Google has sent a message thus far in 2012 in regards to web spam and over optimization. We knew the old strategies of buying links and posting on directories was a dying strategy, but the one thing that has now come as a surprise is anchor text.
In our previous link building campaigns and link bait strategies, we used to encourage heavy keyword dense anchor text. Since April, the more keyword dense links that show up in our link profile, the ranking for that keyword phrase goes down, not up.
We did a lot of research and trials on some of our testing sites and found that links with non-keyword dense anchor text were increasing rankings of those sites, while keyword dense anchor text was not increasing, and in some cases decreasing in rankings.
We soon realized that this makes perfect sense. SEOs were used to getting keyword dense anchor text links, because it worked. When we put our feet in Google’s shoes it just started to make sense. We asked ourselves “What is Google trying to accomplish with these updates?” and “What are they going to do in the future?”
The answers were so clear; Google is trying to stop over optimization and old tactics of acquiring low value links with non-natural anchor text. The most natural links are the ones that are either talking about the brand or informing the read to click here, because of the action of going to that company’s website.
Needless to say, we have learned a lot so far in 2012 and have changed our strategies from what is working and how do we see continual growth for our clients right now, to understanding Google and how they are trying to show good natural results and truly understand the direction of future algorithm changes so that we can provide a long-term well established brand on the web for our clients with strong, well-balanced organic rankings.