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Vary Your LINK TEXT (and eat your vegetables or else!)
Text links are a great way to help boost your search engine rankings – especially when they have YOUR keywords in the LINKS!
Search engines love this stuff… ummm… in moderation…
Just like in the real world where you need to be careful NOT to over do some things… such as overeating that funky chunk sweet fatty ice cream stuff which may taste good… so good it’s hard to stop eating it once you get started… but don’t eat too much of that sugar filled crap because you might just get a tummy ache… at the very least you’ll gain some weight and a zit or two (a real world penalty by the way!)
Just like in the real world – there are penalties for excessive behavior in SEO! The days of hammering a SPECIFIC KEYWORD PHRASE in the link text for a page are long gone.
Read on Garth – the good stuff is coming >>>
I just got a question (a cry for help actually) about ‘varying link text”.
I’ll share some of the background info and the question so you guys can benefit as well.
The poor guy just outsourced a job on elance to get backlinks and he had them use 3 articles in the hopes of gaining 400 backlinks.
He is now concerned because the outsourcer used the same exact single keyword in all of the link text. Apparently it was a one word phrase. He now wanted to know if this would trigger a penalty for having a lot of links in a short period show up with the same link text.
Uhhhhh…. let me think about this….
The short answer is YES.
400 backlinks in a couple of weeks with the same SINGLE WORD is a pattern they will notice. I’m sure there is more to what the outsourcer did than simply the SAME LINK TEXT.
Now, what they’ll do is unkonwn. It may be a simple penalty where the links don’t count or count for very little.
Unfortunately, people that work FOR US tend to want to do things quiicly and as painlessly as possible. Outsourcers are notorious for not doing much thinking about the work they do for us – they just do it – and as fast as they can! This is not a ood thing!
Too fast and without thought is what gets us in trouble. Maybe not every time but eventually the man catches up with us! And so do the calories! So make sure you you eat your vegetables too! Sorry… could not resist.
In general – you want all of your backlinks to work for you. Not against you.
The idea is to vary the link text and make sure that the links pointing at your web pages have some unique characteristics, just like in the “real world”.
In the world of SEO – TOO MUCH of a good thing usually turns into trouble… especially when it comes to backlinks.
When people link to you in the real world, they don’t always link to your page the right way or with the best words. The links are NEVER PERFECT! A lot of them are crap! HAve you ever noticed that???
So when YOU or your outsourced workers do linking campaigns for you make sure that the links pointing at your pages are NOT ALL PERFECT!
There are a few ways to look at this “Vary Your Link Text” mantra I have… and it’s not science by the way – it’s all opinion based theory since search engines do not tell us what triggers their ALGORHYTMS or how they decide to penalize a page or site :’>
BUT that said – it’s very obvious that TARGETED LINK TEXT has a huge impact on geting a web page top rankings… It works! UNTIL you start to shoot yourself in the foot by doing the same good things too often.
VARY your LINK TEXT – it’s the law!
Each URL that you link to should have more than 2 or 3 VARIATIONS in the LINK TEXT if you want it to look like a normal web page linked by real people out there in the real world – more variation is better and more natural – 5 or more variations is ideal – beacuse in the real world a popular web page may have 100’s or more different keyword phrases used in the LINK TEXT pointing at the URL. Some of them are pure crap!
Have you ever seen someone link to you with “Click Here” as the link text???
YOU should be thanking them instead of trying to get them to change it!
It’s the variations in link text that will help make your linking campaigns satisfy the search engines!
But what about other PATTERNS and EXCESES???
Now, we need to considermore than just the LINK TEXT itself – you also need to be concerned with the surrounding words on the web pages that link to you.
If a LARGE percentage of the web pages that link to you share the SAME or SIMILAR QUALITIES – ie same link text – the same exact surrounding words – the same identical titles – same file names etc. it will tell Google your page is linked by a robot…. or at the very least by someone working like a robot. They don’t like this! In fact, if Google had their way you would NVERE link to your own web pages. They’d prefer you did not have that power or capability – because that is what they believe is MANIPULATION.
Right or wrong – what they think is not negotiable. They don’t want us to link to our own pages and they’ll do what they can to make sure that the LINKS they rank us on are NOT from automation or manipulation.
Does that mean we should roll over and NOT be concerned about backlinks??? Hell no!
But we need to be sensible about how we do it. We need to be smarter than all the other guys out there trying to cut corners and get the job done as soon as possible without considering the tracks they are leaving.
We simply need to throw in a few monkey wrenches and back off a hair. That alone will help you get past the big brother censors who want to BAN your sites and penalize you for linking.
All we need to do is employ simple variation and do some things in a slower more sensible way.
Otherwise if you blast 3 articles out over 400 different web sites and they all have the same link text – the same page titles – the same keyword density n the pages – the same bio boxes etc… it’ll bite you in the booty!
That is why ARTICLE SUBMISSION can kill you if you go about it in the worng way.
It’s not good for 100 or 200 or 300 or 400 article directories to link to you with the SAME IDENTICAL WORDS on the PAGES. Too many patterns can be revealed that will set off red flags.
So – back to the question and the fact that one keyword was used in the text of 400 backlinks…
As for one word being linked too much…. You can still vary it by adding other words to links pointing at the same page.
While it is NOT possible to VARY a single word – by nature it is not a phrase – too many that are simply a ONE WORD link – will be noticeable
You can still help that URL look more natural by having more links than that single word – try using different keywords and keyword phrases that point at the same URL. I’d hurry up and get more links pointing at that URL you are linking and make sure the text is different with lots of variations!
Sometimes when you MIX IN a bunch of variations it may be enough to STOP the filters from flagging you or removing the penalty when they see things equalize over time.
In the future make sure you don’t go nuts wit one keyword phrase hammered too may times in the same way.
The biggest RED FLAG is when some OVER ZEALOUS and ANXIOUS people in a hurry try to MANIPULATE RANKINGS by showing Google a web page that gets MANY TARGETED TEXT LINKS that are ALL the same or very similar – it tells Google something UN-NATURAL is happening and they catch it pretty easy.
The simple solution is to not over do it on one or two phrases – add VARIETY – make sure each of your web page URLS have at least 2 or 3 primary phrases and ideally more. Also have a few secondary phrases. Get some links with those too! Make sure the words are actually on your page though! Also have some wildcards thorwn in – change the word order – add an extra word to a phrase etc.
Those things should help prevent a URL from getting hit with a massive penalty.
Just try to be real! Don’t do things like a machine! Machines and automation can lack the nuances that reality provides.
Automation can be a great thing, but if you do things reptitively just like robots, it may hurt you more than help you.
Just be sensible and you’ll be fine. So make sure you eat your vegetables, ok???backlinks, link text, Linking, text links
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