It good or bad to have Links with archor text which are keywords?

Posted on 2014-09-08
Last Modified: 2014-09-19
It good or bad to have Links with archor text which are keywords?
Question by:goliveuk
LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 40310024
If you can use the keyword as part of natural link text then there is a tiny bit to be gained. However if you overdo it the Google will see the links as spammy and punish you.  A better use of keywords for links is in the title attribute as long as the keywords used are actually descriptive of the content of the link.  If you just stuff keywords into the title Goggle will really smack you down for keyword stuffing.

Another avenue are links that include an image.  There is not penalty for naming the image with a keyword, and that also allows the keyword to be used in the alt attribute.

Now having said all that; the weighting of keywords has been severely degraded, and backlink are not less importand than the were a year ago.  The number one weighting factor is quality content.  If the content is unique, well written and engages the user, then it will score high whether or not other favtors like keywords and links are favorable.  If the content is worthless crap that generates a high bounce rate, the page will not rank high no matter what you do.  

User hate crap, and Google hates giving users results that they are not happy with.  The new reality is that if users do not engage with your content you will see your SE traffic drop.

LVL 16

Accepted Solution

Lucas Bishop earned 500 total points
ID: 40317613
It depends... mostly on the user experience.

Relevant keyword rich anchor text in your links can be beneficial.  Google is analyzing a variety of factors when they crawl your site and also when someone visits your site.  Google has a decent purview into how long a visitor stays on your site, even if you don't have GA installed on your domain.

If a visitor clicks into your site from Google, reads an article, finds an interesting link, clicks further into your site, reads some more because the information is relevant to what they expected, etc., you are providing a solid experience and the 'time on site' for your visitors will tell Google that you have rich content. This also tells Google that the content on your site is accurate to their interpretation of it. They'll want to send more visitors to this page and pat themselves on the back for ranking it well.

On the contrary, if someone clicks into your site from Google, then they back out because the content is not well written, or not what they expected, the time visitors spend on your site will be poor. In this scenario, Google isn't pleased that they've provided a poor experience to the searcher and with enough experiences like this, will want to push this page out of the top results for the search term.

Keep in mind, if on-page you have ten links pointing to the same page, it is generally only the first link that Google puts any weight behind.  So linking to the same page, ten times with ten different keywords, is more likely to appear as spam than anything. A visitor looking at this type of page is likely to abandon ship, because it has been written for the search engine as the intended viewer, not so much the person.

If your anchor text is "a/b testing results via heat maps" and the linked page contains relevant content on this topic (bonus points if those keywords are in the URL and landing page), and when the user lands on the page they don't immediately back out, but instead devour the article... that's a positive user experience.  This tells Google that the anchors/links/titles/content/etc are accurate. This is the type of content you'll want to be crafting.

tl;dr: Keyword rich anchor text is good, if the user experience is good. Keyword rich anchor text is bad, if the user experience is bad.

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