Anchors Away – The Truth About BackLinking

By on December 14, 2012
Anchor Text

Once upon a time in the world of SEO there were some fool-proof black hat tactics that quickly and (almost) effortlessly could shoot you to the top of the search engine results. There was a collection of tools and services out there that made SEO as simple as picking keywords and clicking go. I am talking about aggressive back-linking. A website owner could purchase a service that just blasted their site with countless backlinks which in google’s eyes gave the site authority and popularity. At one time your site could be lacking in numerous areas, but provided you had more backlinks than your competition there was a good chance you would out rank them, and reap the benefit of that sweet organic traffic.

These tactics have evolved and changed over the years. Eventually things like the following came into play:

  • Do follow vs No Follow links
  • .EDU & .GOV links
  • Linking site’s Page Rank and Authority
  • Consistency of incoming new links
  • And countless other “Black-Hat best practices”

While I am not suggesting that those days are done and over with, it is no longer all about the back links. Getting hundreds of thousands of PR0 backlinks does not affect your site the same way that they once did. In fact it is possible to hurt your rank by synthetically generating tons and tons of “crap links”.  Google eventually got hip to this trend of just buying up massive amounts of backlinks, and with constant updates to the search algorithm they have protected against the “shortcuts” of yester-year.

While building backlinks should still be a part of your SEO strategy, there are many other things in this series that will be as, if not more so beneficial to your search engine ranking.

Here is the newest and one of the more unique backlinking strategies I have come across in a while. It has to do with diversity of your anchor text for the links. For those of you who don’t know, anchor text is the word that is hyperlinked like this [HERE] (“here” is the anchor text). You will always want your descriptive keywords and terms to be your anchor text for your incoming links. That should comprise the majority of the links you build.

The next step is to break out the thesaurus and use every pseudonym for his given keywords that is out there.  However, I have been getting reports of the crazy effective trick of using synonyms for your terms. This certain individual started playing with synonym linking. Let’s say you have a website selling infoproducts about how to seduce women. The obvious anchor text terms would be your product names, how to pick up women, how to pick up chicks.  An example for this would be: “pickup-truck women”. Or let’s say you you have a direct mail service, after linking things like: “snail mail”, or “eliminate SPAM”, you might want to try “escargot mail” and “eliminate canned meat”. I have been told that this is highly effective and worth testing.

The idea here is to break out the thesaurus and use terms that you wouldn’t normally think have high search volume. The point is these terms are recorded and interpreted by the search engines. Their perception is you have a diverse collection of information on the main subject. Plus you will be ranking for a number of long tail and low competition keywords in the process.

But honestly, in my humble opinion, I file this under short-run tricks.  I think this could provide you with an instant benefit, but in the long run this will not be effective, and might drive some untargeted traffic. So, if you do attempt this method, I would be sure that the majority of your anchor texts are descriptive and congruent with your content.

I suggest going a more “white-hat” route. While, this is probably not what you want to hear it is the best way to ensure the longevity of your rank and quality traffic. Some of these methods include:

  • Press releases – prweb.com
  • High Quality Article Distribution – ezinearticles.com
  • Social Media Web 2.0 properties with high quality content  – Check out my article called “Social Traffic Deluge” (coming out next week)

It’s quality over quantity. And really, I could go one at lengths on each one of these methods. If you are curious about a specific one, please feel free to ask in the comments and I will consider doing a full article on it.

The idea here is to always generate the best content possible and promote it in the most ethical and interesting way possible. It requires the most elbow grease, but it will also have the best results.

