The text used when one page links to another is called the anchor text. This is an extremely important concept to grasp because Google and the other search engines look for keywords located within the anchor text to understand what the site and, specifically a page, is about.
In the code of the page, the anchor text looks like the following:
<a href=http://www.example.com/keyword-phrase.html target=”_blank”> Visible anchor text with keywords</a>
In fact, this specific keyword strategy is one of the primary tactics for ranking at the top of the search results. However, be warned – because of heavy manipulation by marketers, Google regards high percentages of exact match keyword anchor texts to be spam unless the text is your company name or the name of your website. Natural anchor text links for a given domain tend to be mostly a mix of the domain name, company name, brand names and specific URLs. When a site has a large percentage of inbound links containing an exact match keyword phrase that isn’t your company or site name, it can trigger a penalty. Yes, you want keyword anchor text links, but the same one should not be more than 25% of your inbound links as a general rule of thumb.
For example, if your company name is Good Times Realty and your offices are in San Diego, if a high percentage of your inbound links say “San Diego Realtors,” then that may very likely cause you problems with Google. If the majority are “Good Times Realty” and goodtimesrealty.com, that would be a more natural link profile.
Read this featured article to see exactly how Google’s latest updates are going after sites that have too many links with the same anchor text. It will also show you exactly where the tipping point is that triggers that unwanted RED flag: Is your Anchor Text Profile Setting you up for Failure?