In this guide we are looking into anchor text. What it is, and how you can use anchor text effectively to increase your search ranking.
What is Anchor Text?
The visible content within a hyperlink (the anchor text) is what search engines use to determine how one page refers another web page. This is an example scenario of how anchor text can be used effectively to refer to a website:
“Most web design companies do not provide a website analysis service, however a friend told me that a ‘Colchester based web design company’ she used provided her with a free report detailing what was good and what was not so good with her website. I’m of the opinion that more web design companies should offer such a service.”
Search engines use anchor text to identify what a web page is about and how other web pages refer to it. The accumulation of websites referring to your website with the same or similar anchor text, will signify to search engines that if people were looking for a ‘Colchester based web design company’ then they should go to Universal Web Design. In turn, when search engine users search for terms such as ‘Colchester based web design company’ it will favour sites such as Universal Web Design which has other websites telling people to go to that site if that is what they are looking for.
If you search for ‘Click Here’ you will find that the Adobe PDF reader ranks top. This is because other web pages have linked to this website using the anchor text ‘click here’. A clear indication that anchor text is powerful and a good example of how it works. Another sentiment to how powerful links are, and how the anchor text used affects the ranking is that the Adobe PDF reader page does not contain the words ‘click here’ anywhere and yet this ranks top of the search results.
Create Your Own Hyperlink & Anchor Text
<a href=”http://www.website-address.com”>Your Anchor Text Goes Here<a/>
Much to the frustration of website owners, search engines develop and change their algorithm all of the time. This means that you as an internet marketer need to keep up with the latest changes and follow the best practices when it comes to SEO. As you may be aware, links are still a highly valuable asset to your overall SEO profile. It’s expected that links still carry around 40% weight of your overall SEO efforts. As a rule of thumb, the easier a link is to obtain, the less valuable it’s likely to be.
It used to be the case, that the more links you have the better. Unfortunately search engines soon realised that website owners were exploiting this opportunity to unfairly manipulate the search rankings, and in response they decided to make their algorithm even more sophisticated.
Through our testing we have found that the quality of your links is now what enhances your website ranking most. For instance; the relevance, importance and quality of a web page linking to you will carry more ‘link juice’ to your web page; in addition, the relevance of the anchor text used will also boost your SEO efforts. It is best to either use keyword relating anchor text or branded anchor text. But remember, if you were to choose keyword rich anchor text, don’t get spammy!
Use anchor text as though you were referring a friend to a website verbally, you wouldn’t say “Colchester best web company” would you? So don’t use it in links!
To avoid Google’s latest Panda update, it is best practice to avoid using the same anchor text hundreds of times as this will be picked up by Google’s algorithm and a clear indication that those links weren’t acquired naturally.
To get around this you will need to use a variation of anchor texts, this will help to create a natural looking link profile. It is also still considered best practice to use industry related keywords, just avoid over optimizing the same term.
Another tip is to avoid the creation of too many links from one web page to the same website address. Some of the world’s leading SEO specialists have proven that:
- Google only counts the first link to the same URL within a web page.
- Google values links higher up a web page over links placed lower down the page.
- Links within the author tag as less valuable than contextual links.
- Links within websites footer as less valuable than contextual links.
- Relevant web pages carry more link juice.
- Authoritative websites carry more link juice.
- .org and .gov links carry more link juice.