Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Amateurish Link Anchors is Smart SEO

SEO specialists are recommending, to avoid "over-optimization", you be a bit amateurish in your link anchor text (the wording of a link).

In most fields, the more professional you are, the better. But in SEO, the spammers and black hat practitioners are spotted by Google due to their slick and sophisticated methodologies.

(NOTE: Black hat SEO means taking advantage of loopholes and gimmicks to trick Google into thinking a thin content, poor quality, or deceptive/malicious website is relevant to keyword queries and should be ranked high in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Don't let anybody use black hat tricks on your website, because eventually Google catches on, changes their search algorithm, and penalizes or de-indexes websites employing black hat techniques.

Once your website is removed from Google search results, it can take you 6 months to a year to plead with Google to put you back on.)

Now it is recommended that in your wording for links, you should use naked URLs (e.g., www.pluperfecter.blogspot.com), brand anchors (Pluperfecter), brand-keyword hybrid anchors (Pluperfecter web content development and SEO blog), and junk anchors (click here, read more, next page).

The former rules were (1) never use naked URLs as they look clueless and slow down reading, (2) use brand and company anchors for domains only (home pages), (3) use either brands or keywords but not both, and (4) never use junk anchors because they don't convey to human users or search engines the keywords indicative of the information you're going to navigate to and see when you click the link.

It's funny that, in the current SEO landscape, to appear less malicious, you need to appear less competent and consciously violate usability principles.

Another odd thing I came across in my SEO research is that when Google comes out with a new algorithm update, don't respond to it immediately.

Why? Because spammers and black hats typically change what they're doing the minute there's a new update, while legitimate webmasters are more sluggish and less attuned to Google's changes.


Search Engine Journal "Post-Penguin SEO Link Building"

Google's Matt Cutts video on internal links and anchor text

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