How to Choose Anchor Text Keywords after Penguin and Panda
Google penguin and panda have not changed the fact that the use of anchor text is still a critical aspect of SEO. It is their goal to regulate websites that use spams in order to raise their search engine rankings. The strategy of using the same keyword phrases as anchor texts to increase traffic is no longer allowed.
Natural versus Artificial Anchor Texts
An anchor text is a word or group of words within an article that points to another website. Its purpose is to offer further information by directing visitors to a related page. When other websites link to yours, it implies that a lot of people find your website valuable. And because this is one criteria used by Google in ranking web pages, you will certainly get a good position in the SERP. The more inbound links you have, the better your ranking will be.
However, in order to obtain a significant number of inbound links, other websites make use of artificial anchor texts. Artificial anchor texts consist of the same keywords or keyword phrases, and come from websites that may not be related at all to the landing page. This trick is what Google is trying to put a stop to. Google now evaluates the websites that link to yours. If your website will obtain a bulk of links from irrelevant sites in just a short period of time, this raises a red flag.
How to Make Anchor Texts Appear Natural
There is not much difference between penguin and panda in terms of the algorithm they base their rankings from. But what makes panda exceptional is that, there is human effort involved in it. Panda uses human reviewers to appraise a website, and to determine if it passes the standard set forth by Google. These human reviewers will not check each and every website though. Instead, they will focus on a set of websites, and look for patterns indicative of dishonest conducts to manipulate Google ranking. Once the patterns are established, their jobs will then be continued by machines.
To make backlinks appear natural, do not use the same keywords as anchor texts. For example, if you need backlinks for the keyword divorce attorney in San Francisco CA, you can use the phrases divorce lawyer in California, family law attorney CA, family law attorney San Francisco, and other variations of the said keyword. In other words, use synonyms so that it will not seem to Google that the articles that contain the anchor texts are only made for backlinking. This is one way to tell Google that the linking articles also offer value to the readers.
Types of Anchor Texts that do not Pass the Google Standard
The Panda update is designed to improve quality of search results. There are a lot of sites that are not supposed to be in the first positions in the SERP. Google created Panda to remove these sites, and encourage the use of natural links to improve ranking. Below are the types of anchor texts that are regarded as unacceptable.
- Spammy link signals. These are links that use the same keywords as anchor texts. They are sold in volumes by other sites.
- Guest posts on questionable sites. There are sites that allow guest posting for the sake of creating backlinks. If you will use a site that compromises quality of content over backlinks, your website can get penalized by Google.
- Comment spam. It is okay to leave comments in related posts and include a link to your website. But again, do not use the same keywords as anchor texts.
- Article marketing sites. These are sites that publish articles and press releases for marketing exposure. If you will obtain backlinks from these sites, it can adversely affect your Google ranking.
- Links from dangerous sites. Do not think about creating backlinks from websites that have been flagged by Google for spamming.