Duplicate Anchor Text – A Very Bad Idea Now

Ever since I started in SEO some years ago, lot of the more aggressive SEO consultants have proclaimed the importance of maintaining a consistent anchor text.  So for instance if you wanted to rank for ‘fluffy white pillows” – you would endeavor to build as many links back to your site as possible with the anchor text ‘fluffy white pillows’ and nothing else.  Now there’s no doubt that this method worked although I’ve always had a bad feeling about it.

Let’s be honest if you’re looking at building natural inbound links to your site, then they wouldn’t all have the identical anchor text would they?  No of course not they would come with all sorts of anchors – press here, here, click this, check this out etc, etc.

Of course you would get some with ‘fluffy white pillows’ but nowhere near hundred percent.  Well with the latest Panda updates it looks like Google is cracking down on this – there are loads of reports of sites plummeting down the SERPs due to having near 100% identical anchor texts.

I have been varying my anchor texts for quite a while now but many of my pages with the duplicate problem tanked quite dramatically.   The new algorithm clearly took this into account and if you had pages ranking without a variety of anchor text links then you’ll likely have the same problem.

Fortunately this particular SEO problem seems reasonably easy to fix as long as you don’t have too many links.  Simply start building up a more natural linking profile, write some articles and build ‘click here links’ or ones with just your bare URL.  It seems to be that when you start reducing from that high percentage duplicate anchor penalty your rankings can come back fairly easily. It’s worked on the two sites I’ve tried it on so far !!

Of course needless to say this is also the case with all on-page SEO optimising as well, we know that if you over use your keyword on a page or highlight fluffy white pillows in bold every three lines whilst adding it in to every title then you’re unlikely to rank at all.

It’s always about making it look like you have no knowledge of SEO techniques in order to  rank highly.  But the more that Google tweaks it’s algorithm to look for these rather obvious signs then the harder we have to try to look natural!!  So remember if you’re not already doing so much sure you vary that anchor text.