When it comes to link building, we already know that relevancy, authority of the linking domain, and having good “linkable assets” are important pillars in a successful strategy. But in order to take your link building game to the next level, these things are not enough. In addition, you need to ensure that your “portfolio” of backlinks is well diversified – both in terms of the type of websites that are linking to you, and in terms of the anchor text used for the backlink.
Despite being important for the long-term success of any SEO and link building campaign, diversification is not something that is talked very much about in the SEO community. As a result, many SEOs still follow the old way of focusing solely on search keywords as anchor texts for the links they build. However, such a strong focus on anchor texts that exactly match your search keywords is not something we recommend.
In fact, it’s often recommended that fewer than 10% of your backlinks should have exact match anchor texts, while the rest should be a mix of partial match, your brand name, URL, and the title of the piece of content to which you’re linking.
If you think about it, having only backlinks that use your chosen keywords as anchor texts would not look very natural. Why would other websites use only your chosen keywords when they link to you? Instead, they would probably choose anchor texts such as your company’s name, your URL, or perhaps, simply phrases like “click here” or “read more.”
As a result, we can assume that it’s easy for Google to uncover that this is an attempt to manipulate their search results for those keywords. And even though you’ll most likely not be punished for it now, who knows what will happen in the future when Google again updates its algorithms?
To avoid this problem, we instead recommend taking a much more natural approach to the use of anchor texts in link building. Mix things up a bit by using more anchor texts that give only a partial match with your chosen keyword.
For example, let’s say you want to rank for “car insurance London.” Using this phrase as the anchor text is what we mean by exact match anchor text. And as mentioned, doing this too much could get you in trouble over the long-term. But if you instead use an entire sentence – for example “The best car insurance in London for young drivers” – you still get the keywords you want to rank for in your anchor text, but without the overoptimized and keyword-rich anchor text.
Similarly, the principle of mimicking how links would appear naturally also applies to the types of websites you should build links from. Avoid targeting only DA 30 blogs in the exact same niche as you. Instead, try to also get a few links from domains with higher authority such as DA 50+, and maybe a few relevant industry outlets or news outlets. Lastly, it certainly doesn’t harm to also add in some no-follow links in the mix from for example social media platforms, question-and-answer sites like Quora, or an occasional forum post.
By doing this, you’ll have a perfectly natural-looking backlink portfolio that will help your website maintain a high search result ranking for years to come.
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