profile picture of the author cheapstuff
    I believe targeting many and diverse words at once for a website is the best approach to backlinking. This way it does not leave a trail of the same keyword anchor text links all over.

    Not exactly the same approach that they spoke about but it would seem more desirable. It is just my opinion but exact match anchor text backlinks is not the issue, instead its the reuse of the same exact anchor text or variations over and over again for the same page.

    The whole point of organic search is to reward organic backlinks from real users of the website, so making your links appear as natural as possible is the key to any good process.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Originally Posted by scott g View Post

    Don't worry about getting penalized for having irrelevant backlinks. No such thing.

    I kind of disagree with how they came to this conclusion. I'm not saying they are right or wrong. I think they just missed what Google was going after. They looked at the niches of the sites the backlinks came from and decided whether it was the same niche or not. They based their findings on that.

    Google's example of what they were going after was a little more specific though. Google used the example of an article that was unrelated to the links contained in it or at the end of it.

    I agree with their findings of the site as a whole not really having to be relevant. If I have a restaurant and a local radio station decides to link to me, that isn't necessarily "relevant", but it is not going to hurt me either.
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    • Profile picture of the author scott g
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      I agree with their findings of the site as a whole not really having to be relevant. If I have a restaurant and a local radio station decides to link to me, that isn't necessarily "relevant", but it is not going to hurt me either.

      I completely agree with this statement. I've read so many posts on here from back in the day DRILLING that "irrelevant links" are just as bad as cloaking (bl@ckh@t)... If this really were true anyone and everyone would buy a Scrapebox list and blast their competitions backlink out into the interweb!
      :p
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  • Profile picture of the author dp40oz
    Originally Posted by scott g View Post

    Exact match anchor text over optimization! Google discounting exact match anchors - shake it up. [B]Exact match anchors should not account for more than 50% of total backlinks!
    If anyone was using over 50% of exact match anchors in their backlink profile then I pity them to begin with. Diverse anchor text has been a huge factor for years now. If people were really still playing the exact match anchor game up until now its time to get with the times people.
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    • Profile picture of the author manny1
      Originally Posted by dp40oz View Post

      If people were really still playing the exact match anchor game up until now its time to get with the times people.
      It has only dawned on me today by reading a few sites why I had a site go from page one to oblivion recently.

      So, it seems lighting up your backlinks with money phrases is a no-no now.
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  • Profile picture of the author RevSEO
    It's unfortunate really, most of us had been talking about diversifying anchor text's for quite some time. But, most people didn't listen or wanted to take the time to optimize their linkbuilding for the long term.

    Another big problem is that a lot of services DON'T offer any type of unoptimized anchor-text solutions. Or, they limit the amount of spots in their linkbuilding service. Thus making it difficult for clients to successfully diversify their anchor texts as needed.

    As you mentioned, I highly recommend diversifying anchor texts to around 50% unoptimized AND be sure to build links to internal pages as often as your homepage. That's the other large mistakes that SEO's make, loading up links like crazy to one, or maybe two URLs on their website.
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    • Profile picture of the author scott g
      Originally Posted by RevSEO View Post

      It's unfortunate really, most of us had been talking about diversifying anchor text's for quite some time. But, most people didn't listen or wanted to take the time to optimize their linkbuilding for the long term.

      Another big problem is that a lot of services DON'T offer any type of unoptimized anchor-text solutions. Or, they limit the amount of spots in their linkbuilding service. Thus making it difficult for clients to successfully diversify their anchor texts as needed.

      As you mentioned, I highly recommend diversifying anchor texts to around 50% unoptimized AND be sure to build links to internal pages as often as your homepage. That's the other large mistakes that SEO's make, loading up links like crazy to one, or maybe two URLs on their website.
      You summed it all up PERFECTLY in this one post!
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  • Profile picture of the author komplex
    Banned
    A read that same article, great content and advice. Seriously the best way I can make sense of the Penguin update..
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  • Profile picture of the author Ohioquotes
    But what about when you are linking between pages in one of your own websites. As an example, if I have a Texas health insurance website with 40 original articles. Suppose I link "Texas student health insurance" on one page to another page within the website that happens to be about Texas student health insurance.

