Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Evolving SEO Tricks: Anchor Texts

Back in the days, one of the more established tricks to bring a website on Google's top search results for certain keywords was precisely matched anchor texts. So if for example, you want to rank first for chicken recipes, what you'd probably do is to write as many chicken recipe articles and create links with the words chicken recipes on forums, blogs, comment sections and other portals, all directed to your site.

However, with Google's goal of eliminating low quality links and content, it develops major updates every so often - all aimed at ridding the Web clean of inorganic links and poor content. Since 2010, exact match anchor texts has become a less effective way of ranking for SERPs. And with the 2012 Penguin update, significant amounts of websites were literally wiped out, particularly those that offer nothing but irrelevant content and backlinks, much to the worry of many webmasters who employed such practice.


Image From: http://www.seomoz.org/img/upload/first-anchor-text-counts.gif

If your previous backlinks seem inorganic and you're worried about Google coming after you, or you're simply developing a new blog or site, here are some suggestions you might want to look into:

●    State brands
When writing content, for example, KFC chicken recipes hack, include the brand. Don't be scared to include KFC as anchor text. Users would usually be happy to link up to you anyway if that's the case. In addition, if your key terms read well with brand names, make sure to integrate those too (e.g. KFC's chicken recipe, chicken recipe from KFC).

●    Use anchor text variation
Avoid employing the same old terms. With their recent updates, Google sees this as a sign of poor quality. Diversify your articles with like words, URL links, plural forms, and phrases consisting of three words or more. Misspellings can also be mixed in, as well as luring phrases like “click here”. Placing a nofollow markup as appropriate can also make for natural profiles, preventing keyword cannibalism.

●    Employ metric and helpful tools
Use SEO tools with helpful metrics for keeping your terms in check. A few suggestions include SEOMOZ's Open Site Explorer and Google AdWords Tool, which can help provide your insight and tips during keyword research.

Trends these days help provide visitors variations on link profiles. Your main goal then should be to focus on attaining a rich blend of varying anchor texts like brands and URLs, instead of concentrating on repetitive and exact key terms.