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Anchor text. Whats all the fuss?
There has been some controversy around anchor text, as touched on in a previous chapter. Anchor text is the text contained in a link. Anchor text was one of the strongest factors for achieving top rankings.
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
NFL football jerseys - 200 links
Good anchor text
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. Youll 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
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