Anchor Text Link Strategy – The Best Way to Rank for Difficult Keywords

By on Feb 26, 2011 in Search | 19 comments

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The use of anchor text variations is one of the fundamentals of Link building. Since it’s given that having backlinks pointing to a single web page with only one anchor text used over and over will make search engines suspect the methods you are using in order to optimize the page. Basically, it’s not the way to convince them in believing that your page is really relevant to that targeted keyword, especially if you’re building massive links in a short period of time.Anchor Text Variation

Google’s ranking algorithm is constantly evolving, and the more your link profile looks natural is the more you get the results you desire. Being smart in choosing your keywords and anchor texts will naturalize the look of your link building campaign. To give an in-depth view of this strategy, I’ll set some of my previous experiences as an example.

Several months ago, I worked and pampered a highly competitive keyword, and of course, I managed to make it rank on Google’s top page within 3 months (where I started from the 18th page).  The strategy was quite simple; I just had to surround the main targeted keyword with terms that complement it. The main keyword was “uk bingo” – very competitive and has 250,000 monthly search count. And the longtail keywords that helped me make the site rank for that keyword are:


As I have mentioned above, I was able to make the main keyword rank on the top page for a very long time (up to now). The link landscape looked very natural, as if real people and satisfied users are the one’s who’re making links to it, seeing as links built pointing to the same page have many variations with the anchor texts used.

Another surprising result was that I also managed to make the keyword “bingo uk” to rank higher than the main keyword “uk bingo” on SERPs without optimizing it. I’ve noticed that it happens a lot, wherein the reverse version of the keyword is also being optimized just by shooting for the other one. So, what if I’ve targeted for the “bingo uk” instead? Perhaps, I should try and experiment on that one.

A Sneak Peek On My Current Campaign

I’ve been very busy lately with tons of work and drinking sessions that decelerated this blog. Although, I still have a lot of experiments in mind that I wish to implement first on this playground, even I can’t find time to do link building on my own blog.

Ok, here’s another sample, I’ve been targeting the keyword “seo strategies” on my homepage, and I was able to make it rank on the 2nd page of Google SERPs in just 2 weeks (from the 40th page). However, after achieving that, I slowed down a bit (for several months), since a lot of client work started coming in. But recently, I’ve thought of reviving my previous campaign by using this strategy as an alternative; and here are the search terms that I chose to surround the main keyword:

Well, I do wish I can find the time to put this experiment into action.

Getting Links Using This Anchor Text Strategy

There are so many ways you can get links from this not-so-spammy strategy, and here are some of them:

How to Find Support Keywords

Easy, use Google Keyword Tool and Traffic Travis!

Next Stop

Be sure that you also use your main keyword as anchor text in building your links, but the most important thing is that your anchor text should vary, since using all of your support keywords will drastically help your main keyword rank higher on search engines.

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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  1. Rohan

    April 20, 2011

    Post a Reply

    When you say that you targeted multiple keyword variations in ‘many longtail’ keywords are you talking about making variations in anchor texts links pointing to the home page or are you suggesting to make multiple posts in the blog targeted to the keyword and tackling various keyword variations so that the relevancy and keyword density of the entire archive increases for that said word ?

  2. Nice article :-) I agree wholeheartedly with your suggestions and hope that others take your advice into consideration. Too many times we see 300+ backlinks with one keyword phrase as anchor text, followed (way behind) with something like 30, 20, and then 10 different versions of the keyword anchor text. This doesn’t work well as Google knows someone is trying too hard to game the algo… it isn’t natural.
    Andy :-)

  3. BingoBabe

    May 14, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Really helpful post, not just because you used a bingo term as an example.

    I have a friend who was ranking first page for a term, he then built a lot of links to the site. Apparently he tripped an anchor text filter by getting too many links using the same anchor. Instead of moving up the serps he was out of the serps totally.

    Something everyone should be aware of.

  4. I’ve read a lot about what you were outlining, and it makes perfect sense to me (now). However, one part of the puzzle I can’t figure out is how much is to much? I mean how many links with the same anchor text is to much – what number triggers the the “anchor text filter” mentioned in the comment above?

  5. Great post Jason. Do you calculate the %ages that you’ll use the different keyphrase variations or do you just alternate as you gain links? It seems to me partial-match influence is still on the rise.

  6. Kent

    July 15, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Just one question for anchor text in link building. When we comment on other people’s blog, should we put anchor text as our name? For example, anchor text “Malaysia SEO”, does that help? And will I offend those blogs owners because I don’t put my real name?

  7. SEO blog

    July 29, 2011

    Post a Reply

    I like what you are saying and truth be told I have read similar article on a SEO blog that I follow. I have made use of many of there suggestions when I launched my website a few months back.

    Still a good read though as I like to get various opinions and then draw my conclusion.

  8. Another top post from you Jason, thank you. That is a smart way to target keywords…I just wonder, have you ever had any sort of spam issues with targeting in this fashion? You definitely know what you are doing with link building, but was just curious if this specific tactic has ever lead to a decreased ranking for a site?

  9. Henry

    September 2, 2011

    Post a Reply

    I made the typical newbie mistakes when starting out with my first site like diluting the link juice with” www” or without. Also good reminder to newbies….. vary your links and don’t just link to your home page. Appreciate the advice here,keep it coming.

  10. Great stuff Jason. I love the reminder of keeping things natural and playing around with variations of the main keyword.

    I find myself forgetting that sometimes! Good to remember that once in a while.


  11. Hillary Stones

    April 17, 2012

    Post a Reply

    Another great post Jason. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I like what you are saying and truth be told I have read similar article on a SEO blog that I follow.

  12. N1NJA

    August 7, 2012

    Post a Reply

    Dude some nice tips there seriously i need a mentor for this stuff so im going to try your theories if it works you ROCK! And if it dont work im going to hunt you down….. LOL Thanks :)

  13. Larry@Larry

    January 6, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I all the time used to read paragraph in news papers but now as I am a user of net therefore from now I am using net for posts, thanks to web.

  14. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
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