Sunday Morning SEO: How to Use Anchor Text Effectively (Part 2)

Filed as Guides on May 31, 2009 11:32 am

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In part one of this series, I gave a couple tips on using anchor text effectively including doing research on keywords and then inserting the keywords in your post titles.  Here is part two where we’ll look at other tips including optimizing internal anchor text and avoiding anchor text spam.

Optimize Your Internal Links.

Internal links are links that point to a page within the same website. These links should be optimized since they actually help with rankings. Anchor text from external links, or links from other sites, is more effective than internal links, so don’t just rely on internal anchor text. However, since you control the anchor text of your internal links, it makes sense to optimize them.

For example, look back at the first sentence of this post. I could’ve linked back to part one of this series like this:

In part one of this series, I gave a couple tips on using anchor text effectively including doing research on keywords and then inserting the keywords in your post titles.

Instead, I used the anchor text using anchor text effectively since it has the relevant keyword, anchor text.

Watch Out for Spam.

The first thing many webmasters do when they hear about anchor text is build links with the same exact anchor text. Logically, this seems like a good idea. The more of the same anchor text, the better, right?

However, there seems to be an anchor text spam penalty on Google. If you use the same anchor text over and over again, Google may think that you are trying to manipulate their search engine. Your ranking could decrease instead of improve.

A better strategy is to vary your anchor text to make it look more natural. This doesn’t mean you can’t target your desired term. You just have to be less obvious about it.

Pretend you have movie review blog. Instead of just using the anchor text movie reviews, also use these related variations of the phrase:

movie blog
movie review blog
reviewing movies
movie reviewer
film review
film review site

It only takes a little bit of additional time to come up with a couple of variations for your keyword.  Plus, as an extra benefit, you’ll improve your rankings over more keywords.

Non-Keyword Links are Actually Useful.

It may not seem like a good idea to use non-keyword anchor text like click here or check out this post.  But John Scott, a reputable SEO, says non-keyword anchor text from other sites does a good job of improving domain authority.  Domain authority affects the rankings of all the pages on your site, so don’t be afraid to use non-keyword anchor text.

Brand Your Site through Anchor Text.

My friend,  Ryan, does a lot of SEO testing on his sites. He believes that with Google’s recent shift towards brand emphasis, it’s a good idea to get lots of links with your site name and your site domain as the anchor text.

Quality and Relevance Matters.

This is a general link building tip. I mention it because some bloggers will build links on many low quality and irrelevant sites, since it’s often easier to build links on those type of sites.

This is a lazy technique that does more harm than good. To really do well on the search engines, most of your links need to come from quality, relevant sites.

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  1. By Jamie Allsop posted on June 2, 2009 at 2:16 pm
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    This is some really useful information. I like the part where you talk about having a movie blog and using different variations of the phrase, I have not thought about doing that before so will try it out the next time I do some SEO.

    Reply

  2. By Jendi posted on June 2, 2009 at 6:14 pm
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    This part two was especially helpful. Thank you.
    We have to watch out for spam everywhere! :)

    Reply

  3. By Thomas posted on June 11, 2009 at 4:57 am
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    I am just learning how to use anchor text, this topic is very helpful. Thanks

    Reply

  4. By Buy Text Links posted on June 24, 2009 at 6:57 pm
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    Anchor Text is key factor in SEO for Google expecialy. Good resource for newbies.

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  5. By Buy Text Links posted on June 24, 2009 at 6:58 pm
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    Anchor text is key factor in ranking for Google expecialy.

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  6. By Web Hosting posted on July 8, 2009 at 10:01 am
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    Just having links is not the only factor to consider, What the link text says is very important, the anchor text is an important indicator that tells the search engines what your page is about.
    Varying the anchor text makes the links look more natural having all of your anchor text the exact same from all your links wont be the best approach.

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  7. By seo services usa posted on July 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm
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    anchor test is an important factor to get high rank for specific keyword in search engine.

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  8. By Joelchrist posted on July 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm
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    HI. I felt more difficulties to promote my internal links. i cant submit my internal link in some social book marking sites and directory submission site. What to do?

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  9. By Quinton Hoover posted on July 25, 2009 at 10:32 pm
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    If you are targetting for any one particular keyword , do not change the anchor text much..

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  10. By Gareth James posted on August 16, 2009 at 8:31 pm
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    Like all SEO techniques, they all get abused and then slowly discounted by the search engines.

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  11. By Drogomoss posted on October 29, 2009 at 4:04 pm
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    Thanks. Now I know a little bit more. But would there be any effect if most of my links are just pointing within the domain itself?

    Reply

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