A lot of people seem confused with the rel nofollow tag. In simple terms this is a clear indication to the search engines that the site owner does not want to pass on any link value (or link juice) via anchor text links or URL’s to other (external) websites. Continue reading
Anyone can get get sites linking back to them. But how good are these sites, in terms of popularity, page rank, authority and relevancy to your particular niche. If you can say “not much” to more than two of these factors then you should take a closer look. To be honest, popularity and authority can go hand-in-hand a lot of the time but when we say popularity we mean a site that is popular with visitors and has decent traffic. The authority of a site is basically how important it is in providing quality information and content in a particular area. It builds authority through the age of domain, number of pages, unique content, links in from other authority sites and high page views and time spent on the site as a ratio to an individual visitor – all of these factors come into play.
If you pay a company to add your link to thousands of general websites, it will generate backlinks to your site, but most of them will not be worth the effort. So when we say how to get backlinks, we mean how to get quality links back to your site. These are more difficult to get!
The link farms and low quality SEO services out there will take your £250 ($400) and get you 1000 links, but they will usually not be on sites in your niche and probably not have any authority or credibility. So what are the best methods on how to get backlinks?
Well, the targeted approach is the best one. I’ll give you an example. We run a popular SEO platform for the scientific industry called labface and as part of our home page optimisation, we wanted to get at least 5 high authority backlinks from scientific websites. If this seems like a low number, I can tell you that 5 links on high authority sites in your niche can be worth 1000 links on general sites with limited content about your products and services.
Anyway, we contacted a number of webmasters and one of them was a site that we have a certain association with and they published a vast amount of information on chromatography techniques and applications. As this was a very popular analytical technique within labs, we asked for a link and we got one. We also asked for a link with the anchor text ‘lab products’ and asked them to point this back to our home page. This was because our home page was optimised for the key phrase ‘lab products’ – do a search on google for this term and you’ll see us well up on page 1 for labface. You can see a screen grab of the website below with the anchor text showing. I would say that this link was well worth the effort and these are the ones to go after. So how do you do it?
Well, contact your manufacturers, distributors, customers and friends first and see if they’ll link to you. I spoke to a client just today and I asked him if he knew of any businesses in his niche that would be prepared to link to him. He told me that he did some work for one or two universities and did them a favour on some equipment demonstrations. I can tell you now that a link from a university or .edu site is well worth the effort, as they usually have a ton of relevant content and loads of people linking to them. This increases their authority and they’ll pass some of this onto you through an anchor text link.
So, make a list of the people you know and then search the web for sites in your niche who are on the first five pages of the search results. Just type in keywords related to your website and see who pops up. You can then contact those sites and ask them if they’d be prepared to link to you – some may do it without asking any questions. Some may be tempted to give you a link in exchange for you writing one or two unique content articles for their site; think of it as a kind of content for link exchange. Remember, reciprocal linking (you link to them and they link to you) is not as good as getting a 1 way link from a website. If a reciprocal link is all you can get then go ahead, but if this is the case try to get your link on one of their pages with very few other links on the page. If your link is lost on a page with hundreds of others then the link value will be dramatically reduced.
We hope this simple post about backinks has been helpful. The truth is that getting backlinks is vital to your external SEO effort, but just make sure that your time is spent on getting the really good ones. And remember, create great content on your site and people in your niche will link to you anyway!
Anchor text is basically a live link which contains a string of keywords or phrases. When we refer to ‘live link’ we mean a link with an embedded URL or web address which directs people to a specific web page. For example, we added a post about b2b social media yesterday and you’ll now see that the text just a few words back is now live and points to the page about b2b social media. Rather than just adding a link which says, please go to this page http://seoforindustry.com/2011/08/08/b2b-social-media/ we decided to embed this web address into these keywords. There are three main reasons to do this.
- Your visitors can see a link to related pages
- It is good for your internal linking structure
- It is very good for external SEO
So, let’s look at each of these three points in a bit more detail.
Your visitors can see a link to related pages – this is great for your potential customers as they can see that you have related pages on your website. This can help to increase the number of pages that each web visitor looks at on your website and provides a good user experience.
It is good for your internal linking structure – the search engines look for good internal linking structure and anchor text links do this very well. If you have optimised a page for ‘b2b social media’ and you add this anchor text link on a related page about twitter, facebook and other social media related information, it shows good internal linking between relevant pages.
It is good for external SEO – link popularity and link building on external sites is the single most important ranking factor for the search engines. If you can get links on a selection of related and general sites then you can improve on your rankings and search positions. What’s more, an anchor text link pointing back to your site has more value than just a web address because you have highlighted your keywords and phrases in the link. It also boosts traffic to your site, as people see it is a link to somewhere else.
For example, if our website at ‘SEO for industry’ managed to get a anchor text link on a social media page from a big social media blog, this would be a great boost to our external SEO. A fundamental objective for any website is to build its presence and credibility on external sites in their chosen niche. So, an anchor text link on a social media blog is much more powerful than on a blog about dog training. Also, any anchor text should contain the keywords and point back to that page which has been optimised for that keyphrase. So, this page is optimised for the term What Is Anchor Text, so we’d look to get a link on a relevant website with the anchor text link what is anchor text – this will then point back to the page you are looking at now.
You should try to build anchor text links on as many niche sites as you can as well as a few directories, blogs and forums in your marketplace. A selection of low and high authority sites is best and the academic sites with .edu and .gov domains can often be classed as gold dust. This is becuase they have so much content and usually so many links pointing to them. This adds authority and credibility. If you can get just one or two links on these sites, it can make a big difference to your search positions.
One word of warning in relation to link services. Just make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of taking on link farm services from so called SEO practitioners who say they can add thousands of links for you at a very low price – always be aware of these scams. It is much better to build high quality links in a natural way over time. If you write great content on your website, you’ll get links anyway!
If a high value website wants to link back to you, send them a short piece of html code like the one below. This saves you time explaining that you’d like them to create an anchor text link on the keyword and point it back to a certain page. The code can be seen here..
<a href=”http://seoforindustry.com/2011/08/04/what-is-a-site-map/”>what is a site map</a
You’ll see that this simple code displays the URL of the page and also the key phrase you want to create an anchor text link for. So this example would create a live anchor text link for ‘what is a site map’ and it would direct people to the web page that you have optimised for that keyphrase – in this example it is one of our own blog posts. So when you contact the website, just replace your URL and key phrase and they can then just paste it into their page. You can also add this code on your web page with a heading ‘Link to Us’ and people can take the code and place it on their website without asking you.
We hope this has answered a few questions about anchor text links. Build them with care and attention and you’ll reap the rewards.