17/01/2013

Link anchor text must be a complete thought

I was just over at QuickSprout, reading another of  +Neil Patel's awesome SEO articles.  The guy becomes more of an authority with every post.  Quality.

The subject on this occasion was: 5 SEO mistakes even experts make.

Whilst some of the points certainly hold true to the title, I wouldn't say that all SEOs make all of the mistakes listed all of the time.

Nonetheless, it was informative as always.  Indeed, any article that encourages the amount of praise and comment instigated by said post has to demonstrate two things:
  1. delivering information customers can actually use
  2. understanding your audience well enough to spark debate or commentary

Make your link's anchor text organic


One of the points alluded to, but not explained (in this article, anyway; no doubt Neil has done so in earlier posts) was how to make links look organic.

As linking is still very much a part of white-hat SEO, making links look organic is key to avoiding any type of Google penalisation.

It's no mean feat, either; especially if you're not writing in your native tongue.  For organic, see relevant; you'll get the picture. 

Too Much, Too Young = too risky


Natural links created or attracted over time now weigh heavier than paid-for links from poor quality sites.  And reduce the risk of being Google-slapped.

As Google algorithms become more refined, they'll be able to identify sites indulging in poor linking strategies easily enough.  So just don't.

Too much, too young, for those who remember, was the first of The Specials' two number one UK hits. The same theory also applies to the way Google appraises sites that grow too many links too quickly.


Thanks Terry, Jerry and the rest of the band for that short interlude.  Back to the point.

The way many of the comments were headed, I thought iterating to his audience the training I'd had on making links look organic was a worthwhile exercise.

An example of an organic linking strategy


It's also worthy of repetition here, for those who are going to join me on the FeckTV SEO journey - should be a bumpy ride, that one.  So, herewith, my comment:
One other point about linking, internally or to domain authority sites, Neil.
Rather than just link the keyword, link a complete thought or phrase.

For example, say I wanted to link to my work site with this sentence: "If you're searching for unbiased articles, features and opinion, start-up global TV network, FeckTV.com reports the news like it is, as it happens, 24/7 from around the globe."

In days of yore, the anchor text would purely have been the brand name, "FeckTV.com".

Too much of that tactic nowadays and, as you point out, your site gets treacherously close to being judged as spam by the web-indexers.

In today's SEO world a more organic looking link would use either "start-up global TV network, FeckTV.com" or "FeckTV.com reports the news" as its anchor text.

Either outbound link demonstrates what I mean by anchor text comprising a whole thought or phrase. 
In the above example, the first link goes to the FeckTV home page, the second to 'category/england/current-affairs'.

Rather than link constantly to the home page, as was so oft the case a year hence, your link should go to an about page, article page - whichever page is most relevant to the phrase that constitutes the anchor text.

Thanks for another brilliant article, Neil - I wasn't aware of the 2,000 word homepage deal with Google.

Guess where I'm off to now... ...anyone else need more copy for their home page, drop me a line in the form through [the Jason Darrell Writing Services] link, above - I'm not free, but am a) brilliant b) totally value for money.

p.s. sorry, Neil - couldn't not get that plug in, the way the comment went, bud.

So there we have it, folks.  How to make your links look organic, as per the Darrelldoo School of SEO.  Thanks for your time.

Please share this with anyone you think would benefit; feel free to comment if you did or even if you disagree.

Also, do take a trip over to QuickSprout if you're a beginner or intermediary blogger.  Neil's advice is diamond.

For more advanced reading, you can check out the BowlerHat take on Anchor Text Ratios and what it all means for page rank and penalisation (or not, hopefully).