For those involved in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), it can be tempting to create links with a keyword-rich anchor, constantly. However, this isn’t a smart move to make – you’ll find out why shortly. After all, Google is a search engine with a unique algorithm, and it doesn’t wish to show results from sites that are simply manipulating their way to the first result. Thus, an anchor text profile can give many clues as to what is going on when it comes to such practices. This guide aims to inform you about the importance of an anchor text profile and why you should examine such like Sherlock Holmes. Let’s begin.
Google is one smart beast and its intelligence increases by the day; what one could get away with before is no longer accepted today. Just like your diet, going organic is a wise move in the digital world too. There were many tactics once used that would see sites rank easily using what we’d label as Black Hat. One such giveaway was the mass-amount of incoming links with a non-banded keyword, such as: “Buy Microwave”.
So, what should a natural anchor text profile look like? Let’s explore below.
Brandable anchor text examples:
These are usable in most scenarios:
- Visit website
- Visit websitename.com
Natural anchor text examples:
- Click here
- Learn more
- Visit site
- Visit blog
- Read more
- More details
Name anchor text examples:
These are often used for blog commenting.
- Business owner’s name
- Author’s name
General paragraph anchor text examples:
These flow well within an article.
- For more information on this topic
- Read this guide
- More details can be found here
- This guide is another worthy read
What a typical website anchor text profile should look like:
Let’s now take a look at how Sony’s PlayStation brand stacks up when it comes to anchor text:
As you can see, it all looks natural and clean. There is no “Buy 4KTV” keywords insight, and if there were, for a smaller site especially, this would raise the alarm bells for the Google algorithm. Of course, there aren’t any issues by having such a keyword, but it’s when the ratio is sky-high – that’s when you could see issues.
You should also note that Google loves brands. Having a brandable domain name sends a strong signal to Google. For example, “buyblackmicrowave.com”, this unbranded URL sounds ultra spammy and appears to be designed for one purpose. That’s not to say keyword domains won’t rank, they just don’t like they once did, and you could be asking for trouble further down the line.
There isn’t an exact science when it comes to an anchor profile. But there are areas you must avoid. Each industry might adopt a different approach, and the anchor profile could look somewhat different as a result. For example, a great way to attract natural anchor text is by utilizing local citations, blogger outreach and other such natural methods of digital marketing.
Messy Anchor Text from Big Brands:
Your anchor text profile could look messy for no fault of your own. The sad fact is, a competitor might decide to pump a number of foul anchor text based in-bound links, in your website’s direction. What’s more, robots are constantly creating unwished for anchor, take the following example:
This is the anchor for Coca-Cola UK. The anchor text includes some strange keywords, such as “get free high-quality HD wallpapers”. Let’s be clear, the marketing team at Coca-Cola isn’t responsible for this, and it’s a common occurrence across any website that hosts good quality images. Simply put, a vast network of wallpaper websites is linking to a variety of Coca-Cola images as a ‘wallpaper’ and this is creating a mass anchor text issue as a result.
The more brandable links you have, the less exposure any dirty anchors will have, that’s how a ratio works.
Avoid using too much commercial terminology within anchors, such as:
Other methods for anchor text creation:
- See [Article Title]
- Read this: [Article Title]
- Find more details about [Keyword] for a better understanding.
- Want to learn more? Visit [Keyword] for more information.
Ultimately, get creative, adopt a natural approach. After all, it isn’t illegal to make a link, and it too doesn’t violate Google’s policy (if you follow their guidelines). Without links, we wouldn’t have a functional internet; that’s just how powerful links have become – they allow an individual to get from A to B to Z. Like with anything, there are foundations that are put in place to help a user gain the best experience possible.
- Generate plenty of brandable anchors
- Avoid too much commercial terminology within anchors
- Don’t follow general rules, be creative
- Keep things organic; clean is the future
- Be aware of dirty-anchor text and how to counter it