If you still insist on taking shortcuts, I am certainly not going to keep the tricks from you. Driving Traffic is dedicated to providing you with the best and most comprehensive free information possible. The only catch is we want you to engage and add to the community when you can. If you have results, please post a comment and let us know, so it can benefit all of us. So, here is a list of  “black-hat” link building services that will blast your site with boatloads of links. Remember to use these sparingly, and do your best to keep them as “organic-looking” as possible. IE 100,000 backlinks in a weekend might seem more than a little suspect…

  • LinkEmperor.com
  • backlinkbanzai.com
  • AutomatedLinksOnTap.com
  • Angelasbacklinks
  • Fiverr.com – the cheapest

For fiverr, look for the following types of gigs: traffic geyser links, EDU links, Web 2.0 and forum links, spun articles, and social bookmarking. You will want to sort your search results within fiver by user rank, and I suggest starting off with some EDU links.

In conclusion, backlinking should be a part of your SEO strategy if it isn’t already. I suggest using blackhat methods (like link building services & apps) in moderation, and to focus primarily on  content rich article/comment/picture/video distribution. Write something interesting, contribute something interesting and then link back to your main site. Diversify your anchor text (use multiple keywords and phrases to describe your content). Google will be happier with you, and it will eventually be reflected in your search engine rank.

Happy Ranking

(special thanks to Perry Belcher and Julian Farley @julianfarley for insight)

About Kevin Clanton

Kevin Clanton is part of the new generation of Internet marketers, originally starting his career as a programmer obsessed with all things information / technology. Online Marketing has quickly become his primary focus; where he is able to leverage his background in development to implement his dreams & ideas in order to quickly produce data on their effectiveness. Google Kevin has an intense drive to be as well rounded as possible in his business pursuits. He isn’t satisfied until he has a firm understanding of all aspects of a given business strategy.

38 Comments

  1. Excellent go through … headline catchy … excellent factors, many of which I’ve learned on the way too (meekness, grace, layoff the particular dubious products). May present to my co-workers at the job as we start off blogging coming from a corporate perspective. Thanks!

  2. Glenn Interrante

    April 19, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Tags or categories may be used to organize articles and to help with search engines since tags or categories act as keywords that identify the topics covered in the article. Many directories pay the author for his/her participation. Some directories review articles before they are published and there may be a waiting period of several days before a new article appears. This helps to eliminate low quality submissions, including duplicate articles, spam and spun articles.,

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  3. Mavis

    April 15, 2013 at 12:19 am

    I’m excited to uncover this great site. I wanted to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and i also have you book marked to look at new information on your site.

  4. Domingo Hardnett

    April 2, 2013 at 2:31 am

    An article directory may accept new articles from any contributor, but may require that a new article is unique (not published elsewhere) and not spun (see article spinning). A typical article is around 400-500 words, and tools such as a WYSIWYG editor for writing and submitting an article may be provided.’

    Look at all of the most up-to-date piece of writing on our own blog
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  5. John Maxwell

    March 25, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Would someone like to tell us what is the best way to get backlinks free. Do backlink work as well as they once did?
    I am open to other way to get our website click on.

    John

  6. Krissy Links

    February 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Hey,
    first i would like to say, that i think the term “Black Hat” is a little overboard for someone building links to their site just because it is onauto-pilot. The term Black Hat should be reserved for whats really BH; phishing, hacking, etc…
    If i have a program that goes to 10 Web 2.0 sites and opens up an account and puts up useful info, i hardly consider that BH.
    It is something LEGAL that you can do manually. Not like stealing a password. This gets a little gray when morons are spamming 1000 blogs with a bland comment and even grayer when the comment contains a sales pitch or link.

    on another note: i totally agree with you on the backlinking.
    “alternative” and “call to action” keywords are highly important as well as RAW urls.

    When we build out clients links, the one thing we make sure is to eliminate the footprints that goes along with creating links.
    from keywords to usernames.

    backlinking is still important, but doing it correctly is now even more important. =)

    • Kevin Clanton

      February 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      I agree that backlinking is a powerful tool/method to improve your SERP position. Perhaps the term black hat is a little overboard. But, it is the term that is associated with auto post, comment spinning, spam link posting types of methods. While software that does this sort of link building is legal it is in conflict with what google now deems as legitimate or favorable. Google does warn against and penalize those who utilize “unnatural site linking” (i think that is how they referred to it, if i remember correctly).
      I think the term gets thrown around to distance good organic quality link building from spam link building software.

