One thing that I have been battling with is a change in my linking strategies with SEO. For years everyone has focused on anchor links that are keyword rich because it works. The issue I am starting to see with this strategy is that Google seems to be favoring brands and ranking them higher and easier. If all of your links are good links, but keyword rich anchor text, you haven’t done anything to build your brand for when people start knowing, remembering and looking for it directly. Not to mention for Google to start recognizing it as a brand. Because of this I have begun to alter my strategy with link building, but only after a few things and with certain sites. Instead of linking off of keyword rich phrases, I am linking off of the company name instead.
1. Linking off of the company name is much more natural. When someone buys a product or uses a service, they probably aren’t going to link off of a keyword phrase. Instead they are going to link off the company name.
2. Having the links off your name in relevant sites builds your brand and authority. By building your brand, you could start to get better rankings since Google seems to be favoring brands.
3. Content and relevance. The search engines are smart enough to know what the topic and keywords are around the link to your site. If the keywords and phrases are within the paragraph your link is in, in the title tags, etc… then the search engines will pick up on what to rank you for.
4. Make sure your site is categorized correctly. If your site isn’t categorized correctly in the search engines, then only building links off of your company name may confuse the engines a bit or make it harder to categorize correctly and take longer to rank you. You should have a solid mix of links and sources that are relevant in the beginning and with newer sites that haven’t been categorized yet.
5. Make sure you are building your brand. It isn’t enough to just have the links off of your company name from relevant sites. Make sure you also have positive reviews when sites are talking about you and your customers are also talking about you on social networks positively as well. This not only helps to build you brand, but it can help to build trust within the search engines and possibly help you to rank.
There is no specific reason that I have changed some of my strategies to this, but I am seeing it start to work better and to climb from the lower positions in the top ten to the higher. If you find you are stuck in the 7 to 10 spots, you may want to try building your brand with backlinks and relevant content around it to help move you up to the higher rankings. You also have to remember that Google bot is code and not human so if you aren’t categorized yet, then this strategy probably won’t be as effective for you.