How do you compare "naked links (URLs)" to "link anchor text" in terms of rankings?
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☀Refining the question🚀
Is there any additional benefits of using bare or naked URLs over optimized anchor text links(vice versa).
Google had said that anchor texts links and phrases around a linking sentence sends positive signal to Google; it defines what a user sees on the linked page.
My question is, can a bare link without any anchor text contribute to your rankings as much as optimized anchor text Link's?
That's the question, how does anchor text links compare to bare links in terms of keyword rankings.
Many SEO users had said that what matter's in link building are;
Quality and Quantity.
Others believe that anchor text links plays a critical role in Rankings.
Google was built at a time when 'click here' links were commonplace, which are like 'naked' links with all the hierarchical file structure information taken out. So Google was always built to handle all kinds of links and citations, and use the text and context around a link for relevancy cues.
To an extent you are asking the wrong question: "can a bare link without any anchor text contribute to your rankings as much as optimized anchor text"
Yes it *can*, is not the same as yes it *will*. Sometimes it *may* count much more (especially if Google are on the verge of seeing those anchor texts as being manipulative in combination with other quality/trust signals). Other times it will count less because the text and context around the link was not very clear.
This is far from the first time you have heard that a lot of questions in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are not that simple, and the only possible honest answer is "it depends".
Frank ✍️ » Ammon Johns
Much appreciated. It's now clear to me.
I think we need to stop using words like "positive effect" and "penalty" – at least in terms of absolutions.
In theory, a URL that was written by an SEO type person would have the keywords in the URL, so a naked URL would have both a brand/site mention AND some keywords in it. That might very well be treated as a something. Positive? I dunno.
I personally still use "Learn More" and "Read More" links on our sites – but I do it within section blocks that help define exactly what you're going to end up learning more about. (Most good WP templates do this on Archive pages and the like automatically, too). Would it be better if we put keywords in there? Probably a bit… but it would have a price on user experience because some guy would make one link say something with one voice and the next would do it with another. It wouldn't be clear that each of the links on that list of items are actually serving the same purpose – to help you "learn more" or invite you to "read more" about the subject in the box.
Each thing you DO has both a value and a cost. You can do a LOT of stuff that works great for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but would absolutely tank your sites ability to convert all the clicks you're getting. So… to say that has a "positive value" in terms of SEO, sure. But does it have a positive value for the client who, in a few months, is going to reevaluate if what you're doing it worth it? Probably not.
Steven Kang 👑
So, you don't think anchor semantic doesn't play a role? If you don't believe so, use naked URL. If you do, like me, pay attention to each anchor's semantic relevance and significance along with proportion in relation to other anchors. I don't guess these stuff. I perform audits on a bigger scale than most SEO users from small business to enterprise. When you start comparing the data daily, you start to see the pattern you just can't ignore.
Thanks for the clarification. I believe that anchors play s significant role in Rankings.
Steven Kang 👑 » Frank
You just answered yourself. 🙂
Frank ✍️ » Steven Kang
However, I'm looking forward to see what others believe and what had worked for other SEO experts in this group.
Andrew 🎓 » Steven Kang
Petter » Steven Kang
Can be hard to change their minds and give you a good anchor, which is one of the reasons why I always recommend a good url structure. That way you get your dream anchor on a naked url 😀
Ammon Johns 🎓
Polls tell you what some who choose to respond may believe, or want you to think they believe. Because not everyone asked always answers, and notoriously the answers given in polls often differ significantly from the actual actions observed (see political polling), the poll itself isn't really indicative of anything.
However, just sometimes, there's a more clear insight gained from how people react to polls – especially when people cite very questionable ones as 'proof' of something.
A natural looking link profile has both. Worry about whether it's a good link before you worry about the anchor. I'll take a low "Domain Authority (DA)" relevant link that has the URL as the anchor before a high DA, irrelevant link, with a targeted anchor.
Each Inner Page You Wrote Needs at Least a Backlink
Discussion 1: Raw Backlinks are Blunt as an SEO Factor?
Do you beleive naked link really need to be a part of link building campaign? If yes what's the percentage you prefer?
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The Google patent runs that where a naked URL is used, Google will collect the text surrounding that url to get contextual link value. .
Think about that for a moment 🙂
Google also has a patent for pigeons randomly selecting search rankings called "PigeonRank™" think about that for a moment. The context algos are pretty well documented Google's not quiet about them, I think anyone doing inbound anchor text strategies with money keywords in 2022 probably hasn't seen a commercial search result in a while.
Chris Edwards 🎓 » Doug
The pigeon rank was an April fool's gag. 🙂
And a great prank at that. Who says Google engineers are boring locker gnomes 😁 Google does have an army of attorneys registering patents on tons of algo stuff they don't actually use in real life. In your "surrounding text" mention I think is a tiny bit more complex as Google uses the full-page and all of it's internal and external links to factor in the equations of relevance and authority.
Chris Edwards 🎓 » Doug
Well yes it's more complex, but without going into a massive comment of thousands of words, I kept it simple 🙂
The search engines also a good few years back start submitting patents via subsidiary companies to try and obfuscate their tech
If you are doing high quality link building of course no need to do that. If you are using providers that pump hundreds of links in single orders like hoth, obviously yes to mask them as natural and anyway since the content around those links are poor its not ideal to go with keyword anchors
Yes building average quality links by guest post, The problem is i hesitating personally if It's really worth to spend money on it.
