The Importance Of Anchor Text

Darren Franks - October 28, 2008

So, what do we know about this part of search engine optimization?
We know that including keywords in you anchor text (the visible link text on a page) is important for increasing the relevance of a page that you are targeting, enhancing the relevance of a page the anchor text is appearing on and, among other things, getting on the good side of those search algorithms (search engine algorithms really like good anchor text). For instance, the link “click here” doesn’t pass as much relevance to an internal or external page as “Click Here For Facts About Product XYZ”.

Once someone has made every effort that is possible to get their site optimized (good meta tags, content etc.), anchor text can sometimes be forgotten. It is intelligent to cover your bases so to speak and take advantage of every potential area that you can place good keywords. It is also wise to make sure that your “title” contains all the pertinent keywords that you want to be included in external links pointing to your site. This is the text which is usually included in the anchor text pointing to your site.   The more relevant the text is there, the more your site will gain relevance for that keyword and your site may get a good ranking boost. After all, isn’t that what good SEO is all about? So, don’t leave anything to chance. When requesting a website to link to you, tell them what specific keywords to use in the anchor text. You could even provide them with an HTML code to copy and paste to streamline the process. Remember, quality backlinks are one of the most important things to consider in SEO, so make sure relevant links from relevant sites have the correct anchor text.

It’s been rumored that Google has “devalued” the importance of anchor text and that some sites have lost considerable rankings because of that. We don’t know that for sure as algorithms are changing all the time and it does little good to always focus on what some forum posts are pontificating. What we do know is that devalued or not, anchor text is a great way to add good keyword rich text to your site and have legitimate links pointing to it. It is also evident that the major search engines look at the text surrounding the anchor text. This may be a way for them to combat unnatural, random links placed on a page. So, just keep in mind that anchor text is not just helpful for rankings; it is also good for user experience. Generic, bland links to internal or external pages aren’t beneficial to anybody.

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