Since the release of the Panda and Penguin updates, several things have come into sharp focus. On this post I want to concentrate on one issue that is commonly referred to as over optimization especially when linking back to your site.
One thing that Google has really tried to counter is the misuse anchor text optimization. Today, if Google thinks you are over optimizing with exact keyword phrases you might just get penalized.
What does this mean? If you have too many links pointing back to your site with one particular keyword phrase in the anchor text, Google may just come to hurt you down.
But the big question that SEO web marketers are asking is, how does one determine if they have over optimized their site?
Before we get down to business I think you need to get some facts about the recent Google updates. So much preference has been given to big sites. Here we are talking of sites such as Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay and the like.
Apart from their homepage ranking high on search results, these so called big sites, have their individual pages are also featuring prominently. This is despite the fact that these individual pages may have little or no backlinks at all.
If you haven’t noticed, google search results are littered with pages from top sites. Whether that is a noble idea or not is a debate for another day. If you ask me, the main beneficiary to the Panda and Penguin updates are top websites.
Where does that leave small online business people who are offering even more valuable content? Share your views in the comment section provided right after this blog post.
If the status quo remains, then you have to try your level best to improve your site’s authority. As your homepage gains better ranking, it will also help your individual webpages to rank even higher thus helping you generate more SEO traffic.
Now that that is off my back let us get back to the reason for writing this article. To some extend you may not have to worry so much about over optimization with anchor text.
Some of the sites that are ranking on Google search results have a high percentage of exact keyword phases in the anchor text.
This is derived from the fact that some sites are ranking for the exact words used in their domain name. But there is a little twist to this; sites that use hyphens (-) seem to be doing much better. For example, my site would rank higher if I had work-online-legit.com as my domain name.
Other sites that seem to be escaping the eye of Google when it gets to over optimization using anchor texts are sites with .com, .net and .org. Sites with less common extensions also seems to getting away with over optimization.
If you look at a keyword such as work from home, you will note that though some sites have a high percentage of exact matching keywords in the anchor text, they are still ranking very well.
A good example is www.work-from-home.biz which has about 70% percent exact match keyword and features on page 1 of google for the same keyword in the domain name.
Note: Results may vary depending on where you are located. Google has of late localized search results to favor sites that are within your locality.
Another set of sites that are evading the eye of google in regards to over optimizations are sites using variations. Though this might not be considered as over using keywords, site that use this technique seem to be doing very well in site placement in search results.
What is coming out from this issue of anchor text keyword over optimization?
If today Google was to punish sites that are guilty of exact match keyword in the anchor text, it would mean that sites like eBay, Amazon, Facebook just to mention a few would disappear from search results.
Ideally, if you wanted to point to a brand site such as Facebook you would obviously use the word Facebook in the anchor text. This means Google has no option but to overlook the issue of over optimization in some cases.
Actually, going by recent trends, authority sites seem to be getting even more love from Google than ever before.
The secret is to optimize tactfully and make your backlinks look natural. Also note that rarely will Google punish you for linking back to the exact keyword phrase contained in your domain name. This is like your brand name and thus people will more likely link back using the words in your domain name.
On this blog we have repeated on several occasions the importance of internal optimization. One way of optimizing is buying a domain name that has the targeted keyword phrase you want to rank for.
This is not to say you go overboard with over optimizing for exact keywords in your domain name. If you are not careful Google might axe you for over using a particular keyword in your anchor text though google seems to overlooking this element.
As much as people might be making you scared of linking with exact keyword phrase, you have no reason to worry so much. In fact, if you ask me linking with exact keyword phrases my just fall to your advantage.
Just avoid been overzealous with anchor text over-optimization. If you have hyphens in your domain name or are using small extensions such as .au, .biz, .eu you are even better chances of ranking thanks to Panda and Penguin algorithm updates.
Apart from linking with the exact keyword you want to rank for, it is advisable you also use other related keywords within your niche in anchor text. Check out how other sites within your niche are building their link profile and do the same.
It is from the content you generate that you will attract readers to link back to your site naturally and that is what Google loves most. Your content acts as link bait thus spend more time creating quality articles.
Panda and Penguin updates have truly redefined SEO as we used to know it. In a way, we are going back to the good old days when content was KING. This is according to Google and whether this is true or not only time will tell.
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