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Jeriann Watkins

Anchor Text Analysis: Imperfections are OK

By: Jeriann Watkins | June 3, 2013 | 
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Anchor TextThere are days guest blogging is a rewarding process.

Someone actually appreciates your content and doesn’t mind putting in some backlinks for you.

But there are other days when all you seem to meet is frustration.

No one wants your articles because you’re associated with a company.

When they do take your articles, they might take out your links or claim the article as their own.

They might fill it with their own affiliate links, but refuse to give you credit. And when you finally do get links, they’re broken, have the wrong anchor text, or go to the wrong pages.

If you do some anchor text analysis, however, there’s something to be said for imperfect links. After all, perfection isn’t natural.

Imperfections show the webspam bots you’re not using link-building software to automate your link building.

So let’s go through some of the commonly encountered imperfections in anchor text and see whether they really do negatively affect your link building efforts.

Anchor Text Imperfections

Because it’s impossible to know what actually makes a site rank well, we can’t know exactly how much the anchor text of a link affects the rank of its target page. After all, not only do you have to consider the anchor text, but the page the link is on, the quality and subject of the surrounding content, and the list of factors goes on and on.

But targeting specific anchor text is one way link builders and webmasters attempt to improve their rankings for specific terms. By placing targeted anchor text on relevant sites, you can increase the chance your site will rank for those terms.

If a link goes up with misspelled anchor text, you should definitely work on getting that fixed. Typos reflect badly not only on your site, but on the site linking to you. People are less likely to click on misspelled words, and if you have a bunch of links that have never been clicked on, it does not bode well.

If the anchor text is a vague call-to-action such as “click here” or ”see more,” then its usefulness is minimal and you will probably want to change it. But then again, it doesn’t hurt you, and a couple of links with unoptimized anchor text are to be expected in a comprehensive link portfolio. It looks natural. So don’t aim for it, but if it’s the best you can get, then don’t fret.

Branded Anchor Text

When it comes to branded anchor text, there is a lot of speculation going around. I’ve had clients who want to only focus on their keywords and absolutely want to avoid branded anchor text. Anchor text studies have shown the link profiles of well-branded companies have a high percentage of branded links. And they don’t just rank for their company name, which is what their anchor text is. They’re ranking for the keywords associated with the content surrounding their links.

Variety is good, so I wouldn’t target only branded anchor text. But I wouldn’t target just keywords either. Shake things up, and even if the blogger changes your link, it will be ok. It just adds variety.

If you are working for a client with very specific goals, however, you should do what it takes to change the link to meet their requirements. However, it might help to explain to your client the potential benefits of various anchor text and the fact that text that isn’t identical to their target keywords will not be to their detriment.

Also talk to the client about the motivation behind their demands. If they have 5,000 branded anchor text links out there, that’s a good reason to avoid obtaining more. But if a site refuses to give keyword anchor text link, you have to ask yourself (and your client) if a branded link is better than no link at all.

Because there is no 100 percent guaranteed way to rank well in search engines, you always have to ask if the links you are acquiring will benefit you in other ways. Is it a link someone would click on? Is it on a site you want to be associated with?

Anchor text is just one small part of the giant web of SEO tactics, and it’s not worth being too nitpicky over. Imperfections show you’re human, and ultimately, that’s what search engines are looking for.

About Jeriann Watkins


Jeriann Watkins is a writer living in Boise, Idaho. She enjoys writing about many subjects, including white-hat SEO and new advances in internet technology. She currently works for Page One Power, a relevancy first link building company.

4 comments
LionLeaf
LionLeaf

Quality backlinks is one of the most important factors in Search Engine Optimization. It is not enough just to have a lot of backlinks, it is the Quality

biggreenpen
biggreenpen

Jeriann, my knowledge of SEO anything is very basic, so I'll use this opportunity to thank you for educating me regarding one piece of it!

JeriannWatkins
JeriannWatkins

@LionLeaf absolutely! Quantity is not only not as important as quality, but a quick influx of links can bring suspicion to your webpage.