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Aside from enjoying using the word “obfuscate” in a sentence, the meaning is clear for SEO when considering link building. Obfuscating links for the purpose of optimization simply means adding variety and switching things up (with your links) to avoid a pattern.

Should You Obfuscate Your Links?

In this context, the pattern is anchor text obviousness (linking to a page with the same anchor text with minimal variation). Failure to add variety to inbound or internal anchor text (links) can lead to over optimization as a result of link velocity and how people link from the web.

For example, if a large percentage of your backlinks are all from similar IP sources, have appeared in clusters in a timeline that seems (to good to be true), then chances are they could leave a trail that suggests that some type of intentional promotion / link building being done.

While it is no surprise (as a capitalistic system denotes) competition can bring out the best and the worst of us. While the moral climate of promotion is questionable, it all boils down to intent. The quandary about link building (between Google and SEO) is based on the intent of the link.

Their argument is, are you linking to other websites because you want to share a resource or because someone is paying you to do so? While their position on links is clear, expecting the web to conform is highly unlikely (considering what is at stake) high rankings and traffic for positions above the fold for businesses who bag the best links with ideal anchor text.

Considering that links were around before search engines and links are the only thing allowing you to move from page to page and website to website about the web only validates their importance. Your interpretation of link building should be (links come in various types but if used in the right context, each type has a place) if you are using a tiered approach (to deep to discuss in this brief post).

Implementing Shingle Diversity

While there are no absolutes, merely consider these suggestions ideal guidelines for building a more robust and / or natural link profile.

  • Use the domain name or website address  in 10% of inbound links (ideally to the homepage)
  • Use the primary shingle “exact match” keyword to a preferred silo landing page (a page built specifically for that keyword” approximately 35% of the time while keeping link velocity in mind (not building or losing links too fast) while linking to it from the homepage or other strong navigational or silo landing pages from “contextual links”.
  • Use an alternative variations 15% of the time (to mix up the natural inbound link diversity) such as juxtaposed shingles, or synonyms mixed with the primary keyword.
  • Use long tail variations 20% of the time (whereby the keyword is surrounded by the primary keyword and / or additional modifiers either before or after the shingles.
  • Use the plural variation 20% of the time (building both singular and plural variations ensures you rank for both).

Also remember, the same applies for internal links, except for the diversity should be less, but still incorporate a variety of shingles, depending on the method you are utilizing. For example, in order to boost one keyword, then:

  • Build the same anchor text shingle (group of words) to the primary landing page from within the site.

To make the page rank for additional keyword variations / keyword queries (that either appear on the page or are linked form pages designed to rank for those shingles) which are in essence “passing along” their link-flow and authority to the target page. For that method of on page / off page SEO ratios use:

  • Use a mixed ratio of primary internal links to the target / preferred landing page
  • Use a mixed ratio of off page inbound links to make the page rank for the spread of aggregate links in the anchor text.

The extent of the result depends on (a) competitors (b) domain and page strength (c) trust passed from the citation of the collective links and (d) the percentage of on page and off page inbound links to a page.

The takeaway here is diversity is the spice of life, and also applies when building internal or inbound back links. So, mix it up (your anchor text) to get past stale rankings and strengthen the link profile of your websites. Ultimately the ratios are up to you, but at least you have a method to fall back for a skeleton when it comes to shingle usage and links (either internal or inbound). 

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In 2006, Jeffrey Smith founded SEO Design Solutions (An SEO Provider who now develops SEO Software for WordPress).

Jeffrey has actively been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings a wealth of collective experiences and marketing strategies to increase rankings, revenue and reach.

6 thoughts on “Should You Obfuscate Your Backlinks?
  1. Wow thank you. Changing it all up really makes a difference. You mentioned, “…if you are using a tiered approach (to deep to discuss in this brief post).”, that maybe another great post I (and maybe others) might be interested in reading too. And thanks for the new word I can use on my colleagues.

  2. @Rob:

    I will do a follow up video speaking more about methods for the tiers.

    All the best Rob.


  3. Bhanu Pratap says:

    Thank you for discussing a pleasant topic. I think, it was an interesting blog and the topics it has covered are all very impressive for me personally to look through your page. I have bookmarked it and will keep visiting very often.

  4. Ralph Parker says:

    A really another good article link building

  5. Great Article and it gives more insight into the topic and Implementing Shingle Diversity is quite interesting to know which can be adopted going ahead.

  6. Rich Fong says:

    This is a very good point. One thing that I’ve noticed is its always a good idea to have a good mix of backlinks from different sources. You should always mix it up thats always the best thing not just posting same place with the same backlink.

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