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keyword weight in links, are long tail links good?
how much weight do long tail links carry

 9:24 pm on Jul 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ok I am in the process of creating links to one of our sites.
Eventually we want to rank for the keyphrases:

Motorcycle tires
ATV tires
Trailer tires

I know these are common phrases and I know competition is heavy.

I am trying to work out what phrases carry the most weight with search engines, and what would be best to use.

If I used 'motorcycle, atv, and trailer tires' as the link text, and someone searched for motorcycle tires, would a search engine go 'ok, we have that phrase in the link'?
If it did count it, would it carry as much weight as if the whole link was just 'motorcycle tires'?
Or would it instead see the link broken up as 'motorcycle', 'atv', and 'trailer tires' and not register it as a vote for 'motorcycle tires' at all?

If this is a basic question I apologise, but I always say if you don't ask you will never learn.



 9:30 pm on Jul 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

My theory (it's not the only one) is the more you break it up for the different components the more likely you will be to rank for the main part of the phrase- in your example above the main part will be Tires.

It can go granular. For instance, if you focus on Motorcycle Tires, there are different sizes and brands you can build anchors to. If you set up your site architecture in a hub style so that the there's a main parent page for Motorcycle Tires, the hub, that drills down to all the child pages, and the child pages link back to the parent, then you will be better positioned to aim longtail anchors at the appropriate pages and help nudge the parent page to rank for the two word phrase. Make sense?

That's just my take on it and not the only approach. There may be others who disagree or have a different approach.


 12:55 am on Jul 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

If I used 'motorcycle, atv, and trailer tires' as the link text, and someone searched for motorcycle tires, would a search engine go 'ok, we have that phrase in the link'?
If it did count it, would it carry as much weight as if the whole link was just 'motorcycle tires'?

I want to suggest 'not', but I've no evidence other than a sneaking suspicion based on something similiar I've done on my site that's not perfectly correlated with what you've said.

Personally I wouldn't try and refine it quite that far. Specifically, try and get some links that say motorcycle tires, atv tires, etc. mix it up. Worry more about the authority/heaviness of the sites that link to you. Then create specific pages for each type of tire, with appropriate links. i.e. I'd have a central page on 'motorcycle tires' and another central page on 'atv tires', and link to those pages from your home page using that text. Hopefully then the second level pages rank on those terms.

Then from the secondary pages (and martinibuster I think is also talking about this) you start linking out to 26" yamaha atv tires, 28" yamaha atv tires, yamaha mud tires, bear paws for yamaha atv's, 26" arctic cat tires (for those that can only afford to drive arctic cat)...and so on.

that's not quite what you were asking I know. But my unscientific preference is to use links to give my site 'weight' without worrying too much about anchor text, then use internal links and on page text to rank for specific terms.

My gut reaction is your sites you should spend as much or more time on long tail terms. I own a couple of arctic cat ATV's and when I need new tires and go shopping with credit card in hand, I probably won't search on 'atv tires'. I'll probably do the following:
"arctic cat 400 2008 atv mud tires"
"arctic cat 366 2008 atv road tires"
"arctic cat 400 28 inch atv tires bear claw"

Those are the funky terms you want to rank on to hit the shoppers :).

That being said, mix it up a bit, get some links of each type of text and I wouldn't worry about it text beyond that. It's my opinion that if you try and go that granular with anchor text that first it won't look natural to the algorithm and secondly if it ranks today due to anchor text, then tomorrow they could change the ranking factor. But an authority site today speaking on a subject (with onpage text) will still be an authority site tomorrow.


 6:34 am on Jul 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google counts the phrase in any link if the link is deemed 'countable' by Google. The position of the keyword in the phrase, and relationship to other phrases and / or no phrases in the link anchor determine the strength of the link in terms of ranking weight.

However, I see the trend moving away slowly from preference of exact keyword in a large percentage of inbound links, to one of longer tail keyword inbound links (for example 'motorcycle and atv tires')

I agree with Wheel - when you run it too far, you run the risk of over-dilution, and you will not rank as well for both core and secondary phrases.

It makes sense to analyze the percentage of inbound links as it relates to exact anchor text keyword links for all competitors, to gauge this data, since all genres are different in my experience.

Staying within the thresholds of competitors will also help keep you within the link profile Google would expect to see in your backlink profile.

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