I would think you answered yourself quite well:
what anchor would you naturally use
|relevant and successful.. good site |
Why would someone nofollow the link
Are you doing this for your users, or are you hoping that this will help your site rank?
Referring to follow/nofollow you confirm my assumption. It's just consistent. On the one hand it is a real recommendation and I want to create a connection, so it is illogical to do with nofollow.
But the KW-anchor... this is more difficult. A KW-anchor is not the only natural way. Why should a phrase without KWs or the Url be unnatural?
I do it for the users, but I also hope it could help my ranking somehow. I give a good link and hey, I really don't have a guilty conscience thinking about my own advantage too.
I can't find it right now, but somewhere in the webmaster guidelines, Google has pages explaining such things as how to name your images and how to write good links. They do recommend using relevant keywords to anchor the links. If you think about it, this is also what helps visitors. Imagine you're writing "Gray skirts are fashionable right now." If you want to link to a site that talks about what's "fashionable right now", you'd put the link on that text. If OTOH you're linking to a site that talks about (or sells) gray skirts, you'd put the link on "gray skirts." That way, visitors get what they expect after clicking the link.
First I try to make sure that the link occurs at a point where a reader might want to check the source of my statement.
Next I try to make sure that the link text explains what the page I'm linking to is about; I think this helps users more than just 'here' or 'click here' (although sometimes my anchor text will include that word/phrase).
If I'm linking to the home page of a site then I pretty much always use the brand / business / site name.
If you 'link for the user' then I'd be surprised if you fell foul of any filters intended to detect/punish anchor text 'abuse'.
Sure it is good to use a relevant anchor which matches the content of the linked site. But it does not have to be the primary keyword of the linking page. Usually this is not the only choice.
There are a lot of ways to use proper anchors, for example synonyms. And the aimed site usually is not made only for this one primary KW of my own page. So there are always several ways to create a good and userfriendly anchor. And therefore my question is justified: what of these way is good for me too?
"click here" is none of the proper ways which are possible, sure.
I don't fear any filter, as mentioned I ask myself what also can help ME.
"First I try to make sure that the link occurs at a point where a reader might want to check the source of my statement. " Can you explain in more detail?
|"First I try to make sure that the link occurs at a point where a reader might want to check the source of my statement. " Can you explain in more detail? |
From my personal experience - I often read a page and click on in-content links to find out more about what I am just reading about in the current sentence/paragraph. I usually open such links in a new window, as I want first to complete reading the page I am on (if I find the page/article interesting).
It is much rarer that I would click on a banner or on a link in a sidebar/footer or on a link in the list of resources on the bottom of the article, where links are standing there on their own (no surrounding text).
When I link to good sites I don't use nofollow tags and I am fairly sure Google ignores nofollow tags when they point to sites/pages Google already trusts.
As for anchor text I link to use the domain name. e.g. the clickable text would be 'example.com'. It's not always possible to do that but when it can be done I think it should be because it leaves no doubt that you want to link to that domain and it leaves no doubt as to where a visitor will end up if they click.
|I try to make sure that the link occurs at a point where a reader might want to check the source of my statement |
Example: "Organisation / person << says this >>" (where the link is inside the << >>) rather than the way Wikipedia quote their sources - at the foot of the page where, as aakk9999 said, they are much less likely to be clicked.
|I usually open such links in a new window |
I too make all external links target=blank / window=new as standard.
One of the solutions I've applied in the past (as suggested by Tedster) for 'wrong page ranking syndrome' was to remove on-page anchor text containing the phrase you DON'T want a page to rank for from it and adding it to the page you DO want it to rank for. In other words, I've seen anchor text help the page it's on as well as (or more than, when used internally) the page it points to. I realise that's not a very definite answer, but it indicates to me that judicious outbound linking can help.
Added: perhaps what might help (more than the precise text you use?) is the relevance of your article's key terms to the key term(s) that the page(s) you link to rank for. I've noticed that my quickest ranking articles are often those that link out to well-ranked pages themselves.
However, I don't recommend always citing the most popular source in every case, because sometimes I don't think they are the best or most suited to my article.
What you say is the following would be fine for the linking page:
-it links with "apples" as anchor to the authority and the linking page is primary about apples, ranking with "apples".
-"apples" is also the primary KW of the linked page, the authority.
-even if the linking page does not use "apples" as anchor it should be primary about apples, because the linked page is about apples.
So if i understand you right, you would answer my original question "Is a KW-anchor in the same degree helpful for me as the linking part as it is for the linked page" with "yes".
You give a lot by using a KW-anchor but you are also rewarded. Without this KW-anchor you give less and may get less.
Anybody else who wants to confirm or deny this assumption?
btw, SEOMOZ recommended not to link out with the primary KW in a video without saying why.
|I also hope it could help my ranking somehow. |
Worst reason to do anything. You're playing by the old rules which have more or less been replaced. All that stuff about H1, title tags, anchor text, etc. are being statistically analyzed. If your page fits the pattern of what a standard SEO web page looks like then you're kicked out, penguinized, pandalized, etc. Throw the old recipe out.
