Panda, Penguin, and additional rewrites of the Google algorithm in 2012 have website owners concerned about how to update their SEO. Bing has also updated its algorithm to flag junk links like parked domains, 500′s and 404′s and remove them. Search engines are now focusing more on natural content. Your anchor text linking strategy must be up to date, and not harm your rank with defunct techniques. Next-Gen SEO has arrived and here are 5 solid anchor text tips in 2013 which won’t steer you wrong.
Sound Anchor Text Strategies for 2013
1. Avoid excessive exact match keyword links.
Penguin slammed sites focused on achieving rank by stuffing a site with SEO tactics rather than providing quality, original content. Using exact match keywords for the greatest percentage of links is now considered over optimization. In the past, it was accepted practice to use the primary keyword in the article and title, and then link back to that page repeatedly using the primary keyword. Google now looks for natural language and LSI keywords – synonyms and related terms people use when they actually discuss a topic.
Find some good LSI keywords using your keyword search tool and use them in anchor text links, both onsite and offsite. Some SEO experts have recently tested these ideas and found that sites will still rank high with very few exact match anchor texts. It turns out that they are no longer even needed to get to the top of page one.
Even phrase match anchor texts have proved to be unnecessary. Partial match keyword links form the greatest percentage on high ranking sites. It seems to be okay to use exact match keywords for links very sparingly, like one instance per page.
2. Increase branded anchor text percentage.
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Research shows that currently high-ranking sites use branded keywords in the greatest percentage of their links. Percentages run from 50% to 70%, sometimes a little more. Incorporating your brand into LSI phrases as anchor text helps you build authority in your niche, and gain an advantage with Google. These sites also avoided too many links back to the home page and focused more on deep linking. Build a link profile spread out in an organized way across your whole site and use branding in your deep linking.
If your brand is Ajax Music, then create links like “Ajax Music guitars,” or “sound equipment at Ajax,” blending the brand name into natural language, and linking to relevant content other than your home page.
3. Link smart in guest posting.
In the past it was acceptable for you as a guest author to append an anchor text signature link to your posts. It’s safe to bet that since Google is now gunning for all unnatural linking techniques, it won’t be long before this practice gets shot down.
Use your keyword tool to find some semantically related keywords to use in your guest post. Now here is the trick, using natural language, position these keywords in close proximity to the link, rather than in the link itself. Since the changes in the algorithms, Google looks more at the surrounding content to determine a relevant or irrelevant link, and not just the words in the link itself.
Only do guest posting on related sites, because algorithms can detect the relevancy of the two sites and if they are not related, all your link will be wasted.
4. Make sure all of your links are relevant.
In the past, volume was a goal and actually worked, and it wasn’t a problem to have links scattered over the net. Police all of your incoming and outgoing links now to be certain they come from and go to quality and relevant sites. If you have a credit report site and you are linked to a vitamin site, you can be penalized.
5. Improve Your SEO Footprint
You need to increase your natural linking footprint, particularly if you have an older site built prior to the search engine changes of 2012. If you have links to and from low quality or irrelevant sites (link spam), attempt some link pruning. Create a link profile, determine which ones you need to eliminate, and send requests to be removed. This can take time but is well worth it.
Do use the words like “here,” “click here,” and “for more,” in your anchor text links. Surround them with relevant LSI keywords in natural language. Also use these generic linking words in your posts on Social Media. Diversify your linking strategy, varying your links. Don’t let your main keyword be your main focus.
For your next gen SEO, these 5 solid anchor text link tips in 2013 will help you rank, and keep you safe from Panda, Penguin and other potential and yet-to-come search engine changes.
Written by Janice Bloomwood. She is an expert when it comes to SEO forecast and trends. For more SEO tips and advice, you can view SEOM Company.