SEO

4 Tools to Find Related Keyword Phrases for Varied Anchor Text

Recently, I have been hearing complaints about having websites drop out of rankings (or at least get bumped down a bit) for one particular keyword phrase, but not others. The assumption is likely that it is a penalty based on un-natural linking activity for that keyword phrase.

If this is happening, how can you prevent your top keyword phrase from getting slapped by Google? Vary your anchor text of course.

Natural Anchor Text

Google likes natural, and, if you think about it, people who are not SEO’s are going to link to a variety of things that you should be using on occasion too, including:

  • Website Name or URL
  • Company or Brand Name
  • Click Here – as generic as it may be, it also entices more people to click on the link, so while the SEO value may be low, the CTR will be rewarding.

Anchor Text Research Tools

First off, if you’re completely stumped, you can start with Open Site Explorer to see the anchor text distribution that your competitors use. All you need is a free account with SEOmoz to see the top 20 keyword phrases used.

If you’d like to know who’s ranking for your keyword phrase organically, as well as some related terms that have high CPC value, check out SEMRush and search for your keyword.

Once you have your primary keyword phrase, use the following to get ideas on other phrases that you might want to rank for, or at least include in your mix of anchor text.

1. Google Suggest

As mentioned above, Google Suggest provides a nice selection of related keyword terms to your own. Simply start typing in your phrase and it will do the rest for you.

google suggest link building 4 Tools to Find Related Keyword Phrases for Varied Anchor Text

And it’s not a bad idea to branch out and think of other phrases to use as anchor text. Someone may enter your targeted keyword phrase and get distracted by some of the suggestions that pop up in the search, more specific terms you may not be ranking for.

2. Google “Searches related to” Links

A little less popular in the scope of things, considering the positioning, but Google also gives searchers who haven’t found what they are looking for on the first page additional popular searches related to your search term. These may provide additional ideas for keyword anchor text phrases.

google searches related to 4 Tools to Find Related Keyword Phrases for Varied Anchor Text

3. Google Insights

If you would like to dig into trends related to your keyword, take a look at Google Insights. It will show you the trending popularity of a search term, which you can view within a time period of 7, 30, or 90 days, 12 months, a particular year, or the default of 2004 to the present.

google insights link building 4 Tools to Find Related Keyword Phrases for Varied Anchor Text

Below this, you will see your keyword based on regional interest, where you can drill down into specific locations. For example, in the map below, you can see that the top states interested in link building.

google insights regional interest 4 Tools to Find Related Keyword Phrases for Varied Anchor Text

After the map, based on the region you are viewing, you will see the top searches within the time frame specified related to your keyword phrase, as well as rising searches for new trends that may be emerging in your niche.

google insights link building search terms 4 Tools to Find Related Keyword Phrases for Varied Anchor Text

4. Commercial Intent

Microsoft adCenter Labs offers a tool for detecting online commercial intention that will tell you whether a term is more likely to be searched for based on informational value or actual intent to make a commercial transaction.

This tool can help you gauge whether some of the additional phrases you are looking to build links for will be likely to result in someone looking to purchase your products or your services.

msn adcenter labs commercial intent 4 Tools to Find Related Keyword Phrases for Varied Anchor Text

As you can see from the above example, “link building company” has a commercial intent probability of .87, whereas “link building strategy” has a non-commercial intent of .62. You can also offer your feedback about the tool’s accuracy if you feel the result is skewed.

Your Anchor Text Strategy

Have you ever been sandboxed for over-linking to one phrase? How do you vary your anchor text to make your link building campaign look as natural as possible?

 4 Tools to Find Related Keyword Phrases for Varied Anchor Text
Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, online marketing consultant, social media enthusiast, and author of Kikolani which covers blog marketing and blogging tips.

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22 thoughts on “4 Tools to Find Related Keyword Phrases for Varied Anchor Text

  1. I have been using 1, 2 and 3 for long time. I didn’t know about Commercial Intent and I would like to check it out. Thanks.

  2. Google insights is a good suggestion I’d forgotten about…The Google Adwords Tool has been such a pain since they switched over to its new version and stopped giving good variations on what you type in. Thanks for the tips. –Reg

    1. Yes, Adwords has been difficult, especially because of the controversy of the numbers being wrong. Insights gives you a better picture of the overall value of a keyword in terms of trends.

  3. Thank you for the inspiration.

    I was thinking – if you did get a penalty based on “over-optimized anchor texts”, would you be able to reverse this by adding more “de-optimized anchor texts”?

    1. I don’t know if you can reverse it – but if you implement this kind of strategy ahead of time, then you can prevent the penalty from happening in the first place. I have heard of companies that work with Google to take some steps to getting the penalty removed, and maybe this would be a good linking strategy for the future.

  4. This is absolutely correct that sometime you get slapped from Google by over optimizing a keyword phrase.This is because sometime you do irrelevant linking i.e not related to your websites.

  5. This is absolutely correct that sometime you get slapped from Google by over optimizing a keyword phrase.This is because sometime you do irrelevant linking i.e not related to your websites.

  6. I’ve just got a client whose site has lots of unnatural linking and is suffering. I knew about some of the tools but not all of them. Thanks, they should help me.

  7. I can’t believe I never thought of utilizing the most obvious tool available, google suggest. It’s constantly in front of my face, yet I have completely ignored it. Thanks for making me notice. I’m now off to start my search.

  8. Search engine optimization is like tuning your guitar. You should know how the particular note sounds exactly and should be careful that over-tuning might hurt!

  9. Search engine optimization is like tuning your guitar. You should know how the particular note sounds exactly and should be careful that over-tuning might hurt!

  10. I have used Google suggest for some time, you can never fully predict how people will search but if you can start to catch everyone at the bottom of the net it can prove to be as valuable as the bigger keywords.

  11. I tend to disagree, if over optimization for a keyword phrase was a problem how come adobe still rank number one for “click here”?

  12. This is absolutely correct that sometime you get slapped from Google by over optimizing a keyword phrase.This is because sometime you do irrelevant linking i.e not related to your websitesi