I came across an interesting question on the web about building backlinks. Internet marketers all know that anchor text is incredibly important when it comes to SEO. But will Google punish you if your links are overly optimized (such as having all your backlinks with the exact same anchor text), just like they will punish you if you have too high if a keyword concentration?
While I cannot answer this question 100% for sure, I highly doubt that Google would punish you for having links that are too optimized – and I also doubt that this would ever really occur with a site that is worth getting ranked anyway. Firstly, Google doesn’t punish website owners for getting links from disreputable websites. For example, if a black hat website puts a link to you, you aren’t going to get punished because you can’t control who links to you. In the same way, we can assume that Google isn’t going to punish you for having overly optimized anchor text. It is possible (though I doubt this is the case) that Google may void your backlinks if it detects that they are overly optimized and thus fraudulent.
If you are really worried that your incoming links have overly optimized anchor text, then you have a problem. Ideally, most of your links should come naturally and not be generated by link-building programs or campaigns. If you aren’t getting natural backlinks, then your website probably doesn’t have any valuable content and doesn’t deserve to be in the SERPs in the first place. Instead of worrying about backlinks, you should instead be focusing on getting quality content on the web so you get natural backlinks.
The issue of backlinks is a bit of a catch 22 though. If you don’t work on backlink building, you probably aren’t going to rank in the SERPs. Without ranking, then visitors won’t be able to find your website and give you natural backlinks. So, a smart webmaster is going to have to work on at least some methods of getting backlinks to trigger the flow of natural backlinks.
Since it is highly unlikely that Google will penalize you for having overly optimized anchor text and we know that anchor text matters, then you should make all of your backlinks have optimized anchor text. You could just use the same anchor text for all of your backlinks, but this is a bit shortsighted. If you aren’t expanding your anchor text to include other keywords in your niche, then you are limiting yourself and are likely to get lost amongst the competition. Since you are already taking the time to build up backlinks, you might as well put in the extra effort to make each anchor text link correspond to the individual page it corresponds to rather than just defaulting on your top keyword list.