Link building is still crucial for success with search engine optimization. Social signals from websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, are becoming a key ranking factor too, but backlinks are still super important.
Link building is very different now though. You used to be able to focus on specific keywords using specific anchor text (anchor text is the clickable part of the link). Google changed the rules on this, and the companies or individual webmasters that were too aggressive with their anchor text strategy have seen their rankings and traffic plummet.
So what’s a safe anchor text strategy now? Be conservative.
Yes, you can still throw keywords into your anchor text, but don’t be so specific and targeted. Instead of building links using “car insurance”, make your anchor text is random from link to link like:
this type of car insurance
view car insurance here
I found affordable car insurance
So be random while of course making sure the anchor text fits within the context of the content. You don’t want to be spammy and over-optimized so just play it safe and be natural.
And on the topic of natural, it’s a very good idea to “naturalize” your anchor text profile by also incorporating generic and brand anchor text such as:
your company name
your website URL
visit this website
So this is the anchor text strategy for the new SEO world we live in. But remember that the best anchor text profile in the world is not going to make up for crappy backlinks. And the best anchor text and backlink profile are not going to make up for a crappy website with crappy content.
So you really have to make sure all the bases are covered including design, content, backlinks…and like I said earlier, now social media more than ever.