Branding is Key in Your Offsite SEO Strategy

Google has recently made a major update and we have seen some big changes on how they are recognizing links.

One change seems to be going back to on older algorithm that gives weight to reference sites. This means that you see Wikipedia and government sites, for example, showing up for short tail keywords on the first page.

Google also stated that branding is an important part of their update. By “Branding”, we mean that you are using your domain name in your offsite SEO activities.

To research this, we searched for random keywords in Google and then analyzed the top 10 anchor texts for the backlinks of the highest ranked sites. What we found is that all of the top ranked sites had their brand name in 50% or more of the top ten most common anchor texts. Often, the keyword we searched was not in the domain name and a lot of these sites did not have many referring anchor texts for competitive terms.

In short, our research confirmed that your brand needs to be in your top referring anchor text, especially for “short tail” keywords.

While we performed extensive testing, below are a few results to illustrate our findings.

Backlink Anchor Text Case Study 1
Keyword: loans
Top Ranked Site: creditloan.com

Anchor Text Rank Referring Domains Count Anchor Text
1 343 www.creditloan.com/
2 302 creditloan.com
3 242 bad credit loans
4 230 www.creditloan.com/free-credit-report/
5 198 <a>noText<⁄a>
6 178 credit loan
7 176 www.creditloan.com/personal-loans/
8 156 debt consolidation
9 144 loans
10 143 personal loans

 

Backlink Anchor Text Case Study 2
Keyword: insurance
Top Ranked Site: allstate.com

Anchor Text Rank Referring Domains Count Anchor Text
1 2036 allstate
2 1’898 <a>noText<⁄a>
3 1’544 www.allstate.com
4 747 website
5 667 allstate insurance
6 501 http://www.allstate.com
7 409 allstate insurance company
8 362 allstate.com
9 283 allstate claims
10 277 view website

 

Backlink Anchor Text Case Study 3
Keyword: debt
Top Ranked Site: freedomdebtrelief.com

Anchor Text Rank Referring Domains Count Anchor Text
1 343 freedom debt relief
2 94 debt relief
3 61 http://www.freedomdebtrelief.com/
4 41 www.freedomdebtrelief.com/
5 38 http://www.freedomdebtrelief.com
6 34 <a>noText<⁄a>
7 31 clear credit card debt
8 19 www.freedomdebtrelief.com
9 19 freedomdebtrelief.com
10 17 debt relief | the leader in debt relief