Is your Anchor Text Profile Setting you up for Failure?
 by Casey Markee

Is your Anchor Text Profile Setting you up for Failure?

  • We haven't received the dreaded unnatural links notice yet, but I'm concerned our backlink profile may be too heavily weighted on certain anchor text that will cause us problems. Can you help me identify the red flags so I can mitigate any issues before they get us in trouble?

Answer: You are right to take a proactive approach in policing your anchor text backlink profile. According to Google Engineer Matt Cutts, Google sends out over 400,000 manual action notices each month! The vast majority of these are unnatural link notices. Thus, knowing how to penalty-proof your site is an essential move for the average site owner.

Accomplishing this means being able to examine the backlink profile of your site and those of your clients, and recognizing when the anchor text distribution of these backlinks (the keywords used within the links to your site) are unnaturally weighted. Being able to visually view your anchor text breakdown and know at a glance if something is "jinky" is actually easier than you may think.

For example, take a look at this screenshot for noted volunteer abroad and current subscriber Global Volunteers.

Natural Anchor Text Profile Example

The above graphic is a visual representation of what a "Natural" anchor text linking profile looks like. You can see that the anchor text breakdown for Global Volunteers is heavily weighted towards brand keywords and actual URLs and contains nothing that would look "unnatural" or cause concern if the site was manually reviewed by a Google Engineer. Although you can see that the represented anchor text lack a ...