1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Anchor Text Does Not Matter

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by lightningblitz, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. lightningblitz

    lightningblitz Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Location:
    Domain Land
    Time to share some good news to many of those who go after 'high quality' links, and bad news to shore who blast spam. This is a little something I picked up after a good bit of testing, which I welcome you to try for yourself.


    It started with a hypothesis.


    This was a simple test I did. Take two properties targeting two easy competition KWs. Put one with an anchor text, and one without.

    My theory was simple, anchor text does not matter. At least not how you think it does.

    These two alike properties were designed to point to a KW and see if both improved a KW equally. For my test I used a Web 2.0 on .Edu platforms. I then added the same amount of links pointing to each .Edu property.

    Shocking result, they both worked. The differences were not great. Both of the properties improved my target KW.

    The theory took a turn when I tried to replicate the test, but with crap content. The crap content was then pumped up by links without anchor text. Same as before. This time, the crap content property without anchor text did not help me much.

    I rinsed and repeated this process and rather than point naked URLs to my tier one properties, I used anchor text I wanted my money site to rank for. In this case, both posts with crap content improved my ranking.

    I recycled the process again on different KWs. The findings were the same in each test.

    So what does this all mean?


    Anchor Text Does Not Matter - Sometimes



    So my testing showed me something which will benefit newbies who have not done the testing themselves.

    1. Google can figure out what your content is about - if your content is not shit.

    Contextually, google can figure out what your text is about if your text is of good quality. If it is easy to read, is key word or LSI rich, and is what most consider 'high quality', the Google algo can figure out your naked URL within your text about 'Best dolphin food' is really targeting 'dolphin food' without using an anchor text.

    2. If you build links to your naked URL, google will figure out your naked URL is about the same thing.

    If you have 10 Blog Comments pointing to your site which are obviously not contextual, how does google know they are supposed to help your site about 'dolphin food'? Without stating the obvious, that because your site is about 'dolphin food' if you build links to the blog comment which do contain anchor text which is about 'dolphin food' google will figure out that your blog comment is about 'dolphin food.'


    What about other anchors?


    The only other anchor I will talk about specifically is 'branded' anchors. For example, if I want to link to blackhatworld.com, I would simply use Black Hat World as my anchor text.

    When testing many anchors I found that the same principle applied. Contextually or based on links pointing to the link Google would figure things out. I wanted to talk about 'branded anchors' because I found two camps on this subject:

    1. Branded anchors are superior.

    2. Branded anchors are pointless.

    What have I found?

    That it does not matter much either way. As in, branded anchors were not superior to naked url, or generic, or any other anchor you may used aside from exact match.

    My point of this section is, you should use branded anchor text. Most websites that mentioned wikipedia do not link link to https://www.wikipedia.org/ or Keyboard Cat, but link to wikipedia as Wikipedia.

    This is about doing what real websites do. Think less, not more.


    Drawing your own conclusion.



    Do not take my word for it. Test this yourself. If you have quality content which is easy to understand what the post is actually about then Google can figure it out. That is all. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I am only posting about this brief subject because I get a lot of questions about 'what links should I use my exact match anchor text on' a couple times a week and it drives me crazy.

    Do some testing yourself, draw your own conclusion for what works and what does not. Anchor text is one of the most straight forward things in SEO to test and figure out. So give it a spin.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 44
  2. aussiejack

    aussiejack Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    62
    Put one with an anchor text, and one without. --> What does that mean?

    to point to a KW --> What does that mean?

    see if both improved a KW equally --> What does that mean?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. lightningblitz

    lightningblitz Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Location:
    Domain Land
    What that means is:

    Make a contextual tier one property. Have a link within the property pointing to something you want to rank. Make this one without anchor text.

    Make another contextual tier one property. Have a link within the property pointing to something you want to rank. Have this one with an exact match anchor text.

    Make note of the differences the anchor types make on your desired page and also if either the no anchor or exact match anchor improved a page more dramatically.
     
  4. TiCkLe MoNsTa

    TiCkLe MoNsTa Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    59
    This is something I've been testing myself. Thanks for the share!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. bizroach

    bizroach Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    68
    thanks for sharing. What kind of anchors in your pbn?
     
  6. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    5,715
    Likes Received:
    9,072
    This is something I've tested on a huge scale with dozens of sites over the past few months and yep, like you said, it works.

    This is the exact same thing we do with my Genesis PBN service.

    Quality content > Brand anchors/naked URLs > results.

    One thing I've sometimes noticed is that the results can often take a little longer with this route but it does work for sure.

    Another good post man.. you feeling okay recently? You're pumping out these posts ;). Good to see some helpful content being shared on BHW again. I need to follow suit soon!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  7. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,234
    Likes Received:
    1,494
    It's not going to matter ranking some crap keywords with no competition. Nor is it going to matter going from 200 to 150. But once you start getting towards the top it's going to have some value imo, but not the same as it once did. But like you've talked about I think Google has changed things recently how how it determines the keywords. I have a pretty much white hat site ranking #2 for xxxxx reviews. A keyword my page does not even target, does not have any 'review' anchor links to it, the word review is not even on the page anywhere. It's out ranking competition that is targeting that keyword. Kinda strange.

