How to Check Anchor Text Diversity
March 28, 2019
March 28, 2019
Anchor link diversity is one of the things that Google is taking more notice of. They like to list sites where the pattern of anchor text links is "natural" rather than designed to fool their search engine into listing a site where all the anchor text links are carefully constructed around a specific keyword phrase.
This means that it is important to include a mix of different anchor text keyword phrases in those places where you have control or influence over them. That includes articles such as this one where I'm targeting a specific word or (more likely) keyword phrase and sometimes I'll just use things like "click here" or "find out more" to help the diversity of anchor link phrases.
There are various sites online that will allow you to check your current anchor text diversity.
The most common ones that are mentioned are Majestic SEO and aHrefs.
These sites came about as Google and the other search engines reduced the availability of tools that were only really ever used by webmasters and SEO companies and therefore used resources for no benefit to the search engines themselves.
These sites run their own web crawlers that work in a similar way to Google but there are some limitations that you need to be aware of.
The first limitation should be obvious: the sites are not owned by Google or Bing.
This means that the results they give are similar but not identical to the major search engines.
The second limitation is that – because they use bandwidth for no discernable benefit to the site – private crawlers are often banned from crawling larger sites via instructions in the robots.txt file.
That means that there are some links – and therefore anchor texts – that they are invented from finding.
However, short of hacking into Google or developing your own web crawler that disobeys instructions in robots.txt, they are the best solution.
These private indexing sites give a lot of information, including the different anchor text phrases used to link back to your site.
For instance, when I checked our site while writing this article, aHrefs reported that the phrase "optimizing images on your website" was used in 29% of the pages pointing back to our site.
In contrast, Majestic SEO had not found that text at all – the only anchor text phrase it had found was "website personality test".
Since I've used a lot more variety in the anchor text links found on this site alone, I know that's an imperfect picture.
Which means that you need to take the results from any of the online checker tools with a pinch of salt.
They have reporting limitations that mean they often only give you a snapshot but, as mentioned earlier, that's better than nothing.
What this means is that if you find the mix of text is not what you want – maybe it includes too many specific keyword phrases for instance – you can adjust your strategy to take account of this.
It's definitely worth mixing up the anchor texts you use to keep them as natural as possible.