One often highly debated topic in the SEO world is what a natural link profile should look like. When it comes to a natural looking link profile it can be defined and interpreted in a lot of different ways. I’ve often heard people in the internet marketing community tell me as long a particular anchor text linking to a site doesn’t get used more than 20% of all the other links pointing to that page its OK.
The problem is doing just that can still look as if it is not natural. Face it the search engines are growing at an exceptional rate and getting smarter each and every day, and what was today’s loophole for gaining rankings is now yesterdays spam tactics.
This has prompted me to do my own research and study several different websites to see what a good link profile might look like and what one should not look like.
What A Bad Link Profile Looks Like
The site above is a great example of one that has a bad link profile. This is a site that is currently linking to my personal finance blog. It has almost 23,000 links pointing to this site and around 525 domains.
What’s strange about this link profile is that the top nine links pointing to this site have fairly equal amounts of the same anchor text. On top of that every anchor seems to exactly the same thing, which is a bad thing to have since it can look obvious to Google that you are building links to your site.
For example the biggest anchor is the term, 5 investment strategies for beginners, which is a total of 11% of the total amount of links going to to the site.
The problem with this is that their is no way you could get enough people to randomly link to you with such a perfect phrase let alone the several other perfect links this site has placed.
In fact a link profile like this would definitely stick out like a sore thumb to Google. So what should a good link profile look like?
What A Natural Link Profile Looks Like
The link profile above is a much more natural looking profile. The term, Get Rich Slowly, holds 14% of the all the anchor text used in on the site. This would be normal because this the name of the blog.
In fact almost all of the majority anchor text used above are either branded links, miss match terms such as here or this, or just a plain URL to a specific page.
This would be considered a much more natural profile since no specific term besides the branded name is being used as the anchor text in the link.
However what’s probably them most dominate is that 75% of the links going to the site are all various anchor text terms and phrases which is completely natural looking.
How To Spot Natural Links On Your Site
The best way to check for overused anchor text on your website is to use the Majestic SEO Site Explorer Tool. Majestic SEO has one of the biggest link maps around and one of the most accurate databases next to Google.
To do this simply follow the link I have above and type in your sites URL. From here it will bring up all kinds of information.
If your link profile doesn’t look similar to the natural link profile that I showed above then you will either need to remove some of those links or dilute them by adding more links to your site.
On top of that you may want to consider changing links to look more natural as well. Here a few considerations.
- Branded Anchor Text – This would be anchor text that would use the name or site in some form for example in my case I would use Link Removal Expert, or LinkRemovalExpert.
- Straight URL’s – Secondly consider using a straight up URL such as LinkRemovalExpert.net or www.linkremovalexpert.net, or even the entire URL of a particular page.
- Odd Anchor Text – Finally consider using anchor text such as, click here, or here, or check this out, or learn more here. Don’t worry about using targeted anchor text to rank in Google, their algorithm has gotten very sophisticated over the last few years and can interpret content very well.
On the other hand if you have gotten hit by an unnatural link penalty you will need to remove links from your website in order to appease Google’s intentions.
What Does Your Link Profile Look Like?
Now that I’ve shown you what natural link profile should look like and what a bad link profile looks like take some time to check out what yours look like. Does yours look more natural or does it look more like the bad profile I showed you?
Share your thoughts and comments below.