SEO is a fast changing environment and is constantly evolving. Anchor text linking was one of the most commonly used SEO tactic for pushing websites towards the top SERPs and admittedly, it has been aggressively used by webmasters in the past for optimising websites for specific ‘commercial keywords’.
Why Does SEO Have To Change?
Google’s algorithm is extremely complex and is always changing, hence the reason SEO has to change to keep up with the new algorithm parameters. Many times when the algorithm changes they are called updates and often have animal names such as the Penguin Update.
Along Comes The Penguin…
The Penguin update changed the way many SEO professionals saw link building in 2012, as the common practice way to build quality links, was to acquire links from good quality websites, but have the link use an anchor text. The anchor text often was exact and normally for a commercial keyword.
So as an online marketing company in Perth, we might want to rank for the keyword ‘SEO Perth’ and pre-penguin, we would have had that as our anchor text for all our links. What the Penguin Update looks at is the use of aggressive anchor text link profiles, as having hundreds of links all with the same anchor text does not look organic and looks manipulative.
The Penguin Update looked at other areas as well, however the anchor text was a definite factor for many websites losing their rankings and triggering the Penguin filter.
Link Building Landscape Post-Penguin…
As such aggressive anchor text usage is now considered to be bad for SEO and should be avoided to avoid negative rankings. The Google Penguin Update is a hard hit on the issue, but to be very frank, even before its arrival, Google was up on its feet penalising sites that were using anchor text too aggressively for ‘commercial keywords’.
Link building can still use anchor text, however the best practice is to make sure that the anchor text is nice and broad with only a few exact match anchor text links. So using our online marketing company as an example, and the keyword ‘SEO Perth’, we might look to have anchor text variations such as SEO services Perth, SEO specialists in Perth, Perth SEO, SEO professionals in Perth etc.
By doing this the link profile is far more natural looking, you won’t risk triggering the filters and you actually are safe guarding your rankings for long term success.
What Else Should I Do For Link Building Best Practice?
Avoiding aggressive anchor text is definitely a good start to your link building strategy. Next try to build links from relevant sources, so as an online marketing company we want links from SEO blogs, web design blogs, web design forums, small business directories, social bookmarking websites ect. When building a link, think of the relevance of it because search engines will give far more value to links from relevant websites.