Today I want to talk about changes many of us need to make to our link building strategy, as a result of the latest Google updates.
I’m not referring to the de-indexing of BMR (BuildMyRank.com) and other blog networks. A lot has been said about that, and I might blog about it later.
In this post I want to talk about how you need to avoid over-optimization with your link-building. This concept is very important to understand if you want your sites to rank well.
Google is working harder and harder to detect whether your link profile looks natural.
Why is Google doing that?
Because they want to rank sites that are good quality sites, and therefore get links naturally.
That is why Google became so popular in the first place. Because their search results are relevant and good (or at least better than their competition).
And they want to continue that. In fact, they want to improve it.
So when you search for something, they want you to see high-quality listings in the top results.
In order to detect high-quality sites, they are now looking closer at backlinking patterns. If a site has a good linking pattern (I’ll explain what that means in a minute), it means that people like it and want to link to it. In other words, it’s a high quality site.
It wasn’t always this way.
In the past, you could stuff a webpage with multiple instances of a specific keyword, then get a lot of links to it using that keyword, and you were set. As long as the competition wasn’t too high, you’d be able to rank for it. A lot of spammy sites were doing that.
However, things have changed and this is no longer the case. Things have been different for quite a while.
For a while people who practice SEO have seen that you can’t do that anymore. You have to be careful not to stuff your site with keywords, and not to use the same anchor text for our backlinks 100% of the time.
And now, after the latest Google updates, we need to work harder to make sure our backlinks are indeed varied.
And that’s what I want to talk about today.
To get straight to the point, there are 3 things you need to do from now on, if you are not doing them already:
#1: Vary your anchor text
For those who don’t know what anchor text means, here’s a quick explanation:
If I have the following link:
then the text – in this case Wikipedia Online – is called the anchor text, and the place it takes me – in this case http://wikipedia.org – is called the url.
So the anchor text is the text that you see when you view a link.
And when you get backlinks to your site, you need to vary that anchor text.
Until now, you could use your keyword as your anchor text 60%, 70% or 80% of the time (depending on who you asked). Today you want it to be much lower.
And you want the variety to be much wider.
So if my keyword is canon camera a590, I’ll want to use that exact keyword a portion of the time, and the rest of the time I’ll want to use:
- Variations of the keyword, such as canon a590, a590 camera, canon camera a590 sale, buy canon camera a590
- Other keywords I’d like to rank for (it’s always nice when you rank for more than 1 keyword per page because you get more traffic)
- My brand or site name, such as Best Digital Cameras – if that is the name of my site
- The url of the page I’m linking to. For example: http://bestdigitalcameras.com/canon/canon-a590
- Generic keywords. For example, ‘click here’, ‘read more’, etc
(All the examples above are made up and do not actually exist on any of my sites)
#2: Get links to a variety of pages on your site
In the past you could just link to one page on your site (most people would link mostly or only to their home page), and that would work well. Now you need to get links to a variety of pages on your site at once.
#3: Get links from a wide variety of sources
There are a lot of ways to get links. It’s actually a topic for another post, because there’s a lot to talk about and explain. But if you search online a little, you’ll see a lot of options.
You want to make sure to get links from a variety of places.
#4 Make your sites link-worthy
As I said, Google is working harder and harder to make sure that your link profile looks natural.
So even though your goal is to make money from your sites, do make an effort to have good quality content that is useful to people. This will only help you in the long run, as Google’s algorithm gets better and better in filtering out bad sites.
Got any questions? Anything to add? Please post in the comments below.
And if you think (like me) that everyone should know about it, please like, share, and tweet it as well.