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The ideal SEO link profile: how to distribute your link anchors

We have noticed that one of the most common and harmful errors in SEO concerns the SEO link profile (anchors) of our clients' sites. So here is an article that will help you find the right formula and create a natural backlinks profile. Our research has shown that people following the link distribution formula (below) rank in the top 10 of Google (and if their on-site SEO is also well done).

Websites overriding these rules can  not position themselves in the top 10 search results thanks to SEO . Indeed, Google is constantly working on improving its algorithms. And after each update, many websites lose their positions in the SERPs (search engine results page). Most of the time, the drop is due to an unnatural distribution of anchors in their link profile.

We spent several weeks determining the ideal distribution formula for keywords in link anchors. Our  SEO  study focused on all types of sites, having different positions in the Google SERPs for which we analyzed the link profiles.

A natural distribution of anchors for an ideal SEO link profile

SEO link profile
A natural and ideal SEO link profile

Related: Can your SEO content be a backlink generator?

What distribution of SEO link anchors?

If your domain is www.supersite.fr and the targeted keyword to place in position 1 on Google is “web agency”, then you will need to distribute your anchors in this way:

  • Bare URL: 45%  of your anchors must be the URL of your website, without an "anchor" (eg www.supersite.fr or surpersite.fr). These anchors are the safest and most natural in the eyes of Google
  • Brand: 30%  of your links should include your brand or domain name (ex. Super Site, supersite). Using branding in your anchors is a surefire way to keep your SEO link profile off balance. In Google's eyes, these are the most natural anchors someone could make on a link mentioning your brand. Attention, this security is valid only if your domain name is not an “exact match domain” (a domain name containing the exact keyword).
  • Generic anchor: 14%  of the anchors in your SEO link profile should be “click here”, “see the site”, “here” type anchors. These anchors are natural for Google because they are historical (exact anchors were little used initially on the internet) and are all-purpose anchors used on many comparator sites, articles, etc.
  • Optimized anchor: 6%  of the anchors in your SEO link profile must be optimized anchors using the keyword to be positioned. Be careful, however, not to over-optimize the optimized anchors, so here is the advice we can give to optimize your SEO link anchors:
    • Anchor with partial match: 2%  of your optimized anchors must contain your keyword accompanied by your brand name or secondary keywords (eg web agency paris, web creation agency, web development agency, etc.)
      Suggestion of anchors optimized for its SEO link profile
      Find anchor suggestions with Google
    • Anchor with long tail keyword: 2%  of your anchors must include anchors corresponding to keywords related to the theme of your main keyword (eg how to develop a website, why go through a web agency, which web agency Choose…)
    • Anchor with exact match: 1%  (only!) of the anchors of your SEO profile must contain your exact keyword (ex. web agency)
    • Anchor with connectors: 1%  of your SEO anchors must contain connectors (LSI in English) (eg best web agency, web agency in 2018, serious web agency)
  • Other type of anchor: 5%  of your anchors must contain anchors that we call boat anchors. These anchors often relate to the words used by bloggers in their articles talking about a product or comparison (eg another here, according to this research, an interesting article…). These anchors can also concern the links on the images.

Related: What makes a backlink strategy successful?

And the Nofollow links in all this?

The  Nofollow link attribute  is materialized in html in the code by this type of links: <a href=http://www.urldemonsite.com rel= nofollow>.

I will move very quickly on the dofollow / nofollow debate for three reasons:

  • If we assume that we are working on SEO, Nofollow anchors do not bring SEO juice (robot crawl) and are therefore useless (be careful, we must weigh the use of the term useless)
  • If your site is of high quality and your articles interesting, the sites and blogs that link to it will naturally put your links in Dofollow.
  • Nofollow links are the legacy of SEO spam (comments from forums, blogs, link farms, etc.). In any case, the percentage of nofollow links will be achieved during your NATURAL discussions on blogs and forums related to your niche.

Still, if you want to integrate Nofollow links into your SEO link profile, the share of these links can reach 7% of your backlinks.