[edited by: Montresor at 2:23 pm (utc) on Aug 14, 2013]
I link out like crazy. I don't use nofollow. I also don't use keyword anchor text. Most sites I link to are as authoritative or moreso than my own. So far there's never been a problem (and some link back).
Deeper: I don't know that a k/w link does the link giver as much good as the link recipient, but I do believe that it does some good.
I very rarely link out on one word; the vast majority of my text links are between 4 and 10 words long. If I were linking to an article on a medical condition I might just use the one word. But then I tend not to link to a page that covers an entire topic; I tend to link to a news article / research paper / blog post / opinion piece / whatever it is that focuses on one aspect of a topic, so the anchor text is most often a phrase or even an entire sentence summing up what I'm linking to. Most of the time the link is there to verify what I'm saying.
Sometimes these links will include keywords (or related keywords) from the topic I'm writing about, but that's a lesser consideration. I mainly make sure that they accurately describe what I'm linking to rather than what I'm writing about.
|I link out like crazy. I don't use nofollow. |
1. Link out like crazy.
Yes, you bleed page rank, but you also become part of a link neighborhood that helps determine relevancy.
2. Don't use nofollow.
I can't imagine why I would nofollow a link that I have editorially placed on the page. What is the point of that. Years ago Google plugged that hole in the PR algo where a nofollow link didn't leak page rank. So if you have ten outbound links, it doesn't matter in terms of PR whether they are nofollow or not. But nofollow is essentially saying "I don't know and trust this resource, so don't count me as part of that link neighborhood." As per #1, I don't want to do that.
>Yes, you bleed page rank, but you also become part of a link neighborhood that helps determine relevancy.
Also, depending on the project, linking out (editorially!) can make your site a resource that other people use, share, and link, because you're a central location for other related resources. Yeah, you lose some page rank, but if your resource is good and well liked, but you gain at least some of it back in authority. Plus the people you link to get some sweet link juice as well. Everybody wins.
With "KW-anchor" I don't mean only one word. But something essential of the linking page. Usually a page is not optimized strictly to only one certain single KW.
I don't expect a KW-anchor helping the linking page in the same degree as it does for the linked page. My assumption is more like "giving more helps you more". But "more" does not mean "both parts benefit in the same degree".
What anchors do you use?
Whatever is natural and makes sense. I do try and use well-formed anchor text where possible, but if it doesn't fit in a particular location, I don't use it and just use another relevant phrase based on the context of the sentence.
Like your incoming links, I think outgoing anchor text should be natural and varied.
|As for anchor text I link to use the domain name. e.g. the clickable text would be 'example.com'. It's not always possible to do that but when it can be done I think it should be because it leaves no doubt that you want to link to that domain and it leaves no doubt as to where a visitor will end up if they click. |
Interestingly, there's been post-Penguin debate about the possibility that Google considers it spammy when a site has a lot of inbounds that are just the domain name for anchor text.
That depends on how I feel. Generally, I use the anchor text that will be most useful to the user.
I will make an exception if I really want to support the site I'm linking to. In that case I might actually try to craft anchor text that will help them rank for their target terms.
>Imagine you're writing "Gray skirts are fashionable right now." If you want to link to a site that talks about what's "fashionable right now", you'd put the link on that text. <
In the above example, why not just be completely safe, play by G's rules (which ALREADY totally FORCE us to violate what HTML was invented for and how it was intended to be used in SO many ways anyhow) and make it read something like "Gray skirts are fashionable right now... But don't just take MY word for it, check this article at: 'example.com'" and put the link only around "example.com" or their "company name" IF it's mainly a brand and doesn't contain any critical keywords. Or how about: "don't know what a gray skirt looks like? See: 'Wiki---'" "looking to buy gray skirts, visit the 'famous skirt store' site." Yes, it is awkward and poor style (see disclaimer at top about G) but the linked site will still get the generic link PR, you'll get the so-called-authority if such exists, your readers get the benefit of additional information, and G can go F@#$ themselves, do their own jobs, and try to figure out what the heck the destination page is all ABOUT on their own. After all that's apparently what they want so it's a win-win-win-(win?).
Also, on the topic of "Good" sites in the title, when linking anywhere, avoid short term events (i.e. a conference registration site/page for next month) or sites without long-standing records (I know it's cruel and unfair to start-ups, but so true these days) unless you know you'll remember to come back, check and remove it every month if necessary, otherwise you can wind up accidentally linking into 'bad neighborhoods' when the site is allowed to expire by the original owner and bought up by a spammer and redirected or modified for it's prior traffic. Checking periodically on small (<100 page) sites isn't so bad, but when you get into the 1000's of pages, it's impossible without good automation software.
>debate about the possibility that Google considers it spammy...<
I can't imagine that. I'll have to research this. Especially coming from a company whose name is now a verb and all but synonymous with the term 'search engine'. Although it would explain why G doesn't show up on the first two pages of a G-search for "search engine."
