ETIP #124

‘Click Here’ makes an SEO Comeback

‘Click Here’ makes an SEO Comeback

The search engines are looking to discover ways that people try to manipulate their rankings, and traditionally, one of them has been keyword-rich anchor text. Search engines discovered that a strong indicator of unnatural link building is the inclusion of the same keyword phrase in each link.

Using descriptive anchor text helps pass relevancy signals to search engines. Put another way, creating a link for a descriptive keyword like “SEO” tells search engines the link goes to a website about “SEO.” Search engines will likely rank the linked site higher in search results for that keyword term.

With Google’s Penguin update last year, SEOs discovered that too much exact-match anchor text is a bad thing. Now, the search engines look for patterns like xx% of external links to a page that all say “my keyword phrase” and discount the value of the link, or penalize the site in some extreme cases.

The solution is to balance your link profiles with generic anchor text like “learn more,” “read more,” or the dreaded “click here” in order to create variety. It is likely Google is devaluing over-optimized anchor text, but there is no evidence that Google is penalizing websites for not having enough generic “click here” links.

It’s just like playing Rock, Paper, Scissors – if you choose rock every time, the others in the game will figure it out and you will start losing. So mix up your link building strategies.