      Thank you for pointing that out, very insightful comment.

  7. Daniel

    January 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Waoh! I like your article, its a great information but i want to ask a question….submiting your website to high PR directory is it a whitehat method? Will this yield result? Pls i need your reply.

    • Kevin Clanton

      January 14, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Daniel, Thanks for commenting
      can you be a little more specific?
      Submitting your articles to an article directory is white hat in book.
      I don’t think you need to be worried.
      See where your links end up, thats what matters.

      But the most important thing, is the quality of the content that is is getting written and distributed.
      Really i’d need more info to tell you what would be the most important or effective for your case.

  8. leatherhead man and van

    December 27, 2012 at 12:34 am

    You have opened my eyes today with this with thanks

  9. Chris Kelly

    December 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Let’s make it simple: Link Diversification :)

    • Kevin Clanton

      January 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Touche’ :)

  10. Shell Harris

    December 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I’m sorry, but I had to chuckle when I read that you are suggesting posting on ezinearticles.com. I hope my competition does continue to rely on ezinearticles.com as that will be great for my company and my clients. We rarely post articles the EA, as the only link you will get is from EA. Blogger strip out the links with regularity and in the end you get one link from the same site, EA. No need to publish more than a very few times there, if at all. Better to beat the bushes and find relevant guest article opportunities.

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      Shell,
      While it isn’t ideal that the blogger might strip your link out, you still get credibility / authority from EA.
      Not to mention the targeted traffic. I have written articles that were featured and the quality of the resulting clicks was great.
      Some people starting out don’t have the contacts or authority to warrant a good guest blog post opportunity.
      But depending on the site(s), that would be ideal.

      As far as content distribution goes it think EA should remain in most people’s bag o tricks.

      Do you have any other suggestions, for distributing content or links?

  11. Carl Duncker

    December 17, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Strategies like this are old school, debatable and not going to cut it for any decent marketplace. Authorship is the daddy these days and having a consistent tone to your contributions. Digital marketing is finally stepping out as a serious career as these short cut fiverr strategies simply don’t work.

    by Carl Duncker, Digital Marketing Consultant

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 17, 2012 at 11:02 am

      Carl,
      Very true. Sometimes I wish it was as easy as it was back in the day.
      I have an article coming out on authorship in a few days.
      Thank you for commenting.
      -Kevin

    • Tom Poland

      January 31, 2013 at 12:11 am

      Yes indeedy, if you want to get bumped to page 1billion and 5 on a google search then go to fiverr and other places and buy backlinks n stuff. Then sit back and enjoy your website’s demise. I’ll stick to white hat strategies thanks… genuine, organic rankings based on authenticity. Harder work but effective in the long term.

  12. David Pledger

    December 16, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I read just this week a research article about press releases.
    It found that the not one of the top 100 web based start ups in 2012 used press releases. This does not prove press releases are a complete waste of time but it does strongly indicate that the ROI is not going to be very exciting. Given the amount of time good back linking takes I prefer to focus on areas that produce more results for the time input, like the other areas you mention.

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 17, 2012 at 11:08 am

      David,
      Very interesting..
      I had not heard that.
      I know some SEO consultants who swear by article marketing and press releases, and I know they get results.
      But they also tend to have a killer deal on P.R.s (like 5-20 bucks a piece).

      Did they say what they DID use for promotion or SEO? Was there anything fairly consistent within that group?
      I’d love to hear about it, or see that article..

      Thanks for commenting,
      -Kevin

  13. Chris

    December 16, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Kevin, Got a question… I have a few websites that have been flipped upside-down in Google for certain keywords. What do I mean? Lets say I ranked #1 for a phrase prior to being penalized and that a total of 999 results will display….now my site ranks #999 (sometimes #998 or so). This has happened on multiple keywords that I ranked for previously. I used Unique Article Wizard and other article network sites to link back to me. Did I get penalized probably for the anchor text density or the fact I used this network to build links? Is the damage reversible? HAve you seen this happen before?

