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Advanced Approach to Selecting Anchor Text

The Penguin update changed anchor text optimization forever.

With the significant effort Google has put into identifying anchor text manipulation, it’s fair to say that it’s still a significant ranking factor.

Google’s John Mueller has confirmed the usefulness of anchor text for Google to identify the context of a piece of content.

Because it’s so dangerous to over-optimize your anchor text and it’s also important to have, at least some, descriptive anchor text, the next step is to identify what type of anchor text you should attempt to secure.

It’s important to note that there are a lot of “best practices” suggested. Some examples are:

Use less than 30% over keyword-rich anchor text.
10% raw URLs.
However, Google weights factors differently depending on the keyword and niche.

So an analysis on a keyword or niche basis is key to understanding how to optimize anchor text.

Anchor Text Variations
An SEO can optimize anchor text with seemingly endless variations, but the variations can be grouped into four buckets:

Topically relevant (keyword-optimized).
Raw URL.
Call to action (CTA).
Some may also consider an image as a form of anchor, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll only focus on text-based links.

A company’s name or variations of its name is a common anchor.

A brand name can be combined with topically relevant or CTA anchors as well.

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