In terms of what anchor to use, I think a lot of it is to do with our intentions. I mean if we had no idea about SEO and only from the user point of view, we probably wouldn't even ask this question, and wouldn't even know what a keyword is. If this is the case, what anchor would you use?
We could happen to naturally write up an anchor that is relevant to the users and contain the keywords, but it is a different approach from writing up a keyword containing anchor from the SEO point of view. Once you start doing this in different places, patterns start to appear even if you intentionally varied the text.
|why not just be completely safe, play by G's rules |
Are you suggesting that Google has some sort of rules or guidelines for external links?
I venture to bet that many of us have implemented the nofollow tags and gradually are reducing the use of the tags as we find more of Google smoke. I think the issues are not as much our sites but Google's engine.
|Are you suggesting that Google has some sort of rules or guidelines for external links? |
I was. The Webmaster Guidelines used to have a page about it, but they've revamped that. However, I found this: [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com ]
|For example, if you run a basketball site and you have videos to accompany the textual content, a not-very-optimal way of linking would be: |
To see all our basketball videos, <a href="videos.html">click here</a> for the entire listing.
However, instead of the generic "click here," you could rewrite the anchor text more descriptively as:
Feel free to browse all of our <a href="videos.html">basketball videos</a>.
I take that as a clear indication that Google prefers your link to be perched on anchor text that (a) naturally flows within the sentence and (b) suggests to the visitor what they're going to find if they click the link.
diberry, my question wasn't concerning what anchor text to use, but was to MikeNoLastName's implication that we had to somehow "play by G's rules" in order to "be completely safe."
In fact, your citation supports what most folks already do: use descriptive anchor text.
jimbeetle: Are YOU implying that you can create a website which does EVERYTHING opposite of what G recommends and get anywhere on their search results? Try leaving out an H1, a title, a meta description and direct link to 100 unrelated s-x sites from a single page about baking cookies while advertising to add anyone who pays monthly, and see if you show up anywhere on G. What is your point?
It HAS been assured in various interviews that linking with the company name or URL is ALWAYS safe, and no other recommendations that I know of, so go with what is KNOWN and stay away from any other less-than-knowns.
We've had this discussion many times before e.g. [webmasterworld.com...] see the patent referred to and the discussion starting around page 6 of that thread.
OF COURSE a site needs to follow the G rules (unless of course you're doing new blackhat that G hasn't discovered yet, or have an inside connection) if it wants to safely stay near the top indefinitely. Of course it's not easy when G changes the rules every day.
|I link out like crazy. I don't use nofollow. |
When you link netmeg, though you link with the intention of providing a great resource for the user.
Because you do this, the placement and context of the link actually changes. I think in many ways it changes enough to keep those links looking like they intended - editorial.
Pretend it is 10 years ago and no-one is paranoid about links.
Ask yourself "Why am I linking out?"
The answer should be "Because this link will be useful for my visitors".
Now link out in the most natural way possible. Whether that will be by keyword text or domain name will depend on the context.
Link with the word "here" if it is appropriate. Link with the domain name if you want to. Link for your visitor and link through the word/words that makes the most sense. Personally I think it is polite to let your visitor know that you are sending them elsewhere too. "You can find some excellent examples of this at this site" or "If you would like more along these lines, there are some excellent resources here".
We are pretending it is 10 year's ago, remember. Links are for traffic, not for ranking. I respect another site, I send them my visitors and some traffic.
Use "target="_blank" as another courtesy to your visitors. It makes it doubly clear to them that they are visiting another site, and allows them to make their own decision as to when to leave yours.
It was simple 10 years ago.
Now fast-forward to the present day.
Ask yourself, "Am I able to maintain and check this link regularly?"
If you have a 20 or 200 page website, you probably don't have a problem.
If you have a 10 year-old, 10,000 or 100,000 page website, you probably do.
These days I might no-follow links on all but my main pages because I'm just not sure when I will be able to check them again.
Now go back to the original question, "Why am I linking out?" If the answer is "I hope it will help my ranking somehow" then just don't do it. DON'T.
I stressed several times that "will it help my own ranking" is not the only motivation, but if it fits with helping the user, then yes. Why not? I'm just honest.
Nobody here in this thread cares about his ranking and only wants to serve his users?
Come on, 99% of all discussions here in the forum are about "how can I rank better, how can I beat the competition". But as soon as it comes to external linking there are only altruistic angels here and some of them eben say "don't be egoistic, don't make it for your own advantage."
|Come on, 99% of all discussions here in the forum are about "how can I rank better, how can I beat the competition". |
With the top half of the page being paid ads for many search terms, the only way to beat the competition is to bid high in Adwords.
I link the way I link without concern for Google. It's quite obvious that the way Google ranks websites is not based on quality or how we link to others, but instead on how much money they can make directly or indirectly by feeding traffic to partners. It's a stacked deck and the more that people obsess over how they link to others the more likely they are to stress over ranking above Google's favorites.
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