There has been some controversy around anchor text, as touched on in a previous chapter. Anchor text was one of the strongest factors for achieving top rankings.
If you are wondering what anchor text is, anchor text is the text contained in a link. If you had one thousand links to your site with ‘NFL football jerseys’ as the link text, and competitors only had a handful of links with the same anchor text, it was likely you would rank number one. That is, until Google’s Penguin update effectively put an end for SEOs using ‘exact match’ anchor text as their strategy. Now it is just simply too risky
Not only is it no longer as effective as it once was, building hundreds of ‘exact match’ links to a site actually can prevent it from ranking for that keyword. So then, you might wonder, what is the best way to build up anchor text? It should be natural.
It is OK to have your targeted keyword in your anchor text, but it should not be the only keyword or the main keyword in all of your links, and there should be a mix of related keywords
If you think about it, this is a pattern all legitimate sites naturally attract. It defies logic that a quality site would automatically be linked with the exact same text throughout the entire World Wide Web.
Look over the below examples to see a bad anchor text profile compared to a natural anchor text profile: Bad anchor text – external links http://www.examplefootballbrand.com/football-jerseys.html NFL football jerseys – 200 links Good anchor text http://www.examplefootballbrand.com/football-jerseys.html examplefootballbrand – 50 links NFL football jersey store – 10 links NFL football jerseys-5 links http://www.example.com – 25 links football jersey store – 5 links football jerseys online – 5 links football jacket store – 15 links click here – 7 links website – 15 links The above good anchor text example illustrates the natural way sites accumulate links over time. Your target keyword should not be the most linked phrase to the page.
You can learn a lot by looking at the search engine results ranking in Google, enter high-ranking sites into Open Site Explorer, and looking at their anchor text. You’ll notice almost every top-ranking page has natural anchor text, like the good example above. Track your link-building efforts and keep them in a spreadsheet. This way you can monitor your anchor text and make sure it fits in with best practices. Open Site Explorer
Simple link building strategies.
The link building strategies below will help you build up quality links pointing to your site, and give Google a nudge to rank your site higher.
Directory links are a tried and true form of link building that received some flack in recent years. This is due to Google penalizing spammers who built ridiculous amounts of low-quality directory links to their site. Directory links shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, directory links should be the first place to start with any link building project.
There’s a solid amount of highquality business directories where you can get powerful and strong backlinks built with a minimum of effort.
But just to be safe, your directory links should not make up much more than 10- 20% of your total links. They must also be relevant and quality sites, i.e. not sites with web addresses like seolinksdirectory.com or freelinksdirectory.com.
Sites like these just smell of spam! Before building a link on a directory, ask yourself: ‘Does this look like a legitimate and trustworthy website?’ If the answer is no, then move on and focus on legitimate, quality sites only. If you work within these guidelines, you will not run afoul of any Google penalties.