Anchor Text in a Post Penguin world

In the age of penguins, there has been much attention paid to anchor text and how to use it properly now.  When I add in the considerations for the over-optimization penalty a page has, how to add and when to add anchor text had to change.

First lets recap how we did things in the good old days. We would choose to reinforce the keyword in our article making sure we added a hyperlink to a relevant page every time our keyword appeared through text.  So in the days when keyword densities saw words repeated 10+ times, that was a lot of highlighted anchor text and the entire situation was not natural. No one would naturally add a word that many times.

As time went forward we slowly cut back on creating anchor text with the keyword in the article directly. This was a substantial change from how we used to teach it. We moved from making multiple links on a page using the same word to diversifying the word we used although we were still adding upwards of 10 links on a page, not counting any navigational links.

Now, when we make links in the copy we need to make sure they are strong links. Some pages have zero anchor text added to them because it just doesn’t make sense. I feel we are working more in the spirit of what Google intended now. When you have something that is related, naturally make a link. If you don’t, then don’t.

To force anchor text into a page just to create that link is not longer a good idea because quickly you will see that page bit by the over-optimization bug.

Additionally, there is the new challenge of making links to your site and link building. You no longer want to add monetizable keywords feverously to a post or article you’re submitting through a third party.  If your article is about helmets you would not add tires, brakes or even gloves to your boilerplate author box.  You may say Click Here, with the click here being what you opt to use as your anchor text.

How would someone naturally create a link? That’s the main consideration when adding anchor text in an article now.

We live in a dramatically different world than the one from  five (5) years ago. The less time we spend on how to game Google System and think of how to provide more relevant information and links for the end user,  the more successful we are.

Google is wise to over-optimization as well as Exact Match Domains so the best advice is to just act naturally in all you do, add strong engaging content and sit back and watch your rankings rise.

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