Good SEO Practices – Replacing Generic Links

A generic link is a non-descriptive link that does not include any keywords that a search engine could use to try to categorize what the link is linking to. This can include anything that is not descriptive such as ‘click here’ and ‘get this’. The use of these types of non-descriptive links has dramatically increased as people attempt to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in new ways to gain an advantage in the SERPS.

Generic Links and Google

The official position of Google is that using generic links will hamper the ability of its crawling algorithms to get context information from the link and could negatively affect a page’s ranking. The latest upgrade to Google’s algorithm included a deliberate move to negatively count SEO that reused the same text in anchor links too often.

The move to generic links has been led by people trying to get away from over optimised links but at best, this will be a temporary respite. Search engines will be able to detect this and its scoring will suffer.

 Synonyms are an SEO’s best friend

Using synonyms in your anchor text is a great way to avoid overusing  the same words and being penalised. A great way to get synonyms and know that Google will pick them up is by doing a synonym search in Google. An example would be for generic using ‘~generic –generic’ this search in Google returns webpage’s with ‘general’ and ‘brand’. This can be a quick and easy way to find alternative words to use in your anchor text so try it.

Using URLs in Links

This is not a good way to use anchor text in links, it rarely looks good. It will not score well with search engines when they review that page and its links. They are better than generic links, but there are usually better ways to write the link, with a little more thought, that would work much better for the page reader and the search engines.

Names Make Great Links

Names that have relevance to links are great to use and will enhance the way search engines look at your site. The only area to be careful with are names that include high traffic place or brand names that may already have millions of links. Links to people in the organization or company are great ways to build great links that will have a positive impact on your website.

Don’t Forget About the People!

SEO is important but remember that the website is aimed at people. They want to be able to read the information and having too many links can turn people off. It’s great to make relevant links that are part of the normal text that a website would have. There is a growing move to creating the links and the page text to optimize keywords and links. It makes natural flowing and informative pages almost impossible to make. Remember that you want people reading your information and clicking your links to view your content or buy your products.

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