Credit where credit is due to Google’s anti-spam team in 2011. According to Econsultancy outsourced SEO has increased with 56% of companies with search activity using an external service provider. There are more SEO freelancers, consultants and agencies than ever. Everyday I come across very risky, grey/black hat techniques employed despite considerable changes in Google’s power to detect attempts to game results.
Whilst you may not tangibly have suffered since the Google Panda updates, do you know how your website is being placed externally for link building? The answer to this needs to be at the top of your list of SEO agency management. If you are like most business owners, then ‘anchor text’ doesn’t really mean a lot to you but it really isn’t rocket science – I have adopted a practical approach to it for a while and I am no techy SEO. If you have the time, read this great blog from SEOMOZ about the text associated to the inbound link that effectively represents you in Google’s eyes. To summarise, any attempts to spam specific keyword terms have a high propensity to result in a Google penalty. This could be catastrophic to your business. If you are unable to devote much time to this topic, then simply ask one question: “Please issue me with a pie graph of all links to my website by anchor text variation”. The way you then assess this data is simple – does it look artificial? If your site has 300 domains linking to it, is over a quarter of it based around exact keyword phrases that are vital to your business? If so, then your SEO team should be on the front foot with addressing this.
Search engines are assessing ‘votes’ to your website better than ever. If your SEO agency haven’t addressed this yet then you are at risk if they don’t alter their strategy.