Are Your PR Anchors Dead Weight?

anchor text linksWhen it comes to search engine optimized press releases, the value of anchor text links has been a little murky as of late. Anchor text links were once the staple of search engine optimization. Marketers believed that these links were reaping them incredible benefits. Then Google started to wise up to unnatural links and made some algorithm changes.

Now, Google is combing through the links to your site carefully and penalizing sites with too many unnatural links.  Furthermore, as of late, optimized anchor text links in press releases are starting to fall into this category far too often. So, what’s the deal? To link or not to link?

It turns out that it is not so much a question of whether to use anchor text links in press releases, but WHAT to use as your anchors. We all know about keyword spamming and are diligently avoiding that pitfall. But, what are the less obvious traps? As a general rule of thumb, Google has become extraordinarily wary of optimized (i.e: keyword-rich) links. This means that you will get much further with your efforts with phrases like “product launch” or “click here to find out more” than those that are full of keywords (i.e: “glass chandeliers,” “social media marketing”). Google will assign more inherent value to the former and will penalize for the latter.

More is sure to be revealed as marketers learn the ins and outs of Google’s new algorithm updates. But, for now, aiming to following the guidelines above will keep your links safe from Google’s watchful eye.