Creating healthy links on your website is a signal to Google that your brand has an intrinsic association with the brands to which you are linking. So it’s very important to be careful about who you link out to and how you do it.
Ideally, you want to offer links for readers to further explore topics your website covers, industry leaders, credible resources, and any industry partners you have an association with. But if you post links to non-credible sites, this can drag down the credibility of your own website in Google’s eyes. It’s important to understand the reputations of the brands you link to before you start posting.
An even bigger mistake SEOs see today is how sites link out to other brands.
Back in the early days of blogging websites used the site URL to link out. But that became cumbersome when linking out to articles with long titles that yielded equally long URLs, so people would embed the links within instructional text (“click here to learn more,” for example).
Today in the sterling age of SEO, savvy webmasters embed those links into texts that employ keywords (or anchor text). Initially, Google loved it, boosting rankings of sites that employed the practice. But, alas, as with seemingly all good SEO tricks and tips, blackhat SEOs began abusing the practice and now it has become a clear signal of spam. Use it enough and you could find your site sandboxed or on the business end of a manual penalty, and nobody wants that.
Best practices for link anchor text today is a mix of all three options. This way, Google reads your links as more organic and not manipulative.
Mixing it up is the best way to let Google algorithms know you understand good anchor text practice, but you also play by the rules.
It can get tricky navigating SEO in the ever changing realm of online search today, but the bottom line is that if you steer clear of manipulating tactics, stick to good, useful content and keep the site free of errors, your website should be able to hold its own in the competitive real of search rankings.
If you would like to talk with a Proctor Digital consultant about how we can help drive your website up the organic rankings, call us at 312.600.5155. We love helping small businesses grow (and grow and grow)!