If you earn money through a website that you own and operate, you have probably learned that it pays to heed Google’s requirements. (And if you’re just starting to build a website, take note.) The search engine giant has unleashed some major updates in recent years, and the Panda and Penguin updates have created the most waves. Panda dealt with low-quality content, and Penguin dealt with black-hat earch engine optimization (SEO) tactics.
In the wake of Penguin, it’s crucial to mix up the anchor text that you use as much as possible. However, the anchor text still needs to be relevant to the site to which the link points. Unfortunately, many website owners got into the habit of using the same anchor text again and again throughout their websites. For example, many people repeatedly used their business names in the anchor text of their links. To Google, this looks highly suspicious. In many cases, it actually is. Even if it is done innocently, there’s no way for the search engine algorithms to know.
What It Means
If your Google ranking dipped after Penguin was unleashed, there’s a good chance that your anchor text is to blame. Take a good, hard look at it. Does it seem pretty repetitive? Are the same words and phrases used again and again? If so, you have work to do. Fortunately, the damage can be reversed. However, it’s not going to be easy.
You should manually change the anchor text on as many of your backlinks as possible (which may be an issue, as may be dealing with hundreds of links). You should make the anchor text for each link as unique as possible while keeping it relevant.
This doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to use duplicate anchor text. It just means you need a lot more variety. Sit down and brainstorm different examples of relevant anchor text. You probably won’t be able to do it all in one day, but you should start slowly but surely updating the anchor text for as many of your backlinks as possible.
How Long Will It Take?
Once you’ve made updates to your anchor text, don’t expect your ranking to soar immediately. Like anything else, it will take a little time for your ranking to reflect your changes. Going forward, make an effort to use unique, relevant, interesting anchor text. It’s okay to throw in a few generic phrases like “click here” and “learn more” too, but don’t overdo it.
This article was provided by Patriot Software, Inc., a developer of online software for U.S. small businesses, including online payroll software, applicant tracking software, human resources software, an employee portal, and 1099 software. Patriot Software also offers a payroll tax filing service for payroll customers, and is currently developing bookkeeping software and a website builder. For more information, visit www.PatriotSoftware.com.