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  1. #1
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    Question Anchor text: one or more keywords?

    Let's say my main keyword is widgets, and I want to rank well for that search term.

    If I get backlinks with the anchor text blue widgets, does this still improve my search rankings for just widgets?

    I assume it does, but how much less effective is this? And what if these are a few more words in the anchor text besides the main keyword.
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  2. #2
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    A keyword is a word that stands out in your content whether it's anchor text or regular text. You can do this through repetition of a keyword, emphasis, or relevancy. If you have 20 words and none standout on their own merit, then none are keywords.

    So, a link that says "Blue widgets here" has one main keyword (widgets) and one keyword phrase (blue widgets) since blue modifies the word "widgets" it is not a keyword on its own merits.
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  3. #3
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    When you're doing a link-building campaign, it's good practice to not have all of your anchor text with the same keyword. If your primary keyword is "widgets" you might have a couple of secondary kewords for the page, such as "blue widgets" and "buy blue widgets". What I'd recommend is mixing the usage of the anchor text. Say, 50% of them being "widgets", 30% of them being "blue widgets" and 20% of them being "buy blue widgets". In a lot of cases, you won't have much choice how the anchor text appears, the webmaster placing the link on their site will decide. That, of course, will give more variety, and make more natural looking backlinks for you. Link spammers tend to have a higher concentration of backlinks using all the same keyword in the anchor.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollila
    If I get backlinks with the anchor text blue widgets, does this still improve my search rankings for just widgets?
    Yes.

    I assume it does, but how much less effective is this? And what if these are a few more words in the anchor text besides the main keyword.
    Sorry, but don't think anyone can give exact percentage on how exactly the importance of one word is calulated in a string. But first SE mathces the whole keyphrase, and then words inside the phrase.

    And petertdavis is right saying that using different anchor texts is ok, it looks more natural for SEs. If you already have great ranks for widgets, then don't worry about making your anchors versatile. And only your personal experience will show what % of pure keyword vs. longer keyword is the best.
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  5. #5
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    A lot of good advice above, another thing to keep in mind is that optimizing for one word keyword searches is rarely a good plan.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy linkin99's Avatar
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    It's good to diversify. Although I would use (if you had the option/choice to use) different phrases to different pages on your site. Keep the phrases consistent for maximum seo benefit.

  7. #7
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    That is some clear advice from petertdavis on varying anchor texts, thank you.

    What I wanted to ask on my initial post was if anyone knew how much adding additional words to anchor text diminishes the weigh of one specific word. I'll try to present the question more clearly.

    Lets assume that I have a home page about widgets that has 30 backlinks, and all variables except the anchor texts are constant.
    1. 10 links with anchor text "widget"
    2. 10 links with anchor text "word1 widget"
    3. 10 links with anchor text "word2 word3 widget"
    If a user makes a search for "widget", what would be the strength of each of these links in determining the result?

    SmartPoint already stated that no one can give an exact percentage on how exactly the importance of one word is calculated in a string. But does anyone have an estimate or an educated guess?
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  8. #8
    perfect = good enough peach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower
    So, a link that says "Blue widgets here" has one main keyword (widgets) and one keyword phrase (blue widgets) since blue modifies the word "widgets" it is not a keyword on its own merits.
    I don't know what you're saying exactly, but for sure if your anchor text is blue widgets, he will improve his relevance to "widgets" as well. You can verify this by looking at websites that for example, only have anchor text "lawn care" and still rank for "lawn".

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bigalreturns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower
    A keyword is a word that stands out in your content whether it's anchor text or regular text. You can do this through repetition of a keyword, emphasis, or relevancy. If you have 20 words and none standout on their own merit, then none are keywords.

    So, a link that says "Blue widgets here" has one main keyword (widgets) and one keyword phrase (blue widgets) since blue modifies the word "widgets" it is not a keyword on its own merits.
    I think that in the phrase "blue widgets here" there are 3 keywords, namely "blue" , "widgets" and "here", and 3 keyphrases, "blue widgets", "widgets here", and "blue widgets here". Just because you may or may not be targetting specific keywords/phrases doesn't mean that they're not regarded as such.
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