    I know I place one link like that on every page.
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    • Profile picture of the author scott g
      Originally Posted by Ohioquotes View Post

      But what about when you are linking between pages in one of your own websites. As an example, if I have a Texas health insurance website with 40 original articles. Suppose I link "Texas student health insurance" on one page to another page within the website that happens to be about Texas student health insurance.

      I know I place one link like that on every page.

      Inner linking pages is good... Google knows that your linking internally...
      Anyways, internal links should only make up a teeny tiny portion of your total backlinks, so as long as you keep that in mind you're good!
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      scott g
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  • Profile picture of the author Theeban
    I do agree with you, I guess "excess usage of anchor text" is the main issue for many website which lost the ranks on recent penguin. The ratio of anchor texts should be balanced well.
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    • Profile picture of the author scott g
      DripFeedBlasts finally made the Google Doc available! That's what I've been wanting to friggin see... Video link up top too under "EDIT"
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  • Profile picture of the author unclebuck
    It has always been a good idea to diversify Everything, including anchor text, types of links, the pages you link to should be both your main page and the inner pages, income streams etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author brunojonestz
      Banned
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author mrehan
        If the links have been devalued and the site has a black mark from google, is it not better to transfer the content to a new site?
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  • Profile picture of the author ownergolan
    Ater using exact anchor text, best way to turn this around is to submit generic anchor text like "http://www.mysite.com , click here, longtail keyword..."

    I have a fiverr gig just for that.
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  • Profile picture of the author smuggecko
    Funny you posted this, it perfectly matches a personal case study I just finished with regards to pushing a competitor down the SERPs. Sad to say ppl it is more than possible and very easy to do. A lot easier than people think.

    I wont go into all the details, but I made a site last year got it to the top of its niche. I never monetized the site as I always intended to use it as a tester site. It comfortably sat at #1 for 3 months. Last week after it dropped off the top 1000. This was a direct result of a deliberately bad backlinking, by me
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  • Profile picture of the author ujaladil
    warriorforum underline do daily thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      Welcome back Scott!

      Scott, here's your best line:

      "Not really a penalty - more of a devaluation of backlinks."
      (See last line)

      Well, one more:

      "Don't worry about getting penalized for having irrelevant backlinks. No such thing."

      It's about detecting link spam. Whether you change
      anchor text or not, do you think they have no way
      of detecting it's spam or junk?

      You people keep looking under the same rocks,
      doing the same junk, still trying to shmooze google.

      "I'll still spam my links! I'll just change the anchor text!"

      Just look at the responses. Junk. Still full of myths, crap,
      and people STILL looking for ways to shmooze google.

      Get a grip people.

      And trying to hurt other people? Those people are idiots.
      Brainless. Clueless.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Richest
        I'm new to SEO, and just heard about this partial match anchor text. I found this thread when I was googling for this topic.

        But my question is "Does this also apply to anchor text in articles of the money site that pointing to the optimized page (e.g. product page)? Or just for link building e.g. on social bookmarking or dummy blog?"

        Sorry for my newbie question
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        • Profile picture of the author scott g
          Originally Posted by Richest View Post

          I'm new to SEO, and just heard about this partial match anchor text. I found this thread when I was googling for this topic.

          But my question is "Does this also apply to anchor text in articles of the money site that pointing to the optimized page (e.g. product page)? Or just for link building e.g. on social bookmarking or dummy blog?"

          Sorry for my newbie question
          Anchor text ... a backlinks a backlink a backlink. I don't care what anyone else says about backlinks.. Mix up the anchor text in your backlinks and don't over optimize. Your ON-SITE Optimization needs to be spot on..
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          scott g
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