As announced earlier, Google started implementing a lot of major changes in its ranking algorithm this month and they could affect a large percentage of websites out there. If you haven’t read the list of changes, I recommend you to check it out on their blog post. In the big list of 50 changes, I see there are 2 very important updates that could totally change the use of anchor text for link building strategies.
Specifically, the 2 updates are Tweaks to handling of anchor text (Google turned off a classifier related to anchor text as they have been successful with other methods of anchor processing) and Better interpretation and use of anchor text (the systems to interpret and use anchor text have been improved, and Google will be able to determine the relevancy of an anchor text for a given query more accurately). As I’ve seen some misunderstanding already, we will look more carefully at the Google’s statements to see how we should use anchor text for link building.
Is Anchor Text Dead?
No, anchor text is not dying, it is just not as important as in a few years ago. Google said that they turned off one classifier related to anchor text, there are a lot more anchor text classifiers in their system and we can’t be sure which one they disabled. We also see that in the 2nd change, Google is improving its system to find out the relevancy of anchor text. Therefore, anchor text is still a part of Google’s algorithm in ranking search results, they just change the way they score anchor text processing.
According to my research, Google will stop using anchor text links outside the content section. I am just not sure that this is the classifier Google mentioned in its announcement. If my speculation is true, it means that your efforts in building links in comment section, sidebar and possibly author section below the post could become a big Zero now. Google would determine the relevancy based on the content of the post, especially the paragraph contains your anchor text link. This change is understandable because the links look more natural, and guest bloggers could stop sending insurance or Forex posts to a tech blog like TechWalls.
New Link Building Strategy
What should we do to adapt to the new changes in handling anchor text? That’s the concern of many bloggers and webmasters at the moment. Again, the best way is still building awesome content to get natural backlinks, however, it is not as easy as it sounds. Google is still taking anchor text seriously and here are a few of my solutions to develop more relevant links to your web pages. Remember not to overdo it or your site could get penalized for over search engine optimization. Check out the list and let me know if you have more effective link building strategy at the moment.
- Stop comment spamming.
- Don’t waste money to buy links on sidebar.
- Guest posting is still working. However, it is better to include your link within the content of blog post because anchor text link in the author section could get lower score.
- Some suggest to have at least 2 outbound links in a guest post, one points to your page and one points to an informative article. I am not really sure about this solution as it needs more experiments to prove.
- Just choose relevant websites to guest post, it is useless to guest post on a website with totally different niche.
- Don’t use the same or similar anchor texts for your backlinks.