A few months ago I wrote a post about what it really takes to get ranked for competitive keyword phrases. If you missed the post, you should probably read it before getting too deep into this post. Here it is: Offsite Search Engine Optimization – The Effective SEO.

The post talked about the importance of getting backlinks that use your keyword as the anchor text. This technique is often called ‘Google bombing’ and has been a hot topic recently in the SEO world. Google recently updated their search algorithm to limit the effects of Google bombing.

Ever since Google’s update, Google bombing can negatively affect rankings if done improperly. This is likely one of the reasons John Chow was sent to the Google penalty box. A big mistake that John made was adding so many links with the exact same anchor text. He made everyone link to him with the anchor text ‘make money online’, so the majority of links he acquired used that anchor text.

This is where it’s easy for Google to tell that people are artificially creating those links. If the links happened naturally they would use a variety of different anchor texts. What John should have done is had people choose from a whole bunch of different anchor texts:

  • make money online
  • make money online free
  • how to make money online
  • can i make money online
  • do people make money online
  • make money internet
  • how to make money with the internet
  • make money online methods
  • make more money online
  • ways to make money online
  • make easy money online
  • make money online fast
  • make real money online

There are literally hundreds of different anchor texts that are related to ‘make money online’. Each would help to get ranked higher for make money online.

While working on your link building, make sure that you get links that use a wide variety of anchor texts – this will achieve the maximum benefit while keeping you from getting penalized.

Choosing Anchor Text For Your Backlinks

I would use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to find anchor text related to your keywords. For the purpose of this example let’s say that we want to find good anchor texts for the keyword ‘cell phones’. If I type cell phones into the tool, it will return tons of keywords relating to cell phones. Sample:

  • motorola cell phones
  • verizon cell phones
  • cheap cell phones
  • lg cell phones
  • unlocked cell phones
  • samsung cell phones
  • refurbished cell phones
  • best cell phones
  • cell phone reviews
  • gsm cell phones
  • free cell phones

The tool returns a lot more keywords than the sample, and getting links with these words as anchor text would help a site to get ranked for the keyword cell phones. Make sure you use as least 10 different keywords for your anchor text.

Type your keyword in, get a list, and start building links. :)