    What I want to see is the effect brand and url mentions now have on rankings, not actual links. It could be a very easy way to capitalize on this. Commenting high quality blogs with legit comments, and slipping the brand into the comment. It's probably not a very heavy ranking factor, but it could still help, and it's somethign that can easily be made to look white hat and easy to execute.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  8. wowhaxor

    wowhaxor Elite Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,020
    Likes Received:
    3,361
    Location:
    ?¿?
    Home Page:
    I agree but never did any real case study of it. I like to do a mix of branded and naked URLs for the vast majority, maybe 80%+ of all backlinks, I'll add some keyword ones in for the rest (generally the KW ones are for individual pages not sites as well, the ones for my root domain are overwhelmingly brand name or naked). As with most things SEO look at how people naturally treat an authority site when linking to it and try to replicate that natural user feel when you build links; I think this will only be more and more important in the future as well.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  9. obiwan69

    obiwan69 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    North Pole
    another great post now im just waiting for the idiots guide for the articles! thank you!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    5,715
    Likes Received:
    9,072
    Branded anchors + naked URLs are the way forward. Typically when I create a new site, they're the very first type of anchors I use for link building.

    To back up what I'm saying:

    [​IMG]

    Brand new domain. Affiliate site but it's designed for a churn/burn purpose. All I did to the site was add about 5000 words of unique content. Moderate competition keywords. I created this site on Jan 8 and began working on the SEO the very next day. All I did was build various links targeting ONLY brand anchors/naked URLs + I also bought some social signals. I dripped everything out for about a week.

    Over a week later and I'm ranking. Take in mind I ONLY built brand anchor/naked URL links + social signals so I never built any links to any of the above keywords. All I did was make sure those keywords were naturally but effectively added into the content. And plus, the above keywords are just a few of what I'm tracking in Serpbook. I'm probably ranking for others too that I haven't yet had a chance to analyze (+ it's made a few small sales already which is always a bonus :) ).

    Jan 9 - Jan 16. Only a week. Next I'll increase the velocity of social signals + also increase the number of links being built with brand anchors/naked URLs. I'll give that a week to kick in and then I'll bring out the PBN bad boys and target the main keywords over a 2 week drip. Rinse and repeat :)

    lightningblitz is spot on 100%. Don't waste all your time and energy focussing on your main money keywords. Focus on them afterwards. Put more attention to detail on your other anchors!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 12
  11. lightningblitz

    lightningblitz Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Location:
    Domain Land
    Man, I shared before but I had an issue of not knowing what to write about. My previous posts were in reaction to newbies PMing me asking questions over and over again.

    I started making more money recently and have some more free time (Going to be leaving my nine to five soon - only sticking around for insurance at this point) and want to give back.

    Lucky for me between my post on 'How to rank for newbies' and the endless PMs I get a week I have been finding a lot of inspiration on what to write about.

    Some of it, like my PBN threads, came from a JV where my partner wanted to know how I built my sites. So I did a couple threads.


    A little bit of my person SEO strategy is this:

    Naked and Brand URLs as niche relevant or high TF blog comments. It really does help me rank my KWs. I sprinkle a few of those in for every PBN post I make and I get far better results.

    It is about looking natural in my book. People talking about the brand of a big site with quality content makes sense.

    Exactly what I do. Exact match are for inner pages I need to give a boost to.

    You saw how I prep my own domains.

    - Niche relevant contextual content without anchors on high powered domains.
    - Quality links pointing to these contextual properties.
    - Some indexing links.

    Works like a charm to rank just about everything. I do the same for my bigger silo sites for link juice as well to my category pages. It just works better.

    Spinning and editing will be up this week, I think. Trying to dig through some notes to make sure I do not miss anything.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  12. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    5,715
    Likes Received:
    9,072
    Another one - I used the exact same process as explained above in my previous post.

    [​IMG]

    Brand new domain/site > link building with branded anchors/naked URLs > social signals > Page 1 already.

    And the best part? The site was created on Jan 12! Can't stress how important it is to focus on your other anchors!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  13. lightningblitz

    lightningblitz Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Location:
    Domain Land
    Absolutely right!

    Another neat trick is NOT using anchors in high competition niches where SEOs will find your PBN.

    Let's say my competition finds my site, checks my PBN to see what KWs I am targeting that they are not (It happens more than it should). No anchors? It is still a guessing game for my competition.

    Sprinkle in articles that target multiple KWs and you suddenly have a situation where your competition just knows you are ranking above them for a money KW and have a LOT more traffic but cant steal anything else from you.
     
  14. mickyfu

    mickyfu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,213
    Likes Received:
    20,751
    Occupation:
    King Of Crypto C
    Location:
    Solihull Young Offenders
    But how can you be on page one when there is a six month sandbox. "Note sarcasm people"
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  15. lightningblitz

    lightningblitz Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,626
    Likes Received:
    3,686
    Location:
    Domain Land
    Micky, you should not have noted sarcasm. Those who know, know. Those who do not are fun for the rest of us.
     
  16. mickyfu

    mickyfu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,213
    Likes Received:
    20,751
    Occupation:
    King Of Crypto C
    Location:
    Solihull Young Offenders
    I never ever note sarcasm. However some people are just too dumb to get it. Like people who believe in the mythical. So I had to note it.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  17. mickyfu

    mickyfu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,213
    Likes Received:
    20,751
    Occupation:
    King Of Crypto C
    Location:
    Solihull Young Offenders
    Could be worse, could be your parents.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  18. asap1

    asap1 BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4,961
    Likes Received:
    3,185
    Thanks for posting this info.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  19. terrycody

    terrycody Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    400
    Occupation:
    marketer
    Location:
    Hell
    ahh yeaaa, another great post

    man, you surely shared a lot recently, thumb up.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  20. abhi007

    abhi007 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    5,795
    Likes Received:
    3,917
    Location:
    Theatre of dreams :)
    Definitely gonna apply this way of using anchors.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1