Today we are going to talk about the value or lack of value in anchor text links.
I want to comment today about a prediction made by Rand Fishkin of SeoMoz. Rand is one of the most forward thinking seo guys of our time. He predicts the value of anchor text is actually going to diminish as an seo ranking signal. Google and Bing keep trying to up thier game and provide better search engine results. They are battling it out for search engine market share.
So how are they doing this? Well one way to clean up search results is to get rid of spammy sites from showing up. Google wants search results to display only high quality website designs. That’s why you see algoritm updates like the Penguin and Panda updates. Search engines hire the best people and are becoming smarter and smarter every day. They have more capabilities then any webmaster could possibly have on thier own.
Webmaster who are over optimizing thier website with unnatural backlink anchor text are being punished. How ? Google is diminishing the value of these keyword rich backlinks. This happens everytime search engines find webmaster over using any techniques to get ahead. Especially the spammy websites and cheaters. Now if Google devalues these anchor text links the heavy users depending on this over optimization will actually lose thier high rankings. And that provides you the user with a better selection of high quality search results.
So if you are building backlinks to your site make sure you do not over use the same keyword backlink text. Vary the backlinks, and use your full website address as well. Not all keywords only as that is not natural and Google knows it. Always remember to do things as naturally as possible. Think honest ethical seo work done slowly and steadily over time.
So Google and Bing are devaluing these text rich backlink anchor text. Rand predicts the search engines will use something else in place of them that Google and Bing have gotten very clever about. Something called Co-citations. A co-citation of terms and phrases along with a brand mention not even having to have a direct link.
There can be a lot of people with a lot of good anchor text, with a ton of linking root domains who are all trying to go after the same keyword phrase. Some sites are ranking high without putting the keyword in the title tag. Without all the classic signals that we think about as SEO best practices. So how can Google know these sites are associated with those keywords ?
Google is getting smarter and smarter and is able to pick up citations even if there is not a backlink to the page or website. It’s looking for keyowrds and brands mentioned together. Adding them up and making a hypothesis about the intended relationship. Then Google is increasing your websites value and importance.
This is possibly one of the new kind of future website seo ranking factors and how we’re going to do better quality seo work. Building brand associations, writing and doing PR about your brand and using keyword terms together so that a high quality source mentions a keyword phrase and your brand on the same page.
Rand is know in the seo industry for providing some of the best seo tracking software you can find period. Click Here To Get a Free 30 Day Trial of SeoMoz Awesome Seo Software.
Please watch Rand’s video to learn more from rand himself about co citations.