Proper back link profiles are a complicated affair, at least in a SEO world that’s ruled over by post-Panda update research. Panda seemed to point to the fact that exact matches for anchor texts were the Holy Grail of back linking. What’s more, the SEO Starter Guide published by Google also seems to be advising against more generic terms and phrases for anchor texts – as well as against off-topic text, text that is not related or relevant for the link it hosts, and domain names. That guide was published in 2010, though, and current link spam bot attacks indicate that, at least where black hat is concerned, a mix of various types of anchors will provide the best results. Indeed, Google does not overtly encourage the use of generic anchor text phrases, so if you’re thinking of linking on ‘click here’ or ‘read more’, think again. According to anecdotal evidence and recent research, the best type of anchor text is non-controlled anchoring. Beyond that, however, there are a few pointers you might want to follow when articulating a coherent link building profile.
- Variety is the best policy. Bots and research alike will reveal that a blend of exact matches, partial matches, generic links and URLs will make for a coherent profile. However, there is more to variety than simply avoiding over-optimization where exact keyword matches are concerned.
- Related terms:think semantic fields. Google illustrates its best practice guide on back linking with the already famous ‘Australian Shepherd’ example, which any good SEO digital agency content writer should be able to explain to you as a client. In the example, related phrases such as ‘Aussie’, ‘blue merle’, ‘red merle’, ‘tricolor’, and ‘agility training’ are all listed as related to the initial term. That means that a page does not necessarily contain exact matches for ‘Australian Shepherd’, it might still end up high on the SERPs, due to the presence of all the other related terms. That’s understandable, considering that it’s very likely for any and all of these terms to co-occur on the highest ranking SERPs for ‘Australian Shepherd’
- Synonyms and tildes. Synonyms activate a simple mechanism within the Google search algorithms. Search for any phrase containing the word ‘pic’ and you will most likely get results that also include the word ‘photo’, ‘photograph’, and ‘image’. The best way to identifying synonyms for your given key word is to employ the tilde (~) operator within a Google search string, which basically tells the engine you are looking for a word with the same meaning.