I have decided to write some SEO relevant posts here, since the majority of my time is spend doing SEO.
Lately I came across a thought provoking post by Ross Hudgens called Why Google Needs The Manipulative Web. His theory states: “it is my thesis that the manipulative environment supplies better search results.” Interesting thought, isn’t it?
Because SEO is such a long term process, the ones who have devoted a long time to perfect link building probably also took the time to build up the site as to make it valuable to the user. Fair assumption, right?
But what about the sites that had exact anchor match diluted or penalized?
Well, Nate from Drip Feed Blast hosted a webinar on this that was spot on: http://blog.dripfeedblasts.com/. Here’s the data:
Glen also gives us his analysis on Point Blank SEO: http://pointblankseo.com/type-of-links. Jon states:
“Penguin has changed everything – oh wait, no it hasn’t. All it did was penalize those for doing what they knew was wrong, but the only difference is that Google actually followed through with some of their threats on bad links.
So what SHOULD we be doing? We know what links we SHOULDN’T be pursuing, so it’s finally time to break down the links that you can get.”
For our collection of sites in dating ,dance, education we (me, my business partner) suspect that between 60% to 100% exact anchor matches, depending on the niche, is where Google is penalizing.
Let’s take a look at the raw data composed of the top websites according the Alexa ranking. The averages are as follows:
These are the breakdowns for Referring Pages:
- Exact Matches 33.53%
- Partial Matches 12.89%
- Generic 20.25%
- URL Matches 33.31%
These are the breakdowns for Referring Domains:
- Exact Matches 28.43%
- Partial Matches 11.93%
- Generic 22.58%
- URL Matches 37.06%
So if you had 60%+ exact anchor match, Google may see it as way outside of the average range.
Notice some sites like engadget and groupon.com have huge 60% exact anchor matches, most likely due to brand associations.
Affiliate sites like Amazon.com has a 55-59% URL match, most likely from affiliate links pointing back to the site.
If you had less than 60%-90% (depending on niche) exact anchor match, you now have the highest level of “exact” match value without penalty – so yes, these sites move up!
Imagine if Google is Batman, and he just took out the top baddies in Gotham city. The smaller crooks now rise up to fill the roles. Sites that appear to have a “natural footprint” will now flourish where previous “manipulative” leaders results are now diluted / penalized.
So what about escalation? Maybe the new link manipulators will be smarter, and harder to detect, than the previous dumb guys who has 80%+ exact keyword matches.