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  1. #1
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    Best Practice for Anchor Text Links...Please Weigh In!!!

    After doing extensive research about anchor text links, I've found that there is quite a bit of conflicting information on the matter. Furthermore, I've found that many people, much like myself, know what anchor text links are, recognize their algorithmic importance, but aren’t confident about there answers to some questions that have very serious implications. I'm hoping that some of you can help us clear this issue up for everyone.

    1.) When implementing anchor text links, should you (as in everyone) use various keywords you use or should you use the same anchor text over and over again?

    2.) At what point should you change the keyword that you are targeting? Should it just be based on search engine rankings for that specific keyword?

    3.) I have a recent quote of Rand Fishkin saying that relevance has little to no impact on site rankings from SEOmoz Pro Q&A. I have a hard time not believing him, yet at the same time there is so much talk of relevance I don’t know what to think. Does anyone have any additional insights on the matter?

    4.) According to a new study published on SEOmoz comparing Bing and Google ranking criteria, having an “exact match anchor text” is a very important ranking factor. (Check out this study if you’re a SEOmoz Pro member…It’s phenomenal!) Does this mean that I should try to anticipate what someone is going to search for and mirror that in my anchor text?

    5.) To make things a little less blurry, I’ll give you an example. It would be great if everyone that reads this post will at the very least vote for A, B, C, D, or E. I will compute the data and do a follow up post that has the results. Assuming that “apartment”, “loft”, “studio”, and “rental” are all competitive keywords for an Atlanta based company, which is the best use of anchor text links?


    A.) “Atlanta loft, apartment, and studio rentals”

    B.) “ rent lofts in Atlanta”

    C.) “Atlanta lofts”

    D.) “lofts”


    I hope that many of you will participate so we can get some solid answers about anchor text links.

    Thanks ahead of time!

    Spencer

  2. #2
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    Oh well, disinformation from the side of the big guys has always been their "strong" point to dominate the game, however, relevance does have impact (how "normal" would it be a video games site to link to a grocery store...nevermind )

    As far as it regards your question I would go with a combination of B and C, even tho that will AIM to improve rankings for only two keywords, and use also other combinations such as "Apartment rentals in Atlanta" or "Atlanta apartment rentals". The options you have left to chose are kinda limited based on "competitive keywords" you have named for an Atlanta based company.

    There isn't really a "fixed" number of diversifying keywords, what I would suggest you is come with creative anchor that will include two of your keywords and use combination's of those to target one keywords.

    A more simple example would be "How to make money online blogging" with combinations "make money online" "make money blogging" "how to make money" "how to make money online" etc etc..all these combinations not only will help you to rank for the specific keywords, but it will also help the more competitive one "make money" since it is included in the anchor.

    Hope i expressed myself the right way and made a point.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    So long as the linked text informs the user what to expect if they click the link you can use whatever text you like

  4. #4
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    1.) When implementing anchor text links, should you (as in everyone) use various keywords you use or should you use the same anchor text over and over again?
    - Use different ones.
    2.) At what point should you change the keyword that you are targeting? Should it just be based on search engine rankings for that specific keyword?
    - you should varry the incoming links and once you hit first page for one term, switch to another
    3.) I have a recent quote of Rand Fishkin saying that relevance has little to no impact on site rankings from SEOmoz Pro Q&A. I have a hard time not believing him, yet at the same time there is so much talk of relevance I don’t know what to think. Does anyone have any additional insights on the matter?
    - If you can transfer big amount of Google juice, go for it, even if site ain't relevant. But relevancy does help. it's all about combination of both.
    4.) According to a new study published on SEOmoz comparing Bing and Google ranking criteria, having an “exact match anchor text” is a very important ranking factor. (Check out this study if you’re a SEOmoz Pro member…It’s phenomenal!) Does this mean that I should try to anticipate what someone is going to search for and mirror that in my anchor text?
    - yeah I saw this study, nothing new really.
    5.) To make things a little less blurry, I’ll give you an example. It would be great if everyone that reads this post will at the very least vote for A, B, C, D, or E. I will compute the data and do a follow up post that has the results. Assuming that “apartment”, “loft”, “studio”, and “rental” are all competitive keywords for an Atlanta based company, which is the best use of anchor text links?
    - not gonna answer this one, I gave out enough in previous answers

  5. #5
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    Thanks a lot for your suggestions. They are very helpful! Correct me if I'm wrong, but the basic idea is to include as many keyword combinations in the anchor text links as possible.

