Published on by: James H. Hobson
There is a growing belief among the leading SEO experts that the optimization value from keyword rich anchor text is diminishing. I think we can all agree that the individual personality of each link is usually tailored to affect a specific and targeted ranking. A devaluation of anchor text is a logical step in the progressive efforts being made by search engines to mitigate manipulation of SERPs.
A new observation made by these same SEO experts is that Google’s Phrase Based Indexing capabilities may be placing greater value on overall content specifics. A critical component of phrase based indexing is the ability to associate page content by somewhat averaging the meaning of anchor text. The term for this is co-occurrence, and although this term is new to most SEO companies it has been in play for quite some time.
Although we won't go into the related concept of co-citations it is an area of SEO that any bonafide SEO company will explore and consider. Co-citation and Co-occurrence are going to be active parts of SEO discussions in 2013.
Anchor Text in 2013
Anchor Text Diversity Is Important
Let me first clarify that every link you acquire should be a the result of tying your great content to places where users would be interested in your information. When these quality linking opportunities are available you would be well served to use diverse wording for the anchor text. First, this keeps your link diversity ratios in scale, and second this is a favorable practice for trending anchor text evaluations.
SEO Experts Speak About Anchor Text Importance
Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz
Bill Slawski of SEO by the Sea
A very well written article on this subject, which was cited by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz, is Not All Anchor Text is Equal which was written by Bill Slawski.
A teaser from this article, and a tidbit to demonstrate the quality of the article is the following pull quote:
The patent includes a number of features associated with a link, and I’ve included a handful that involve which text is actually used within a link, and how they might be analyzed.
- Actual words in the anchor text associated with the link.
- Commerciality of the anchor text associated with the link.
- A topical cluster with which the anchor text of the link is associated.
- A degree to which a topical cluster associated with the source document matches a topical cluster associated with anchor text of a link.
Just as exact match domains have become a detriment for many sites, so may become too many exact match links. And in the end this all comes full circle to what we have known all along - quit gaming the system and simply do things that best serve the user.