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Well, when your rank is changing you will often see it switch back and forth like that.
      I am not very familiar with UAW but it appears to be pretty “done-for-you”.
      So, the tactics might come off a little black-hat.

      You might be getting penalized. What I suggest is taking a break from all black hat methods, (or perhaps, organically slow it down).
      IE if you are driving 10k links a week, you might want to taper down a bit instead of just stop.
      But, definitely take a break from that, and put in the work to promote some high quality content.
      If they created social media properties for you, try and get a hold of them and see how “SPAM-Y” they look.
      It isn’t to late to create some real engagement there, and use their work as a base.

      Google will continue to get better and better at sniffing out the short cuts. And we all know someone that they have slapped or penalized in some way…

      I am sure it is reversible, just put in the work to drop/stop/bury anything questionable.
      If you see your site completely disappear, it might be time to consider starting up a new property on the subject..
      Hope that helps,
      -Kevin

  14. Crawford and O'Brien

    December 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Great article. Yes. For PRweb, you should try to find some guys who sign up for the ability to post 1000s of PR webs per year – thus they are getting it for less than $50/press release – then you can pay them $50-60 to do a press release for you. Don’t pay $200 for a PRweb. Also, webwire for $25 is pretty good too.

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 17, 2012 at 11:16 am

      Great suggestion

  15. Kevin

    December 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Nice article! Quick question on your reference to traffic geyser links in fiverr: Do you consider these lower / gray / black hat? I have these links to some of my sites, and would be really interested to know more about your experience with these now in the new google world.
    Look forward to your comments :)

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 17, 2012 at 11:46 am

      Kevin (nice name),
      Ya know, I don’t want to go on record and completely discount a service without being really, really, sure of what I am saying.
      But, here is the thing, Traffic geyser can do tons of auto submissions, links, and other automated actions.
      If it appears to be un-natural, it might produce an unintended effect.
      That is why in the article I say if you are going to do it, use it sparingly.
      I haven’t personally used it in a long time. But, thats the thing, it has been around a long time. The older the tool / method / service, the easier it is for the search engines to “finder-print” it, and potentially punish those who use it.
      Another commenter here is experiencing what is likely a punishment from google, for using unique article wizard.

      Thanks for commenting

  16. JC Anthony

    December 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    As I did find the post informative I will agree with using synonyms in your content and I also agree with the content being original and engaging but I have to say as far as Black-hat SEO goes especially for newbies it would be my recommendation to stay away from it completely.
    All of my SEO are White-hat tactics and work just fine, as you said it does take some work but that is what makes this all worth while, seeing what you have created stay on front page.
    I only have three sites at the moment but each one is on the front page of google for the domain keywords and I attribute that success to not trying to take short cuts.
    Thanks, and Have a Grate one! I will return I like your articles.
    -JC Anthony-

  17. Ivena

    December 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Great information but can we apply this to our You Tube stuff? It’s not a website but can we use maybe our cleaning company name or city or locaction? We have the site but like I said in the other post out video is what’s really doing it for use.. Any feed back would be great thanks..

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      You can actually drive links to a youtube video since youtube has millions of inbound links (it doesn’t look as questionable). I think I go into that a little in the video sniper article.

      If that video is really taking off, get it as many places as you can.
      IE Post it on all of your social networks. Add it to other video platforms.
      And you might want to consider creating another video for your channel, maybe a different approach.

      I also think you should look into facebook ads. I think there a promo for $50 of free advertising out there.
      W/ facebook ads you can drill down to location and demographic pretty well. And then just point the ad to your video (maybe test against linking it to your site). Put something in that ad telling the prospect to mention facebook for 15% off or something, so you can test it’s effectiveness.

      The visitor should be able to get to your site from the video and vise versa.

