Updated Nov 25th Anchor Text Case Study ** Keep ratio under 2% **

Los Angeles SEO Agency

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Sep 2, 2012
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Hey BHW Community!

I wanted to share this post with you guys as I have been steadily monitoring the SEO scene daily over the last few months and specifically the Oct 4th Penguin update and its effects on various websites and niches.

Now to give a bit more background information, our company manages around 200 clients spread across various niches that include a few highly competitive keywords as well as easier local niches that are comprised mainly of mom and pop shops.

Now after the Oct 4th Penguin update we immediately spent the following weeks gathering up all the analytics and details from all our client's websites to try to pinpoint what factors were involved in causing our websites to go up in rankings as well as down in rankings.

So our first observation we noticed which wasn't too surprising was that the smaller mom and pop websites and their local keywords didn't get affected much as the search volume and niche wasn't and isn't one Google really has a spyglass on since the niche is not as profitable and thus it is a useless target for spammers to pinpoint for churn and burn spam tactics

Now here comes the real interesting information we discovered from one of our clients sites who is in a highly competitive niche (50k unique searches a month and dealing with big brand names) and surprisingly survived the Oct 4th Penguin update and is still ranking stronger then ever.

To shed some more light and give a bit more insight behind our client and the niche, they are in the clothing industry and ranked for a few highly competitive national keywords and share Google's page 1 real estate with websites such as Nordstrom.com, Macys.com, etc.

Now although our client's site has over 800k backlinks as verified by ahrefs, nearly 99% of the anchors consisted of raw urls mixed with brand name, etc. So that means less then 1% were allocated towards its money keywords. Furthermore, we believe the reason the website ranks so well is simply because we have the keyword in the meta title, which thus indicates Google is even placing further value on meta titles.

So our take away and strategy going forward with all our existing clients and new clients is to heavily heavily focus on building the majority of links, over 90%, towards the brand name and raw url of the website and perhaps later down the line, after a solid anchor text profile has been established slowly throw in some money keywords and longtails but still ensure to keep the anchor text ratio under 2% for each money keyword.

Hope this helps those out there looking for some tips after these last few hectic months :)
-SDSEOGURU
 
Nice case study you have posted here OP. As we know google is showing less interest in exact match anchor text ranking and it can be very depend on competitions. When you say raw urls, what you mean exactly here? Could you give us some of example here to know better.
 
Nice case study you have posted here OP. As we know google is showing less interest in exact match anchor text ranking and it can be very depend on competitions. When you say raw urls, what you mean exactly here? Could you give us some of example here to know better.

Raw urls meaning the url of the page as anchor text.
 
The OP is right, We made some research based on the clients we have and we seen across the board, sites with proper link profile and with less links to exact keywords didnt get effected during and after the update.
 
So you are saying that as an authority website, you should convince google that you are a brand by branding your anchor text?

Hi There,

I am saying that the majority of your anchor text profile should mainly consist of

a. your raw url and its variations
b. brand name
c. brand name + raw url


And also slowly you can start incorporating your money keywords into your anchor text in the following fashion

a. brand new + keyword
b. raw url + keyword
 
Hmm... Interesting. But, don't you think you need to monitor for a longer term and for more clients before you come to this conclusion? Just my two cents.

Oh yes definitely, the more websites you have in your portfolio that you can steadily monitor over time then the more data you can collect which in turn results in a larger pool of analytics that you can then pull research and key learnings from.

For this case study, our research and findings was based on 200 clients spread across the board.
 
Hi There,

I am saying that the majority of your anchor text profile should mainly consist of

a. your raw url and its variations
b. brand name
c. brand name + raw url


And also slowly you can start incorporating your money keywords into your anchor text in the following fashion

a. brand new + keyword
b. raw url + keyword

I understood that part, and I also understand that you should not use your keywords too much in anchor text because one of the G's algo updates.

What I was asking is why this branding anchor text works. You have established that it works by testing it with your clients websites, but I am interested to find out why specifically your website url/brandname ranks so well as opposed to random anchor text.
 
I understood that part, and I also understand that you should not use your keywords too much in anchor text because one of the G's algo updates.

What I was asking is why this branding anchor text works. You have established that it works by testing it with your clients websites, but I am interested to find out why specifically your website url/brandname ranks so well as opposed to random anchor text.

The reason branded and raw url anchors are looked at as the cleanest white-hat anchors is because they are what people naturally use as anchors when linking to a site they are mentioning in either an article or blog post.

For example, think about it, in this forum, when we are talking about a link building tool and want more information, what do we do? We simple use link to the website and use the raw url.

Ie. Check out
ahrefs.com to see how many backlinks your website may have.

Do you notice how the above looks more natural and less manipulative to search engines then say the following below method,
ie. Check out this
backlink checker to see how many backlinks your website may have


Hope this helps!
 

The reason branded and raw url anchors are looked at as the cleanest white-hat anchors is because they are what people naturally use as anchors when linking to a site they are mentioning in either an article or blog post.

For example, think about it, in this forum, when we are talking about a link building tool and want more information, what do we do? We simple use link to the website and use the raw url.

Ie. Check out
ahrefs.com to see how many backlinks your website may have.

Do you notice how the above looks more natural and less manipulative to search engines then say the following below method,
ie. Check out this
backlink checker to see how many backlinks your website may have


Hope this helps!

Very nice example, awesome post. There's been talk that Google is placing more and more emphasis on brands and this only proves that point even more so.

Great share buddy
 
Makes sense, Just done the same with 4 sites i own, October 4th took a bit of a beating so have disavowed pretty much 90% of money keywords, hoping on the next update i see an improvement but if i go by the OP post 90% may not be quite enough

Time will tell
 
Good information. I'm trying to rank a few clients for national keywords and it's incredibly difficult right now because of the authority sites I'm up against. Looks like I'm going to dilute the anchor text with naked URLs and brand name anchors :)
 
Great info this will help me with my newly built website
smile.png
 
good post. I been doning about 20% keyword anchors (mix of main and LSI) and I have been going up and down. I am most curious though about your 200 clients LOL! How many staff on hand do you have to do SEO to 200 + clients?
 
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