Bagani » Shuvo
If you are building links via guest post don't use naked urls. Defeats the purpose.
The problem is one of my regular & old client beleive 10% links should be naked, I don't know why he stuck with these decision. Personally i don't feel its really necessary but client made the decision end of the day. After reviewing hundreds of sites i findout they get naked link even from guest post? So i want to end my confusion to know from real life expert here.
Ammon Johns 🎓
For goodness sake, read one or two Google patents. Just read them. Now, after reading one, does a percentage of naked links sound even remotely like something the same PhD scientists would come up with?
Seems the art of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is dieing, nobody new (or very few) are looking at patents, technology improvements and the like.
My mantra has always been 'think like a search engine' (Okay I know they can't really think 🙂) everytime I read a patent I think'what would I do with this? How would I use it?
Ammon Johns 🎓 » Chris Edwards
exactly so. As I was saying to Bill just yesterday, patents and papers give us a deep look into the perspectives and approaches of search scientists, a genuine snapshot into their thinking, concerns, and preferences.
Yes, some of them are damned hard work to get our heads around, involving having to research other stuff first to really grasp what is going on, but THAT is SEO.
The thinking process as you puzzle your way through a patent or paper, modelling it in your mind, is what really makes it stick. You don't get that from someone else's summarization. You don't get what they simplified, or felt was a minor detail that, to you, would have been the biggest lightbulb moment as it connected with something else you'd been puzzling over for possibly years.
I remember Stockbridge (very kindly) saying that he loved to get both Bill's perspectives and mine, and that Bill's view gave him more of the 'How' it worked, while I tended to focus more on the 'Why' and that all combined with Stock's own thoughts on it, married to his own observations and experiences, to give him that deeper grasp of 'What' and 'Where' he could apply it to.
Chris Edwards 🎓 » Ammon Johns
yep, I do miss discussing the technical (And I mean patent level technical) aspects of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and have to admit whenever Bill makes a post on his blog, I dive straight in ahead of anything else.
Perspective is everything, and again as you rightly say we all have different perspectives. How many times have we (The tech SEO community) been discussing a patent or process and suddenly had a lightbulb moment triggered by a simple comment made by another?
Two heads are better than one (as the age old saying goes)
Maybe we should have more patent and application discussions here.
I've been thinking about this since I made what to me you and many others was a simple statement about naked URL's and surrounding text, and quite a few were surprised.
I feel a lot of core SEO knowledge is being lost along the road. 🙂
For anyone reading this discussion and wanting to play along at home… Here is a trick on reading patents – since they take a lot of practice and a way of sort of framing your brainwaves in order to make sense of them.
Wait until Bill pots something about a patent he found. Look at what patent he is referring to and then STOP reading his post about it.
Go to the patent and read it and see what sense you can make out of it – maybe after going through it once or twice you understand one or two things – maybe it's all still greek. Or maybe it all makes sense.
THEN… go back to Bill's analysis of it and see how he made sense of it. See what matches up with what you got out of it – and what conflicts with it.
After reading his analysis – then go back to the patent again for one more read and see how it makes sense with the context that Bill gave.
Do this on a handful of patents every month and you'll find that by summertime, you won't NEED Bill's analysis anymore. Sure… you'll still WANT to read it because it's going to come from 20 years more experience at this than you have – but you'll be able to make sense of things on your own a lot better by that point.
That's how I started doing it. Back then, Bill was just starting to do his analysis of these things, so often, rather than just posting something publicly, he'd stick something up in the Admin Forum at Cre8asite and the rest of us would review and comment – then he'd put that all together and post it. But, all along, it was his analysis and notes that give me the skills I needed to even begin to digest those things in the first place.
Now… as to your keep in mind, just because there is a patent – it doesn't mean that Google is actually "doing" what it says in there. What it DOES tell you is what they are trying to accomplish and that it is possible to accomplish it – at least through the means described there, but ultimately it's combined with other things too. "How" Google does it in specific is less important than understanding WHAT they are trying to do and then how you might be able to do something on your end that makes it easier for the algo to accomplish that.
When you read a patent about Word Vectors, for example, it suggests that finding words that support they keywords/entities you're trying to rank for might be advisable and to talk about the supporting elements that those words represent to the entity.
This, really, is when SEO gets super fun – and it's when you realize that SEO is anything but dead.
I'm no SEO expert, but believe me when I say this: "there is NO magic number or percentage for anything, and I do mean ANYTHING, in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)". Also, instead of trying to determine what percentage of naked links need to part of a link building campaign, the focus should be on how can the content on my site or the product that I sell be of value to the user, and how can I link to it from another site in a meaningful and user-friendly way. There are very few instances where a naked link as an anchor text is of value to a user, and those instances typically pertain to branding.
We don't doing links for branding,We do it for parasite SEO on high competitive niches
We often run campaign newspaper national marketplace for parasite SEO where guest post links matter a lot. Currently we covering and ranked a entire niche for affiliates program
But my client want to increase the current naked link ratio 10% to 20%, Which i object, That's how i wanted to feedback from experts
The best way to figure out the right percentage of naked links is to analyse direct competitors backlinks profile in the same niche. You do it by extracting all backlinks and averaging how many of them similar sites are using. This way, when you build links, your backlinks profile will look natural
Perfect answer,Currently there are 5% approximately by competitors
What if supposed we have 15% naked link will hurt ranking or It's useless to spend on money to build such links
Andrea » Shuvo
You can go above average if it seems natural