to reduce your ranking or even block you from the search results altogether. Over-optimization
occurs when all the anchor text on your web site is exactly the same as your keywords, but there is
no variation or use of related terminology in the anchor text.
Sometimes, web-site owners will intentionally include only a word or a phrase in all their anchor
text with the specific intent of ranking high on a Google search. It’s usually an obscure word or phrase
that not everyone is using, and ranking highly gives them the ability to say they rank number one for
whatever topic their site covers. It’s not really true, but it’s also not really a lie. This is called Google
bombing. However, Google has caught on to this practice and has introduced a new algorithm that
reduces the number of false rankings that are accomplished by using anchor text in this way.
The other half of anchor text is the links that are actually embedded in the keywords and phrases
used on the web page. Those links are equally as important as the text to which they are anchored.
The crawler will follow the links as part of crawling your site. If they lead to related web sites, your
ranking will be higher than if the links lead to completely unrelated web sites.
These links can also lead to other pages within your own web site, as you may have seen anchor text
in blog entries do. The blog writer uses anchor text, containing keywords, to link back to previous
posts or articles elsewhere on the site. And one other place that you may find anchor text is in your
site map. This was covered in Chapter 3, but as a brief reminder, naming your pages using keywords
when possible will help improve your site rankings. Then to have those page names (which are key-
words) on your site map is another way to boost your rankings and thus your traffic — remember
that a site map is a representation of your site with each page listed as a name, linked to that page.
Anchor text seems completely unrelated to keywords, but in truth, it’s very closely related. When
used properly in combination with your keywords, your anchor text can help you achieve a much
higher search engine ranking.
Picking the Right Keywords
Keywords are really the cornerstone of any SEO program. Your keywords play a large part in deter-
mining where in search rankings you’ll land, and they also mean the difference between a user’s find-
ing your page and not. So when you’re picking keywords, you want to be sure that you’ve selected
the right ones. The only problem is, how do you know what’s right and what’s not?
Selecting the right keywords for your site means the difference between being a nobody on the Web,
and being the first site that users click to when they perform a search. You’ll be looking at two types
of keywords. The first is brand keywords. These are keywords associated with your brand. It seems
pretty obvious that these keywords are important; however, many people don’t think they need to
pay attention to these keywords, because they’re already tied to the site. Not true. Brand keywords
are just as essential as the second type, generic keywords.
Generic keywords are all the other keywords that are not directly associated with your company
brand. So if your web site,
, sells teen clothing, then keywords such as clothing,
tank tops, cargo pants, and bathing suits might be generic keywords that you could use on your site.
Keywords and Your Web Site
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