Many SEOs and webmasters make the mistake of building links with unnatural anchor text. This is not something that usually gets them penalized, but it can be a contributing factor to penalties when combined with other factors such as spammy websites linking back to their site or keyword stuffing.
Why keyword anchor texts can be dangerous
Google can detect algorithm manipulation through the distribution of anchor text. Back in the day, you could rank for a keyword if enough links on your web page had that word as an ‘anchor’ back to it; now, however, exact match keywords are more likely to get penalized than rewarded because Google is constantly changing its algorithms and methods. In fact, this has become one of the most common link building footprints we see today-building all links with specific words.
You can use anchor text to improve your rankings, but make sure you’re using the right type of anchor text. This guide explores different types and how often they should be used for optimal results!
What is a Natural Anchor Text?
It is important to understand what natural anchor texts actually mean. They usually refer to keywords that aren’t commercial or paid advertisements but link back naturally from a website’s content and structure, like:
‘click here for more info’
‘visit this website’ and so on.
The possibilities of these types of links being used for SEO purposes are endless as you can see from the examples above!
Brand names are an easy way to create a natural anchor text. These are the examples below:
‘visit brandname’, and so on…
What are exact match keyword anchor texts?
These specific anchor texts should only make up a small percentage of your distribution profile. If it’s anything more than that, then you need to be wary and might want to rethink somethings about how you’re using them in relation to other types of anchor text.
Some examples of exactly matching keyword anchor text:
‘buy red cars’
‘red cars new york’
‘red cars sale’
‘red cars discount’
‘cheap red cars’
Why exact match keyword anchor texts can be risky
Keyword anchors are an easy target to build links, but they’re not always the best option. If you find out that your keyword as an example “red cars new york” generates a lot of traffic in your keyword research stage it doesn’t mean “red cars” anchor links should be added to all other content relating to this topic.
A few problems with this:
‘red cars new york’ doesn’t make sense within the flow of content, and capitalizing some words such as city names should be corrected to “Red Cars in New York.” If you were getting links naturally then how does the website know to link back to your page using keywords? They don’t… think about which phrase they might use for a natural linking url.
It’s very important to note that powerful and high-ranking websites in the world usually don’t have a lot of exact match keyword anchor text distribution. It makes up less than 10%.
How to rank without using exact match keyword anchor text
There are around 3 ways of this:
Search engines have become more intelligent over the years, so you should ensure they are included naturally within thematically relevant content instead of including your exact match keyword anchors in your link profile.
The best way to structure this is:
By assigning keywords themes to each page. Make sure that there is one main keyword per page section
Make sure it’s mentioned naturally at least two times on every single webpages.
2. Partial keyword anchor texts
A partial keyword anchor text is a way to get your keywords in natural-looking phrases or sentences without tripping filters. This means that the desired keywords are still being sent but not overused, which would be contrary to what you want to send signals and filter out other content.
Here are some examples of naturally linked phrases:
“If you’re interested in finding more about [your keyword] then click here.”
Learn more about [your keyword] by clicking this link!
Link the entire phrase and create a new natural variation each time. This way, you can include keywords to give it an old familiar link signal for search engines while maintaining originality in your content!
Don’t overuse this strategy as the keyword is still contained within the sentence but be sure that when using this technique – every other word should contain said keyword or else Google might think you’re just making up words.
3. Co-Citation Keywords
Co-Citations are a great way to ensure that your keywords are near the anchor text link pointing towards your website without polluting it. This is done by using other phrases in close proximity with links, but not part of them. They work best when they come from reliable sources such as popular websites and blogs because this ensures people will click on these co-citation examples you’ve provided if they’re looking for red cars themselves.
Brand and URL anchor text should make up 80% of your anchor profile.
2. Linked sentences allow for the inclusion of words related to one another but keep your focus on what is looking at by Google’s spiders when they crawl through web pages.
3. Co-Citations look natural for those who want their keyword close by but don’t have much content space left available elsewhere to place it.