Why it’s good to mix your incoming link anchor text?

I’ve been reading John Chow’s blog for a while and it is very interesting how he is getting a lot of reviews with the anchor text “make money online” in exchange for a link from his blog. He is ranking #2 in Google for the phrase “make money online.”

I know a lot of SEOs read John’s blog and are not alerting him of some potential problems with this approach. I like the guy and I think he deserves to know.

It is not a good idea to have most of your incoming links with the same anchor text. Especially if most links are pointing to the home page, and the rest of the pages don’t get any links, or very few of them do. Search engines, notably Google, flag this as an attempt to manipulate their results.

Nobody knows for sure how it works but Google has proven in the past that they can detect this and act accordingly.

My advise is to request variations of the target phrase for the anchor text with each batch. For example: make money online free, making money online, make money at home online, work from home, etc… Use a keyword suggestion tool to get the variations and make sure you include synonyms too.

I would also require reviewers to include a link to their favorite post in the review. This way the rest of the pages will get links too and look more natural.

This is documented in other sites. Please check:



http://diagnostics.googlerankings.com/anchor-text-link.html Case #2



21 replies
  1. Aaron Cook
    Aaron Cook says:

    Exactly. It's Google bombing and Google picked up on it. They always do.

    As of January 25th of this year Google actually implemented a specific algorithm that minimizes Google bombs. That change finally removed the well-known “miserable failure” link to the White House from the front page.

    Great post, by the way.

  2. Hamlet Batista
    Hamlet Batista says:


    Thanks for your comment. You are absolutely right. Danny Sullivan reported it at Search Engine Land.

    They recently defused "the greatest living American" bomb as well.

  3. James
    James says:

    Thanks for that tip, its amazing how many different things google has to deal with to show good search results, which I suppose is why its the most popular search engine!



  4. David Coles
    David Coles says:

    does Google's algorithm stop all kinds of 'google bombing' or woulld it just affect mass 'google bombing'? The majority of my customers inbound links have similar keywords in their alt text and it would be a big job to come up with and change to new keywords.

  5. KDye Vertical Leap
    KDye Vertical Leap says:

    Hmm, the anti-googlebomb algorithm also takes into account the text on the page, so most customer sites don't have this issue because their keywords are repeated on the site. For instance, the White House page recently reappeared for "miserable failure" because they happened to put the word failure somewhere on the page in another context.

    There is a phrase based penalty (that might or might not be the same as the anti-googlebomb) that affects sites that have link built too much on the same phrase, however it does have to be a much higher percentage than any other phrase, so provided you are mixing them up (or have a very robust backlink profile anyway) then you won't have this problem.

  6. jason
    jason says:

    Dear fellow SEO masters, i have just lanched a new Website and would like to generate as many links as i possibly can, i have tried all on page optimisation techniques however struggle to get anywhere with Google, the web address is web-shop-online.co.uk , any help would be much appreciated

    regards Jason

  7. Damien
    Damien says:

    In reply to Jasons comment. Getting links can be hard if you have to ask for them but you could try writing an article that would be interesting for your clients and then posting it on sites like e-zinearticles.com. Make sure you include your URL in the article and then when anyone ever uses the article as content in their newlsetter or on their site, you get a backlink!

    Hope this helps

  8. Doug
    Doug says:

    From what I've experienced its normally a bad idea to have anchor text thats the same only when its long. For example no harm comes (though no good either) you have a lot of links like: "here" or "click here".

    As thats one of the major ways people create links.

    However, when you've got lots of identical: "no.1 web design" then it looks dodgy and so you get penalised.

  9. Marc Crouch
    Marc Crouch says:

    A valid point. I read a recent article on Google's own blog about semantic techniques, so working on related words and phrases will become increasingly important.

    Good article.

  10. Jon Roberts
    Jon Roberts says:

    Bearing in mind the importance of anchor text, how does this fit into a typical page of links or a links database? For instance should the link in a links table/page/database be textual rather than the actual url and also what about the surrounding text?

  11. Stephen Clark
    Stephen Clark says:

    Another thing to bear in mind is not just the anchor text of links but if you have images, the actual image name may apparently make a difference. I think it is always worth adhearing to SEs guidelines where at all possible. (And that tip came direct from Google – just a messenger ; )

  12. Alice
    Alice says:

    Well,I have noticed number of sites that have text links on the bottom of there home page. When you click any one of text link, it simply redirects you at the same page. Is this tactic help the site in Search engine optimization?


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