You’ve probably been involved in SEO for some time, and you will know how vital anchor text optimization was back then for getting your website to rank high on search engines. Is it still relevant today?
This article will provide an overview of anchor text, covering everything from best practices to what to avoid.
What is Anchor Text?
The anchor text is visible and clickable within a hyperlink that allows users to navigate from one page to another.
SEO: Anchor text can be used to help search engines find pages.
Anchor Text Example
This is an example code for anchor text:
Before the Penguin update, keyword-rich anchor text linking was one of the best ways to get your site to the top search engines.
If I were managing SEO for Rei.com and wanted to rank outdoor clothing, I would try to get as many links from other sites with high authority. You’d get first-page ranks with the keyword-rich anchor text of outdoor clothing.
Back in the day, text links using exact-match keyword-rich anchors would rank you on the first page. However, this penalty will be triggered by Google.
Types Of Anchor Text
There are many types of anchor text. Below is a list of both internal and external links.
Exact Match Anchor text means “exact match” when it contains the precise match of the keyword you are trying to target. Example: The link to “SEO services” takes you to a page about SEO.
Partial Match Anchor text contains a variant of the keyword from the linked-to webpage. Example: “SEO Content Marketing Service” links to a page on Content Marketing.
Branded Use of a company name in the anchor text. Example: LinkedIn linking to an article at Linkedin.com.
Generic Use a generic keyword link, “Click Here.”
Images Google will use text from the image alt attribute to anchor text if you use a photograph.
Naked Link A URL used as an anchor. For example, “www.dotankmarketing.com” is a naked link anchor.
Best Practices For Anchor Text
Anchor text should be used with care.
Your anchor text should be relevant to the page you are linking to. Inadequate anchor text can confuse search engines and users alike, and you should also vary the Use of anchor text.
Repeated Use of the exact anchor text can be considered spammy by both search engines and users.
We don’t often have control over the anchor text and who links to your site.
Limit the length of your anchor text to a few words, and avoid using long sentences that don’t look natural. Anchor text should describe the page you are linking to and encourage end users to click the link.
Keep your anchor text natural. Avoid putting keywords in your anchor text to cheat the system. This will result in a possible penalty from Google.
Google’s John Mueller suggested this as an internal link anchor text:
“Regarding the internal links, you are giving us context. You say, “In this section of my website, there’ll be information about this topic.”
You would use this for the anchor text of those internal links.
This is a situation where, on the one side, you need to provide context to users.
For SEO, you would generally use the same type of internal links for users.
This is where there’s a lot of overlap.
This article is by Roger Montti.
Google’s Advice For Anchor Text
Are you unsure what constitutes “natural” anchor text? Google provides some guidelines.
The link should give context to the user and allow them to understand the link’s destination.
Your anchor text should give users an idea of what to expect on the linked-to webpage.
Anchor Text: What to Avoid
After we have reviewed some best practices for anchor texts, let’s look at and not what we can do with them.
Do not use keyword-rich anchors that are too close to the exact match. This will make you appear unnatural and spammy, and Google will penalize you.
Do not use generic anchors like “click here,” “read more,” etc. These anchors do not provide context or information about the user’s location when they click on the link.
Avoid excessive cross-linking. Too many links to the same page look suspicious to users and search engines.
According to the Google SEO Starter Guide:
Make it easy to find links by formatting them. It should be easy for users to differentiate between the anchor text and regular text in your links. Users accidentally or miss clicking the links can make your content less valuable.
It is a good idea. It’s a good idea. I remember reading several articles online, hovering with my mouse over the content, and being taken to another website.
I didn’t know the hyperlink was there because it looked like standard text.
CSS is text styling that makes links look like regular text.
Remember to be cautious about who you link to. When your site is related to another website, you can give them some of your site’s credibility.
You don’t want to pass any value to the webpage you are linking to. Always make sure to use the following attribute.
Anchor text is a vital part of any SEO Strategy.
It can be used to improve your website’s visibility and ranking. It is essential not to optimize your anchor text too much, as it can result in Google penalties.
Avoid keyword-rich anchors, and ensure the rest of your anchor text is informative and natural.
These are tips to remember when you create anchors on your website for linking internally and externally.