The web is all abuzz about the latest Google Penguin update, which seeks to discourage SEOs and overoptimization techniques. Some SEOs and webmasters are mildly panicking over the changes or seeing their sites drop in rankings. But folks are already analyzing the situation and figuring out how to recover.
I particularly like the information MicroSiteMasters unearthed about anchor text and links from related niches. They found that sites that heavily spammed their keyword phrase in their anchor text were much more likely to get slapped than the sites that had a great deal of anchor text diversity. They also found that sites that had more links from websites in related niches were less likely to get slapped than those with links that were more unrelated.
So what’s a webmaster to do? There’s a whole slew of things that you could be doing, and you can read more at the above links, but one of the recommendations is to vary your anchor text. If you are building your own links, you have control over this aspect of your link profile (or a significant portion of it). What did MicroSiteMasters say specifically about anchor text?
What anchor text should you be using? From the data we’ve evaluated, “MySiteDomain.com”, “MySiteDomain”, “http://mysitedomain.com”, “http://www.mysitedomain.com”, “The Title of My Website”, “here”, and “the title of one of my H1′s (that isn’t a keyword I’m trying to rank for)”, were generally used as anchors on sites that were not affected by the most recent Google update and are probably a good starting point to consider using moving forward.
I agree that’s a pretty good starting point, but what all can you do to diversify your anchor text? Well, here’s 10 ideas for you:
1. Full Frontal URL. This is using the URL/domain as the anchor text.
www.makeawebsitezone.com / makeawebsitezone.com (note both with and without the www.)
2. What’s In A Name? Simply use the brand or website name for the anchor. Note that this can be used not just for linking to the home page, but for deep linking, too.
Make A Website Zone has a post… (deep linking example).
3. Author name. Use variations of the author’s name: Mike Johnson/Michael Johnson/Mike/Michael/M. Johnson/MJ
4. “Here’s” Where It’s At. This is the famous “here’ or “click here” anchor text. This has tons of variations, so use your imagination. Examples: here | click here | go here | read this | click this link | visit here | visit this link | this link | this site | more info | info here…
5. Are We On The Same Page? Use the name or type of page. Examples: homepage | home | post | article | graphic | paper | info paper | series | report | resources | hints | bonus | information | video | website | web site
6. Name Your Sources! Use your anchor text as a citation or source. Examples: source | article source | citation | link | source link
7. Keep Reading. Tell the reader to “keep reading” in the anchor text. Examples: read more | keep reading | more here | next page | continue reading | additional reading | the rest here | additional info | continue | continued | more info | more information | more | full article | full report | read full article | read full report | learn more | find out more | learn more here
8.Title/H1. Use the title of the page /website/article or the H1 as the anchor text. This usually helps with your keywords, but be careful. Your H1/title might be exactly the same as your keyword phrase you’re targeting, so in that case it wouldn’t increase your diversity.
Example: 10 Ideas for Anchor Text Diversity (my post title/H1 tag)
9. Phrase Or Sentence. Use a phrase or whole sentence as a link. The possibilities are huge with this one, so just use your imagination. Examples: Wrote something interesting | disproved it all | made a big joke of the whole thing | tested the waters | I found | an excellent rundown | I love this one right here.
10. Mix It Up. Take 2 or more of the above ideas and combine them. Sprinkle in some parentheses, punctuation, alternate spellings, capitalization, adverbs and adjectives, or synonyms.
- more here | (more here) | more HERE | more here… | alot more here | alot more here from Mike
- post | great post | really great post | REALLY great post | this post | this article from Make A Website Zone | (this post)
- 10 Ideas for Anchor Text Diversity | 10 Tips for Anchor Text Diversity | 10 ideas to diversify anchor text | a post on how to diversify your anchor text
I hope these are helpful and get your juices flowing. You may feel a strong urge to use your desired keywords as your anchor text, but really, you should probably just be using whatever comes natural.
Got any other ideas to vary your anchor text? Put them in the comments below.