Anchor Text: Everything You Need to Know to Boost Your Rankings
When it comes to page rankings, how significant is anchor text? If you’re wondering whether you were the only one uncertain about that, you’re not alone.
Anchor text is a complex and frequently misunderstood component of on-page SEO. And fully understanding it will provide you with a distinct edge when it comes to creating an effective search engine optimization plan.
Let’s take a deeper look at anchor text: what it is, why it’s significant, and how to follow best practices.
What Is Anchor Text?
The term “anchor text” refers to a portion of clickable text that leads to a website.
Text masks are similar to anchor text. They’re also known as “naked” hyperlinks since they’re the page’s actual address that is linked to. Its color distinguishes it from other terms in a block of material and generally is blue.
Why Is Anchor Text Important?
Anchor text is important because Google and other search engines use it to determine what pages are about, which in turn affects the terms they rank for. This isn’t merely theory. A study of Google patents revealed numerous references to anchor text.
To classify a page by subject, Google analyzes the anchor text of inbound links to it. This procedure has an impact on which results are presented in response to a certain search query. Consider the following scenario. You develop a webpage on dog treats and name it “Best Dog Treats.” Other sites will most likely link to your site using phrases such as “dog snacks,” “snack ideas for pet owners,” and so on, among other generic anchors like “click here” and “more information.”
The purpose of anchor text is to provide a link to your content, but it’s also crucial for Google to understand the meaning behind these words. Therefore, non-related anchors (i.e., links that are not relevant or only partially related to your key phrase) may even earn you higher rankings for terms you hadn’t intended or targeted. Third-party web admins, for example, may utilize these anchors to link to your page if they decide that it also covers “healthy dog treats” or “cheap dog treats.” Your content might show for the term “inexpensive dog treats” when someone searches it on Google, even if you did not specifically target it.
Types of Anchor Text: An Overview
Here is a quick rundown of the different types of anchor text:
• Any link that contains the primary target keyword of a page or a similar variation.
• Exact match: A word or phrase that precisely resembles the central theme of a website, usually in the form of its fundamental keyword. For example, “artificial grass” might link to an article about artificial grass.
• A partial match is a phrase that includes part of the words from a page’s main multi-word keyword. “Not all grass is natural,” for example.
• A phrase match is when a keyword and its associated description are combined. For example, “how to utilize fake grass.”
• The term “naked” means that a page’s URL hyperlink is a replica of the URL. For example https://site.com/artificial-grass
• The phrase “brand name of a website” is an example of anchor text. For example, “Contact the pleasant people at BrightEdge for all your SEO needs.”
• In Google’s opinion, a phrase with the same meaning as another is not a synonym. For example, “click here,” “this link,” and so on.
• The alternative text of an image is also a link.
On the other hand, some link anchors don’t neatly fall into any category. As a result, if you conduct a search engine query analysis of your website, you’re likely to come across a variety of strange and unintelligible instances.
Anchor Text Best Practices:
Follow the steps below to ensure your anchor text strategy is in line with best practices:
Avoid Manipulating Anchor Text on Third-Party SitesThe bottom line is that you have no control over how the majority of websites link to your material. And it’s a good thing.
This will produce a natural, balanced anchor text profile that sends the proper signals to search engines.
Anchor texts should not be actively altered. If you try to alter your link profile artificially, you are significantly more likely to incur Google’s displeasure.
- Use a Suitable Length for Links on Your Site
There’s a lot of talk on the internet about how short anchor text is effective. There’s very little evidence to support this contention, though.
The idea that all links should be succinct goes against a comment made by Google Search Advocate John Mueller in 2020:
“I don’t think we do anything special to the length of words in the anchor text. But rather, we use this anchor text to provide extra context for the individual pages sometimes, if you have a longer anchor text that gives us a little more information. So sometimes it’s kind of like just a collection of different keywords.”
Instead of aiming for unhelpful brevity, consider how you might make anchor text for internal links relevant. Choose anchors that provide context and clarity when describing the linked page.
- Prioritize Visitor Experience
Google’s algorithm updates over the years strongly suggest that it is prioritizing user experience as a primary indicator—perhaps even as a metric in itself. The search engine is putting searchers first in every way, from responsive design to EAT (expertise, authority, and trust). There’s also no indication that this trend will reverse any time soon.
The most important thing to think about when deciding on anchor text that you have control over is: “How can I make this the most relevant for my site visitors?” Users generally want the anchor text to be relevant. Therefore, anchors should provide information about the linked-to page as clearly and succinctly as possible.
However, if you believe a more generic anchor will improve the user experience, go ahead and use one.
- Check for Broken Links
Broken links hurt the user experience. As a result, they may be detrimental to your SEO efforts. Check for and repair any broken links frequently.
- Set the Color of Links to Blue
Blue links, according to studies, result in more clicks. Have you ever wondered why Google favors blue in its search results?
If the design of your site necessitates it, choose a different color to make sure it stands out. The topic of anchor text is rather unusual. In most situations, the ideal approach from an SEO standpoint is to do nothing. You don’t have any control over how other websites link to you. Interfering may also backfire quickly if you try. For links, you have power over—such as internal links, select media mentions, and the odd guest post—consider employing a simple approach that prioritizes relevance and customer experience.
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