In this article we have featured What is Anchor Text and How Does it Impact SEO? If you’re new to the world of SEO, you may have come across the term “anchor text” and been wondering what it is and how it impacts your website’s ranking. In short, anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. It’s what appears on a web page when someone links to another site or page.
For example, if I were to link to Moz’s beginner’s guide to SEO from this blog post, the anchor text would likely be something like “Moz’s beginner’s guide to SEO.”
The anchor text is important because it tells both users and search engines what the linked-to page is about. It’s one of the many factors that search engines use to determine not only the relevancy of a website for a given search query but also its authority.
Keep reading to learn more about anchor text and how you can use it to improve your website’s SEO.
What is Anchor Text?
Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. It is the part of the link that users can see and click on. When used properly, anchor text can be a valuable asset in your SEO strategy because it tells search engines what the linked-to page is about.
There are three types of anchor text:
1. Exact match: This type of anchor text includes exact keywords or phrases that are relevant to the linked-to page. For example, if you were linking to a page about “dog food,” your exact match anchor text might be “dog food.”
2. Partial match: Partial match anchor text includes keywords or phrases that are relevant to the linked-to page but are not an exact match. For example, using the same example as above, a partial match anchor text might be “food for dogs.”
3. Branded: Branded anchor text includes the name of a brand or company. For example, if you were linking to Coca-Cola’s website, your branded anchor text might be “Coca-Cola.”
When choosing anchor text for your links, it’s important to mix things up and use all three types—exact match, partial match, and brand—in order to avoid keyword stuffing, which is when a webpage repeats a keyword so many times that it becomes difficult to read. Not only will keyword stuffing turn off potential readers, but it will also get you penalized by Google.
How Anchor Text is Used in SEO?
As we mentioned above, anchor text is one of many factors that search engines take into account when determining where to rank a website for a given query. More specifically, Google looks at both the quantity and quality of a website’s inbound links when ranking pages.
In terms of quantity, Google wants to see that a website has plenty of links from other websites. This signals to Google that the site is popular and authoritative. In terms of quality, Google wants to see that the websites linking to yours are themselves high-quality and relevant to your site’s topic.
Anchor text plays into this last point. When linking to your website, other site owners have the opportunity to include anchor text. If the anchor text includes keywords relevant to your site, that tells Google that the linked-to site is likely about those keywords.
For example, if I were linking to a blog post about tennis shoes from this blog post about running shoes, I might use anchor text like “the best tennis shoes for men.” This would tell Google (and users) that the linked-to post is probably about tennis shoes rather than running shoes or any other type of shoe.
Of course, you don’t have control over what other people put for their anchor text when they link to your website—but you can control what you put for your own website’s outbound links. So, when linking out from your own site (for example, in your blog posts), be strategic about your anchor text choices. Use relevant keywords so that you can help improve your site’s relevancy for those keywords.
Best Practices for Choosing Anchor Text
Now that you know the different types of anchor text, let’s discuss some best practices for choosing anchor text.
1) Make sure your anchor text is relevant to the linked-to page. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important nonetheless. If your anchor text isn’t relevant to the linked-to page, users will be disappointed when they click through and won’t be likely to click on your links in the future.
2) Use keyword-rich anchor text sparingly. As we mentioned before, using keyword-rich anchor text is a good way to signal to search engines what the linked-to page is about and help improve your website’s ranking for those keywords. However, if you use keyword-rich anchors too frequently, they will look spammy and unnatural—which could hurt your rankings instead of helping them. So use keyword-rich anchors judiciously and only when it makes sense in terms of both relevance and context.
3) Avoid using generic anchors like “click here” whenever possible. Generic anchors don’t give users any information about what they can expect to find on the linked-to page, which can be frustrating. They also don’t give search engines any clues about the content of the linked-to page, which can hurt your website’s SEO efforts. If you must use a generic link, make sure it’s still relevant and contextually appropriate.
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Conclusion: What is Anchor Text and How Does it Impact SEO?
Anchor text is an important part of SEO because it tells both users and search engines what the linked-to page is about. When adding links to your own website, be strategic about your anchor text choices and use relevant keywords whenever possible. By doing so, you can help improve your site’s relevancy for those keywords—which can ultimately help improve your website’s ranking in search engine results pages.