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Link building anchor text is tricky. Here are a few key things to know to optimize your anchors and avoid search engine penalties.
What I’m going to tell you may surprise you.
If you were the first individual I mentioned above, though, it is unlikely.
Exact matches should not be feared as much as they are.
That’s what I meant.
I know your inner SEO expert is screaming.
You’re probably thinking of tweeting about how terrible exact match anchors are.
But first, let’s discuss Google’s stated viewpoint.
Google recommends the following about successfully using anchor text for both readers and search engines:
Use a sentence that conveys what the reader will see after clicking the link when composing link text.
Without the surrounding content, links should make sense.
This is a little imprecise, but it’s straightforward: anchor text should convey what the reader receives when they click on a certain link.
If your anchor text is “link building strategies,” the person who clicked on it should be sent to an article about link building techniques.
Isn’t it simple?
But isn’t this a perfect match?
Isn’t precise match anchor text undesirable?
Both yes and no.
Good link text, according to Google, has “the precise wording of the title or header you’re addressing” or “a description of the destination page.”
It improves the user experience and makes it simpler for search engines to crawl.
When users click, they know precisely what they are receiving.
They only click if they want to find out more.
However, this does not imply that you should use it to boost your ranking.
You shouldn’t, for example, guest post on 200 separate sites and put exact match anchors into every article.
Every anchor should not be exactly the same.
Google classifies this as a direct link scheme, which is susceptible to fines, manual action, and other measures.
The lesson of the tale is that if you’re getting a lot of natural backlinks with exact or similar match anchors, that’s great.
There’s no need to worry or abandon perfect match anchors.
Instead, avoid large-scale strategies that take advantage of this, or you may face fines.
Exact match should be used rarely, but come up with innovative methods to explain the link you’re referring or acquiring that are still useful to folks reading.
Having hundreds of keyword exact match anchors sets off alarm bells.
Especially if they account for the vast bulk of your backlinks. But sometimes that’s simply how you’ve gotten connections organically.
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Fortunately, you can (and should) audit your present anchor text distribution to determine an optimal medium.
If you see that hundreds of sites are connecting to your “SEO guide” with the same anchor, just contact these publications and request that the anchor be changed.
It really is that easy.
Writers strive to create the most interesting essay for their audience.
Examine the present anchor and backlink to determine whether they may be upgraded or redirected to a more relevant anchor.
Even if just 20/100 are modified, that’s a tremendous conversion rate and an excellent strategy to minimize the overall number of precise matches you obtain.
You may view a variety of current anchor text and associated data such as referring domains, followed or nofollowed links, and more with Ahref’s Anchors report.
You may also diversify the ability to link to your work while attempting to earn or create links.
As a result, your anchors will be more diverse.
Consider adding video embed capabilities or using unique photos to establish citation links if you have a large guide.
Overall, a well-rounded anchor profile is optimal.
What does it look like, by the way?
Google prefers precise matches (and variants), as long as mass-scale link methods do not violate any standards.
Having said that, your complete backlink profile should not have 100% exact match anchors.
It’s simply not possible.
Most content authors or websites will not use precise keyword anchors every time.
Even while Google claims that perfect match anchors are natural and even encouraged, the concept nevertheless raises eyebrows.
Anchors may and should include anything from site branding to keyword variants to quotations.
According to current research, the top Alexa ranking sites have a natural anchor text profile that includes a combination of:
Having control over all of these anchors may indicate to Google that you were manipulating their system if you had 500 backlinks, each of which was perfectly matched to your target page.
While you won’t be able to alter the anchor text for every link you get, when you do, start evaluating your existing anchor text spread.
If you have an abundance of keyword anchors, consider utilizing a branded anchor or referencing something hyper-specific in the post.
Attempt to create a natural blend of anchor texts by avoiding any link scheme or system manipulation.
Anchor text may be a delicate, complex issue for both SEO professionals and bloggers.
It is difficult to know when and how to connect to appropriate information. Google often offers contradictory messages and fails to explain gray regions.
With the most recent resources, we can be certain that exact match anchors are beneficial to both Google and readers, as long as you don’t violate any link schemes.
If you ever have a say in the links you acquire, having well-rounded anchors is always recommended.
Examine your current anchor text spread to see whether you have a well-rounded profile, and iterate depending on performance.