      Hope that keeps you busy for a bit :)

      Thanks again,
      -Kevin

      • Ivena

        December 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm

        Great info.. I will let my husband know when he gets home.. He will be happy because its another project..

  18. Jan Bear

    December 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Google’s business model depends on delivering relevant search results. Black hat SEO undercuts those efforts and provides search results that the searcher is not looking for. Betting on Google not to refine its search algorithm to weed out those bad searches seems like a losing bet.

    The true blackhatters — the ones who can’t be troubled by creating content, but want to put all their efforts into tricking the system — well, that’s their choice, and however it works out, it works out.

    What concerns me are the people who are just getting started at creating a website. They often don’t have a clear understanding about what black hat is and what the penalties and consequences can be of using it. And being newbies, they often come to the newest blackhat sensation just as it’s no longer working. They end up wasting so much time on SEO techniques that won’t work six months from now that they don’t create content that can continue to attract traffic through the next five Google algorithm updates. So they buy the next SEO thing that you need to get found on the web, that will be obsolete next time Google updates.

    It’s cheaper to hire a qualified copywriter and get some real content.

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Jan
      Very insightful, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
      Thank you for commenting.
      Please come back
      -Kevin

    • Cheryl

      December 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      I totally agree with Jan. For years (students of Howie Schwartz) we hovered in the greyhat area for backlinking, and we did very well. But delving into anything resembling taking short cuts and trying to one-up Google is the equivalent of the high school kid who had the smarts to get high grades himself yet resorted to every trick in the book to avoid studying. It eventually backfires, and when it happens the stakes are higher than ever.

  19. Julie Hood

    December 15, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for all the great articles in your series. It’s great to see some of the new info with details to back it up.

    For your press release article, could you mention if there are other sites with good distribution, in addition to prweb.com? Their cheapest release is now $159 so I’m looking for some other options, too.

    Thanks again -

    Best,
    Julie

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      Julie,
      Getting cheap press releases is an art form.
      I will get an expert to come on and do a post about it, that knows more than me.
      Thanks for the comment,
      -k

    • Elisabeth Kuhn

      December 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      What! They now charge $159?! That’s quite a steep step up from $89. Thanks for alerting me to this, Julie.

      And yes, Kevin, I too would appreciate some recommendations for effective PR sites, especially ones that target the US market (a lot of the alternatives seem to get more views internationally than in the U.S.).

      Thanks!

      • Kevin Clanton

        December 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm

        Elisabeth,
        I will get on that. I have a few people in mind.

  20. Richard Petrillo

    December 15, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Hey Kevin,

    I really had to laugh at myself while reading this article. When you were talking
    about using the thesaurus and pseudonyms and explained how it might not be that effective because you might attract un-targeted traffic…

    Well, in my attempts at coming up with a catchy headline I once used: “I’ll Gladly Pay You Tuesday For A Hamburger Today”. The analogy and article was all about the follow up. Little did I realize just how often that phrase was searched for… Currently I get about 270 hits a month to my site from people searching about Popeye and Wimpy! LOL Not exactly the traffic I was hoping for.

    My one and only attempt with any kind of black-hat backlink strategy was using Social Monkey. Not to bad mouth them but the backlinks they ended up providing weren’t exactly relevant to my site. That was short lived! I will stick with the white-hat methods, even if it requires the most “elbow grease” ;)

    I am looking forward to your Social Traffic Deluge article next week and I would be interested in learning more about Press Releases. I always here how powerful they are supposed to be but I am a bit confused on the best tactics to use. I will check out prweb.com in the meantime.

    Thank you once again for such great content!
    Have a great weekend!
    RichardP

    • Kevin Clanton

      December 15, 2012 at 2:58 am

      Richard,
      Good stuff.
      It’s unfortunate that the over night tricks aren’t what they used to be.
      But at the same time it allows you to focus on building a site / product that will stand the test of time.

      I will get some stuff together for a press release article in the future.
      It’s really powerful stuff. I might get a guest poster to do a piece on it..
      Thanks again,
      -Kevin

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