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Anchor Text & Link Building Explained

22

December

Anchor Text & Link Building Explained

The definition of anchor text is that it is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. In most browsers, it is light blue and underlined, such as this link to the dark peak homepage. In a word document you create a link in this way – Select the text or picture that you want to display as the hyperlink. On the Insert tab, in the Links group, click Hyperlink. You can also right-click the text or picture and then click Hyperlink on the shortcut menu.

Link Building Defined

Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A link is a way for web users to move between pages on the internet. The search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website, and they will crawl the links between entire websites.

There are two ways that the search engines use links:

  •  To discover new web pages
  • To help determine how well a web page should rank in their results

 According to Moz.com, “once search engines have crawled pages on the web, they can extract the content of those pages and add it to their indexes. In this way, they can decide if they feel a page is of sufficient quality to be ranked well for relevant keywords. When they are deciding this, the search engines do not just look at the content of the page; they also look at the number of links pointing to that page from external websites and the quality of those external websites. Generally speaking, the more high-quality websites that link to you, the more likely you are to rank well in search results.

Links as a ranking factor are what allowed Google to start to dominate the search engine market back in the late 1990s. One of Google’s founders, Larry Page, invented PageRank, which Google used to measure the quality of a page based in part on the number of links pointing to it. This metric was then used as part of the overall ranking algorithm and became a strong signal because it was a very good way of determining the quality of a page.

It was so effective because it was based upon the idea that a link could be seen as a vote of confidence about a page, i.e., it wouldn’t get links if it didn’t deserve to. The theory is that when someone links to another website, they are effectively saying it is a good resource. Otherwise, they wouldn’t link to it, much in the same way that you wouldn’t send a friend to a bad restaurant.

However, SEOs soon discovered how to manipulate PageRank and search results for chosen keywords. Google started actively trying to find ways to discover websites which were manipulating search results, and began rolling out regular updates which were specifically aimed at filtering out websites that didn’t deserve to rank.

This has also led to Google starting to discount a number of link building techniques that were previously deemed fine, for example, submitting your website to web directories and getting a link in return. This was a technique that Google actually recommended at one point, but it became abused and overused by SEOs, so Google stopped passing as much value from that sort of links”

One of the roles of a search engine optimizer is to generate links to a client website in order to help drive them forward in the search engines. To reiterate. too many inbound links to a page with the exact same keyword-rich anchor text will cause Google to scrutinize your site’s link profile and in many cases, penalize you for trying to manipulate the search results. A whole industry has grown up of people offering huge amounts of Google friendly links for a few pennies. Almost without exception, these are bad news. Better one link from a bona fide source than a thousand ‘spam links’ to your website. Here is a video From Google’s head of spam, Matt Cutts answering a question from a company in Manchester that got their site penalised by Google through taking bad advice on link building –

It’s not just the volume of links it is the anchor text that is used. Google in particular, favor ‘Brand’ type links over all others. To move forward, you or your optimizer needs to be looking for a mix of different types of link. Here is the recommended mix –

50% Brand Anchor Links

Brand anchors are Dark Peak Digital or Dark Peak Digital Ltd. These anchors are important because they establish your website as a BRAND.

20% URL Links

URL links are the most natural way to link to a site: http://ww.darkpeakdigital.co.uk or www.darkpeakdigital.co.uk

20% Generic Links

Generic anchors include “click here”, “go here”, or “visit this page”.

5% Exact Match Links

In my case, if wanted to be known for ‘SEO Glossop’ or ‘Web Design Glossop’ then these are the exact terms I would use in my link.

 5% Keyword Variations

Keyword variations are exactly what you think: variation of your exact match anchor or primary keyword. For example – ‘web designers in Glossop’, Glossop search engine optimization’, ‘SEO consultants in Glossop’ etcetera.

In a future post, I will suggest some techniques and places where you can generate a good, safe link to your website.

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