Optimising your website – Can I Use Exact Match Anchor Text Links Internally?

We all know the dangers of using exact match anchor test links pointing to a website from a third party site, external links, however how about internally? Google themselves state the importance of using internal linking structures to help guide their spiders through your site, highlighting which pages refer to what, however is it permissible to use exact match anchor text links in this form or are they a no go all together? We had a chat with Glenn of SpeedySEO in Essex to discuss this topic and take a look at what is and isn’t permissible.

First things first, there is absolutely no issues whatsoever utilising anchor text links internally within your site. So long as they’re not pointing from external sources, link away within your site, of course ensuring you don’t go over the top and start to make your site look spammy! In fact, anchor text links within your site come strongly recommended and can certainly help your site achieve improved rankings due to the search engines finding it easier to crawl.

If this is the case then, why are Google so harsh on those who use exact match anchor text links as external links? To discuss this in more detail, it’s absolutely vital to take a look back at the Penguin update but more importantly, take a look at what was happening before that! If you look back 3 years or so, so called SEOs were linking over and over again using the same keyword anchor text! Did it look natural? Not at all. There’s no doubting that in some instances, the search engines were a mess and Google made the decision to get webmasters and SEOs to clean up this mess for them! 18 months down the line and it worked…no longer do you see the spam you used to and, as far as Google are concerned, their search engine offers a far greater level of quality than before.

If there’s one lesson to take away; it’s to ensure that you don’t use external links which use exact match anchor text but when it comes to internally within your site or from your blog, feel free!


Can social media replace traditional business networking?

As the internet becomes the most common source of custom and interest, many people are suggesting that the age of traditional business networking has come to an end. However, there is a strong argument being presented from a vocal sector that the two must be used in partnership, and that social media is not enough on its own.

Social media is of course much more cost effective than attending networking events and seminars. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the ‘big three’ social media networks, are free to use and require little effort on the part of the business to create an active profile. However, there is a reason that business networking meetings are often expensive: the professional speakers who attend to give presentations do not work for free, but offer incredibly valuable information to the assembled industry experts and being in a room full of peers gives plenty of opportunities to develop reputation for your brand. Relatedly, social media use is much more time-efficient too: updates can be posted in minutes to several online channels, important for breaking news, whereas business conferences are arranged months in advance and often require a full day away from the office.

At a business networking event, though, it is possible to build relationships of trust with other people which are missing on the internet. It might be easier to make connections online, where a ‘friend’ request or new follower can be deemed to be another potential customer, but the depth of these relationships is minimal. The value which can be extracted from these connections is very low. At a conference, however, the opportunity to meet the real person running a supporting business is invaluable. Generating real trust in the human behind the Facebook page is not to be underappreciated.

Related to this idea is the fact that whilst social media might present the opportunity to create a large number of network contacts, these are not necessarily of a high quality. In networking, quality is far better than quantity. One good lead which leads to a sale is better than twenty leads which are not going anywhere. Social media has a wider reach, undoubtedly – contacts can span the globe – but in terms of turning this into real sales, traditional networking is unbeatable. Face to face contact at events can create new followers on Twitter or Facebook as well as creating inbound links and perhaps generating actual business.

Social media plays a valuable role in the overall picture of modern networking, but ultimately, it must be used alongside traditional business networking to get the best effect.