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The Best Use of Link Building Time and Anchor Text

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The Best Use of Link Building Time and Anchor Text

Post  jullysan on Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:55 pm

One of the most contentious issues with regards the best way to build links to a website is surely that of anchor text. The first thing many people starting out have to concern themselves with is just what anchor text is and then you have to worry about how much is too much and if you're doing it right.

Well, it's fair to say that when it comes to links in general, there are never enough. You can't have enough links going to your website and building too many is just impossible. The rumour that has spread quite widely and keeps appearing in the specialist forums is that you could build too many links and Google would penalise you. Of course, this is surely impossible because anyone could build links to your website and could therefore affect its ranking.

If the ranking of a website could be adversely affected by a third party building links to it, this would create a whole bunch of web wars with people looking to pump as much effort as possible into reducing a competitor's ranking by simply creating bad links to it.

This hasn't happened yet and I doubt it ever would, Google and the other big search engines would attract (quite rightly) an awful lot of bad press if they were to even hint at this happening and so we can safely assume that building links, no matter where from, is OK. But this doesn't preclude the issue that it may just be a waste of time.

A link from a 'bad neighbourhood' may not penalise a website but there is something Google could do - it could ignore them. Ignoring links is OK I suppose, but if you're paying for them or if you're spending time getting them then surely that's as bad as being penalised?

And then of course, there's the ever-present issue of the anchor text. This text is essentially the words on the web page that you click on to get to the target site. Very often you see the words 'click here' with a little blue line under it - this is anchor text and Google sees this text as an indication of the keywords that the target site should be ranked for.

But obviously, if all the links say 'click here' it's going to be of no use to Google or a prospective customer. For example, type 'click here' into Google and you'll most likely get Adobe Acrobat as the top target page. This is because many people have a link to this page to download the software.

So, people use this anchor text to 'guide' Google towards their site. If, for example, you wanted to optimise for 'web design' then you would highlight that text and put a link back to your site so when people click on it, it would take them there. However, some SEO types and those looking to boost their ranking make the fatal mistake of making every link like this. There is no variation and they all look the same. Does this look natural?

Now, I'm going to claim I don't know because you have to weigh up the fact that Google indexes an awful lot of data in its trawling of the web and a few thousand links when compared to the many billions they find is probably nothing to worry about, but for the amount of time it takes to make the change - I actually think it's worth varying the words you use.

So how do we do this? Well, when you're creating content to be syndicated across the web, consider using different words. In fact, replace a few 'web designs' with 'click for more' and 'click to view' every now and then and your articles and therefore your link building will look much more natural.


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