The textAnchoring is a hotly debated topic among SEO professionals.
"Exact matches are the best! "
"Never get an exact match unless you like Google penalties!"
Unfortunately, neither of these sentiments help.
Is anchor text really important to creation and creation improving links rankings?
How to avoid possible penalties?
Here are some things to know about anchor text when creating and getting links.
1. Google likes exact matches ... to some extent
What I'm about to tell you might shock you.
Conversely , if you were the first person I quoted just above it probably won
Exact matches shouldn't be as scary as they are.
Here it is, I said it.
Iknow, your inner SEO pro is screaming.
You're probably tweeting about how bad the exact match anchors are.
But before we do, let's talk about Google's official position.
Google says the following about using anchor text effectively for readers and search engines:
When writing the link text, use a phrase that describes what the reader will see after followed the link.
The links should make sense without the surrounding text.
It's a bit vague, but it's simple: the anchor text should describe what the reader gets when clicking on a given link.
If your anchor text is "link building strategies", the user who clicked should be directed to an article on link building strategies.
But, isn 't that exactly the match ??
Isn't the anchor text for the exact match bad?
Yes and no.
According to Google, a good link text contains "the exact text of the title or title you " re referencing "or" a deion of the landing page ".
Rather than using phrases like "click here" or "learn more", Google actually prefers more exact matches and closely related variations to the content that users click on.
It provides better user experience and makes it easier for search engines to crawl.
Users know exactly what they get when they click.
And they only click if they want to know more.
However, that doesn't mean you should leverage this for rankings.
For example, you shouldn't be prompted to postr on 200 different sites and insert exact match anchors into each item.
Each anchor does not have to be exactly the same anchor.
Google identifies this as a link scheme , subject to penalties, manual actions, etc.
The moral of the story: if you acquire a lot of natural backs with exact or linked match anchors, that's fantastic.
You don 't need to panic or disavow exact match anchors.
Instead, just avoid large-scale schemes that exploit this, otherwise you could risk penalties.
Use e xact matches sparingly, but find unique ways to describe the link you reference or get that are still useful to users reading it.
2. You can and should audit your textAnchor
Having hundreds of keyword exact match anchors is a recipe for red flags.
Especially if they understand the majority of your backs. But sometimes, this is how you acquired links naturally.
Fortunately, you can (and should) audit the current distribution of your anchor text to find the ideal medium.
If you notice that hundreds of sites are linked to your "SEO guide" with the exact anchor, all you have to do is contact those editors and ask them to change the anchor.
It really is that simple.
Editors want to produce the article that is most appealing to their readers.
Check the existing anchor and back and see if they can be improved or placed on a more relevant anchor.
Even if you only get 20/100 changes, it is still a fantastic conversion.This isn't a great way to limit the total number of exact matches you get.
Using the Ahref Anchors report, you can view a breakdown of current anchor text and relevant stats such as referring domains, followed and untracked links, and more.
When looking to earn or link, you can also diversify the possibility of linking to your coin.
This will diversify your anchors.
For example, if you have a bulky guide, consider adding video embedding capabilities or using custom images to create quote links.
Overall a well-balanced anchor profile is ideal.
Talking about what, what does that look like?
3. Well rounded anchors are ideal
Google likes exact matches ( and variants), as long as you do not violate any of the rules for large-scale linking schemes.scale.
That being said, your entire back profile should not contain 100% exact match anchors.
This is just not realistic.
Most content creators or websites are not going to do exact keyword anchors every time.
Even though Google says it's natural and even preferred, the idea of exact match anchors makes people suspicious.
Anchors can and should range from homepage branding to keyword variations and even quotes.
In fact, recent data shows that the top Alexa ranking sites have a natural anchor text profile containing a mix of:
- Brand anchors ( for example, Search Engine Journal).
- Exact match anchors.
- General / random anchors.
- Image source anchors.
The best Alexa ranking sites have this mix because it isnatural on a large scale.
If you had 500 backs and each one matched your target page exactly, that could signal to Google that you were manipulating their system, checking all those anchors.
While you don't have anchor text control for the countless links you receive, when you do, start evaluating your current anchor text spreads.
If you have an overwhelming number of keyword anchors, try using a branded anchor or reference something hyper-specific in the article.
Seek to establish a natural, anchor text mix that avoids any linking pattern or manipulation of the system.
Anchor text can be a tricky and sensitive subject for SEO professionals and bloggers.
Knowing how and when to link to relevant content is not easy. Google often sends mixed signals andfails to clarify gray areas.
With the latest resources, we can be sure that exact match anchors are useful to Google and readers, as long as you don't violate any linking patterns.
Having well rounded anchors is always best if you ever have a say in the links you acquire.
Always look at your existing anchor text to determine if you have a well rounded profile and iteration based on performance.
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Screenshot taken by the author, October 2020