“Poker anchor text optimization” means the optimal way to use anchor text when building links to your site. Most poker webmasters aren’t good at poker anchor text optimization because they’re trying too hard. Here I offer some guidelines to how to approach anchor text when building links to your site.

The best sources for links don’t let you choose your anchor text. This suggestion is pretty closely related to the idea that the value of a link is directly proportional to the difficulty involved in getting the link. But the most powerful links are going to be from sites which have their own protocols or policies about how they use anchor text to link to a site. For example, the ODP and Yahoo both use the actual name of the site as anchor text in a link. I’d rather have a single link from each of those sites using the actual name of the site as anchor text than 100 links from other sites where I got to choose my anchor text.

This idea gives you a couple of actionable items to follow up on:

  1. Make the official name of your site something keyword rich, in order to get benefit from linking sources which use your site’s official name as anchor text.
  2. Seek out sources of links who don’t let you choose your anchor text. A link from one of these sources will do more to send a signal of trust to a search engine than 100 links from sites which allow you to choose your anchor text.

Manipulating your anchor text from external sites too heavily is likely to result in a penalty. Think about it. You’re put in charge of spam fighting at Google or Yahoo. You’re able to manipulate the linking data, including the anchor text figures, for a huge percentage of the web. You have two sites which are relevant for the phrase “online poker”. One of them has 100 inbound links, all of which have different anchor text. Some of them even use the site’s URL as its anchor text. The other site also has 100 inbound links, but every single one of the sites has anchor text of “online poker”. Which site do you think looks more trustworthy? Which site is more likely to be spammy?

By the way, did you know that in a “natural” backlink profile, about 20% of a site’s inbound links use the site’s URL for anchor text?

In light of that, how natural does the anchor text in your backlink profile look?

Links from your own site are the best place to get the anchor text that you want. The anchor text that you use to link to your own pages carries weight with the search engines when they decide the topic of a page. This is where you can get the most bang for your poker anchor text optimization buck too. Every link pointing to a page with a certain anchor text gives it a little more “cred” for being related to the phrases in that text. So if you operate a 100 page website, and you link to your homepage from every page with anchor text of “online poker”, then you’ve scored 100 “poker anchor text points”. But someone with a 200 page website has 200 “poker anchor text points”.

Most poker webmasters either completely ignore the potential of building additional pages on their sites as a linkbuilding opportunity. Instead of going out and doing a worthless three way link exchange, build another page of content on one of your sites. You’ll get the anchor text that you want, and you’ll get another link to one of your pages. And if you’ve been doing this for any time at all, it will take a lot less in terms of resources to build these links by adding content to your network of sits.