Death of anchor text as we know it?

7 replies
  • SEO
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Got sent this article - credible writer and makes sense in terms of Google's ability to see the intent behind a link. Article in full below original link at the bottom - be goff to get some views/thoughts on this...

I normally hate "Things I will do differently in 2013" type posts.

However, I feel that a lot of SEOs may benefit from my thinking on link building / Anchor text strategy for the year, in particular due to both Panda and Penguin.

As a result here are my quick tips on anchor text links for 2013:

1. No Anchors to the home page
Both Panda and Penguin are penalties that can really mess up a site, there are ways to recover, one of which is 404 the hit pages. If you over do anchors to home, you can't easily get out of it.

If you have overdone anchor links to a home page, you want to start tipping the balance in favour of the brand.

2. No hard Anchors
Basically try and not use Exact Match KW anchors. Penguin seems to target these a lot. And are a glaring signal. I aim to use a mixture of Long Tail Link Building and blended anchor links.

Blended anchors is a term I created to reflect anchors that are mixed in with common terms such as "we, us, you, and," etc.

So for example, for "Car Insurance" the anchor would be: Sentence: "When you are young and drive a car, your insurance would be high" Anchor: "drive a car, your insurance".

3. Branded links to deep content
In order to mix up your signals, try and get branded or brand+anchors into deep content. The more natural the anchor looks, the less riskier it is.

4. No anchors on fresh content
In some instances, especially with new sites / pages / content, I am going to try and get no anchors, and go more for "Click Here" "see the site" "more information".

Theoretically these links may not help rank for the target, but will strengthen the site. One test I ran, I used this strategy on a new affiliate site - threw up 10-15 links with those types of anchors - the site got onto page two, and stayed there.

I then acquired ONE exact match anchor from a good source. It popped the site to the first page and still sits there.

5. Keeping an eye on Exact match anchors vs non KW anchors
If I have built high volume exact match anchors in the past, am working hard to get in a whole mix of non KW anchors to sway the percentage mix.

Hide the target. Protect the target.

6. Guest Posting
I am pretty sure that Google will target guest posting soon. As a result, am staying away from "author signature" / profile links at the end of the post as link building tactics.

If it isn't in the main body, I don't want it. Dont get me wrong, these are essential for authors to have, who want to build their profiles up, but from an SEO point of view, their life is now limited due to over abuse.

7. Context
If a site doesn't meet my target's context, I am going to try and stay away from it, or blend the link to fit the context.

So say there is a blog about arts and crafts. A link to car insurance from this site is a no no. On the other hand, link to a retail site, eg fashion, might just fit in "I got this idea when I looked at maxi dresses at ASOS" (where the link is "maxi dresses at ASOS").

I hope the above thoughts are useful, most of them are built around micro experiments, speaking to people hurt in the last few rounds of penalties, and a lot from simply observation and personal experience.

Seven quick tips for anchor text links in 2013 | Econsultancy
#anchor #death #text
  • Profile picture of the author GyuMan82
    People put waaaaayyyyy too much emphasis on anchor text percentages.

    The quality of the links are more important than the anchor text distribution.

    People always reference anchor text variation because sites hit by Penguin have link profiles that have high anchor text percentages. However these site gets smacked because of the quality of the links rather than some arbitrary %.

    Thanks for the share though.
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    • Profile picture of the author M Thompson
      It's really difficult to talk about anything SEO related with any certainty. From my perspective Google change the rules too often to make spending too much time on seo worthwhile.

      Every bit of software we use to create content includes tools to create anchor text.. (Wordpress, dreamweaver etc)Therefore there is nothing wrong with using anchor text per se... The problems come with over use and gaming the system with links that don't reflect the target URL..

      As with most things that concern google the answer is to be natural

      If you are serious about online marketing come and Join our free community The Foundation
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      • Profile picture of the author barry500
        Marbella? Guessing bit warmer than west coast of Scotland - saw the sun last week, that'll be summer done and dusted.

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  • Profile picture of the author online only
    I NEVER keep an eye on anchor text. Never-ever.

    Maybe it's because I never actually "build" myself a links. I outreach right people and let them choose the suitable anchor/title for my site. To be honest, it usually comes up with 50% main keyword and 50% random. That's how I roll.
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Hi barry500,

      I think you can replace all 7 of your tips with just one tip that sums it all up into what Google, as well users, really care about.

      1. Create valuable content that maintains a high level of quality, and include links that are both relevant and useful to users.

      If you follow that tip you have no worries.

      Google doesn't care about ratios of links to homepages, nor ratios of anchortext, nor any of the other myths that spread like wildfire on this forum. Google just cares about what users care about: Is it useful, relevant, and does it maintain a degree of quality and trust? You can build links til your heart's content, as long as you follow that guideline.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulgl
        I don't know wqho swallows such garbage...

        Let's look at the reality of this so-called expert...

        2. No hard Anchors
        Basically try and not use Exact Match KW anchors.
        This "expert" has single links with words like:

        link building
        long tail link building
        guest posting

        If that's not contradicting yourself...

        Oh I know. Those aren't IMish words. Well, you can't have it
        both ways.

        Anyway, I always stay away from anyone remotely connected with
        India/Pakistan (masquerading in the UK) and SEO.
        It's a bad mix to begin with.

        And you know I hate spammed links...

        But then, like I have said before, maybe, just maybe, someone will
        find this...and stay away from that crap.


        If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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        • Profile picture of the author Marc_L
          Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

          link building
          long tail link building
          guest posting

          If that's not contradicting yourself...
          Except he probably isn't linkbuilding by using those anchors.

          Want answers to your SEO questions? Check out our library of FAQ's. Good luck and happy ranking!

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