Using Anchor Text is Stupid.
As a Denver based Search Engine Optimization Company we can clearly say that using unnatural Anchor Text to help your sites ranking is stupid, and always has been. SEO’s have been using it as a measurement and tool since the beginning of time and with the recent changes at Google many are suffering the consequences, and more accurately their former or current clients are suffering the rankings drop.
One of the principles Google speaks to in SEO is taking actions as if Google didn’t exist. Great SEO starts with that premise. So unnatural Anchor Text is a CLEAR violation of that principle, and can be easily identified by a search engine.
I do not think that on Site basics apply to this principle. Your site must be as clear and specific as possible about its content. That’s not gaming the system, it’s just common sense. Most of the tactics Google seems to hate are off site and in your sites link profile.
Let’s go to the basics. In order of importance for making sure Google and other search engines can index and understand what your site is about (or your sites pages).
- Your URL. This seems simple. If your site URL or page URL says Dentist, well, Google will have a strong clue that you’re a Dentist. I know about the Google patent on exact match domains, but as of now we haven’t seen much evidence that there have been any changes in actual rankings.
Here is the logic: If Google didn’t exist, I would want a domain that clearly defines what I am. So yes, I would use a domain like Dentist.com or Dentist in Detroit , or Pretty smile dentist…. To me that stands’ up to the principle that great web visibility starts with acting like Google doesn’t exist.
2.) Your Meta Title: Next to the domain name, this is how any search engine figures out what your site is about. Remember, these are robots, not English majors reading the Title of a page. So if you are a Dentist in Chicago, I would use Dentist in Chicago in the first few words.
3.) Content: I don’t really give a hoot about percentage of keywords in your copy, or even your H1, H2 tags…what we should care about is that when someone reads the page, that it is very clear what the page is about. If that leads to a natural paragraph heading that includes the words in your title tag, so be it. If it doesn’t, that’s fine to.
4.) And… remember… content and rankings are by page not site. It would be very confusing if Meta tags were the only information a person looking for your site could see, and every page on your site had the same Meta title. 80 pages of Dentist in Chicago. Looks sloppy. And then which page would they click on? Confusing.
And then to the off site:
There are times when you can use Anchor Text to point to your site. But the reality is not many. And if you are lucky enough to get a link on a good quality site, Google will already know what the page is about that the link is pointing to because it’s clear in the Meta title and copy on the page. Why add Anchor text? Really? You don’t think Google or others have the page Indexed? Then that’s another issue. And then if you use the same Anchor Text to different pages on your site that have different subjects, will, you get the picture.
Using Anchor Text always has been stupid (in most cases).
I know that the vast majority of SEO tips and principles are really just opinions, so if you disagree I completely understand and respect that. SEO or web visibility is a complex field, and you always have to look at correlation versus causation and do a bunch of research and study to really feel confident. Or, you can produce really stellar content and give clear and precise information on your site and pages, and then actively become part of the Internet communities to promote your business. In the now and the future we feel (even in its simplified summary) that the later will win the day.
Don’t hesitate to call us if we can help you. 303 500 3053 ext 1. (Mike)