SEO: An Introduction to Link Building & Anchored Text
Link building is an off-page SEO technique we discussed in our previous article discussing the basic techniques of off-page optimisation.
In the following article we will discuss a little more about the process of linking your website from other websites. Back-links are essentially hypertext navigation links that act as a structure between websites. The links are checked by search engines which allows them to index content on the web, from a technical standpoint.
Search engines crawl new content and determine the value of a website based on the value passed from external sources; using each link to explore new websites and set the overall ranking of a website in a given search engine results page.
This is an influential off-site factor that will determine your websites overall ranking. When Google was first conceptualised as a search engine, they ranked web pages solely based on the number of back-links a website had; whereby the only metric was the more links, the higher a page ranked in search results.
Of course, by the 2000’s this was being misused and Google had to update their algorithm to enforce penalties to websites abusing the system and using black hat techniques to place their websites high up on the SERP.
Nowadays, its rather about the quality and relevance of the links your website is being used to support, as opposed to the number of links, in fact, those with poor quality or abusive back-links are likely to be penalised.
Anchor text- a back link know-how essential
The anchor text is a visible, clickable part of a hyperlink identifiable to the reader of a web page. It also helps crawlers identify what the linked page is about. SEO-friendly anchor text is succinct and relevant to the target page.
The more pages that certain terms to link to your website used in anchor text, it can increase the websites ranking for these terms with search engines.
In order to stop the Google algorithm from blacklisting your website, focusing solely on the quantity of keywords anchored to a specific back-link is not necessarily the way to proceed. It is better to leave the anchor texts where they are naturally useful, as opposed to artificially adjusting them.
There should be a balance among the following types of anchors throughout the text:
- Keywords & phrases such as “marketing outsourcing”.
- Brands such as “Google”.
- Branded terms such as “marketing outsourcing by Google”.
- Click To Actions such as “click to read more”.
- Generic anchors such as “link”.
- Even distribution of Anchor text (check out SERPChecker).
- Naked links such as “Google.com”.
Quality of Back-links
Google and other search engines consider multiple aspects regarding the quality of the referral sites when sifting through content to decide what is new, relevant and above all else, helpful:
- The authority of the domain.
- The authority of the page.
- Other profile quality metrics about the link.
Relevancy of Back-links
Links referring to a website have to be relevant to its content. A back-link from a holistic medicine store will be useless for a websites’ indexing if it is a blog about finance for example.
Placement of Back-links
Site-wide links appear on all pages of a website, they are good for internal and external link building and can generate considerable traffic. They are usually in the footer, header, sidebar or blogrolls. Links placed in the main articles or sections are better than links in footers and sidebars.
While single links are generally more valuable than site-wide links, don’t be put off using them. Rather ensure to only create natural links and know that their SEO potential naturally may be a bit lower when compared to traffic from single links.
Link building strategies
It’s not easy to place a high-quality back-link. The right formula requires time and a lot of forward planning. Generally speaking, if you are placing more than 1 back-link in an afternoon, you are posting way too many and are at risk of being blacklisted by the Google algorithm.
Historically, the techniques that were the simplest (reciprocal links or directory submissions) do not work as they used to, so it really comes down to spending time reaching out to high authority websites, guest publishing and writing content that people find incredibly useful for a strong SEO campaign in 2019 going into 2020.
To read our complete on-page optimisation techniques guide, click here.