    Also, so you think that Rand was just putting out misinformation about the best practice of anchor text links? This seems counter to a lot of there efforts on SEO moz. I'm not saying that you are wrong by any means. I'm just curious if I should expect this on a regular basis.

    Thanks,

    Spencer

  6. #6
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    the link text should exactly match the TITLE text of the target page

    if it doesn't, then one of them needs to change
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
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  7. #7
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    That's an excellent idea!

  8. #8
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spencerlb View Post
    5.) To make things a little less blurry, I’ll give you an example. It would be great if everyone that reads this post will at the very least vote for A, B, C, D, or E. I will compute the data and do a follow up post that has the results. Assuming that “apartment”, “loft”, “studio”, and “rental” are all competitive keywords for an Atlanta based company, which is the best use of anchor text links?


    A.) “Atlanta loft, apartment, and studio rentals”

    B.) “ rent lofts in Atlanta”

    C.) “Atlanta lofts”

    D.) “lofts”
    Being the contrary sod I am, I'm tempted to vote for "E" (hey, you said I could ), but putting on my serious face for a moment, I would go with "A" or "B", depending on the context - probably "B" - but it does depend on where the link is. If it's on a page about accommodation in Atlanta, you don't need to stress the Atlanta bit so much.

    Ultimately, you should be looking to get links that people will want to click on. If they are sufficiently descriptive that regular people browsing the net will see them in a relevant place, know what they are about and choose to click on them then the links are doing their job.

    "B" is good because it's got an active verb in it, which is a good call to action, and makes people feel decisive. "A" is fine, it gives all the information you want to convey, but it might be a bit wordy for some situations.

    "C" and "D" are both too brief, and don't give enough information scent. "Lofts" ... what about them? That might work as an internal link in a block of site navigation, but anywhere else it just isn't descriptive enough.

    It isn't a good idea to focus too heavily on any one keyword if there are several synonyms or alternative words that people might search for. If you focus too much on "loft", you're likely to miss out people searching for "studio" and "apartment". If it looks too wordy and intensive squeezing all those into a single link, vary the text a bit, use different words in different places.

    Within the context of natural language, variation in link text is good - it means you are more likely to pick up exact matches against different search terms (you might have optimised your site brilliantly for a particular phrase, but that doesn't mean that people are going to play the game and use your phrase - they'll use all sorts of combinations of random words), and it also suggests more organic links rather than farmed links, because when people link to your site, they will generally choose their own link text.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by spencerlb View Post
    Thanks a lot for your suggestions. They are very helpful! Correct me if I'm wrong, but the basic idea is to include as many keyword combinations in the anchor text links as possible.

    Also, so you think that Rand was just putting out misinformation about the best practice of anchor text links? This seems counter to a lot of there efforts on SEO moz. I'm not saying that you are wrong by any means. I'm just curious if I should expect this on a regular basis.

    Thanks,

    Spencer
    No
    Don't listen to people who tell you link with JUST ONE link keyword by the way.

    I don't think the idea of using as many as possible variations is right, I think it's good to mix and match, target 2-3 keywords with one page and use 3-4 variations for each keyword.
    That's just broad figures of course.

    When you read any SEO stuff that someone is putting out there, 50% of it might be wrong or an attenpt to missinform or it might be interpreted wrongly.

    EDIT: Just read the post above this one, Stevie's one, I agree almost completely
    Last edited by Chris1247; Jun 11, 2010 at 02:39. Reason: just read post above


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