Is Anchor Text Dead? Both Sides of the Argument
The notion of anchor text being dead is an assertion that has been made quite a bit lately in the SEO world. At this Texas SEO company, we are familiar with the claim that all forms of anchor text, particularly exact match anchor text (when the clickable text in a hyperlink is an exact match to the title of the content being linked to) is a dead or dying method. To help readers make up their own minds, here are both sides of the argument.
Yes, Anchor Text is Dead
Those who say anchor text is dead are usually basing the claim on the changes brought about by Google Penguin. After the Penguin update, many websites lost their good rankings because Google determined the links in their content to be “unnaturally” obtained. Consequentially, exact match anchor text links became a casualty of Google Penguin. Simply put, if your anchor text is an exact match for the content it links to, Google believes you probably manipulated it.
No, Anchor Text is not Dead
But if we take this concept one step further, we could actually declare SEO as a whole to be “dead.” After all, that’s what SEO is: Attempting to have some measure of control over where a website will be displayed in a search engine, by creating content that will appeal to that search engine. And has Google told us that SEO is dead? Not at all.
What Google has Said
Although it doesn’t address anchor text explicitly, here is what Matt Cutts said in March 2013 when asked about the value of links and the future of SEO. “Black hat tactics that were used in the past are getting less and less successful,” Cutts said. “Google’s put a lot of time and energy into shutting down link networks, etc. Thus, good links that are built naturally will still provide value for a long time.”
If SEO is Alive, then Anchor Text Still Matters
Summing up the success of the Panda and Penguin updates, Cutts continued, “Now, it’s easier to be real than to fake being real.” If SEO is not dead and linking building is not dead, then anchor text would not likely be dead, either. Although Panda and Penguin were changes that were hard to navigate for a while, the truth is that SEO has changed, evolved and shifted – but it hasn’t died.
Relevancy, Rather than Exact Match
Rather than focusing on exact match anchor text, there are two ways to create authentic inbound links: Link up your own text to other relevant content you have created, and 2.) Continue creating quality content that is relevant to the readers of other sites. That way, those sites will want to link to you and Google will not see those links as manipulations. Remember, that with this method, naturally earned links will overwhelmingly have a more natural variety in anchor text than links that are being deliberately built. As always, relevancy is far more of a major factor in the quality of content and links.
If you are having trouble building links, creating content or giving your own rankings the boost they desperately need to be seen by the right audience, our Texas SEO company can help. Contact Crest Media to request a free consultation; we will be glad to speak with you.