In the early days of SEO, blackhat SEO experts were creating spammy backlinks and keyword stuffing regularly to rank their sites in Google, and it totally worked for a time. Today, those SEO hacks are long gone. Now we are dealing with much more advanced algorithms like Hummingbird and Panda. Google’s algorithms can create some real problems for your ongoing SEO efforts. One of those updates that affected SEO forever is the Penguin update that mainly dealt with how Google uses backlink to assess page rank. With Penguin a part of core Google Algorithm, the anchor text you use in your backlinks and internal links is crucial than ever. An established SEO company in USA can help you implement SEO best practices for anchor text optimization.
What is Anchor Text?
Anchor text is the clickable text seen in a hyperlink. Clicking this text will open a page and or document that is linked to it. Anchor text is also referred to as “link text”. This is how it looks:
Anchor text sends signals to both search engines and the user, and when used correctly, it will connect you to a different lane by letting you get credible information from another site. It also helps users to navigate your website.
The Importance of Anchor Text
Anchor text provides clues for search engines and users about the content it is linked to. Search engines check the link or anchor text to get clues about the page they are linked. They use it to help them index and rank that page. Search engines will then evaluate content based on the context of a link (the words around it) rather than entirely depending on anchor text alone. Proper use of anchor text makes your content more reader-friendly and can help your search engine rankings. Anchor text tells readers what to expect when they click the link, so they can decide whether to navigate to the page or not. Even if the link is not clicked, anchor text can send a subtle signal, indicating that the text used as an anchor is supported by the evidence on the other site.
It is important to know how to use anchor text effectively. Here are some SEO best practices on this:
- Keep Anchors Relevant to Content: When it comes to SEO in your linking practices, it is important that your anchors should be relevant to the content. Your anchor text should consist of words and phrases that nearly match the topic of your inserted link. For instance, if you run a company that provides content writing services for small businesses and want your visitors to navigate to your blog post about the importance of content, you should add a link and include the words or phrases in your anchor text that are related to your blog’s content. Otherwise, Google will consider the hyperlink manipulative and may penalize your site.
- Prioritize Writing Naturally: It is a misconception that you should always try to use the keywords for the page you link in your anchor text. Search engines consider the text and the page’s topic when ranking the page. Search engines are now more advanced that they don’t need exact keyword matches to understand a page is about a given topic. Besides, Google’s Penguin update penalized SEO efforts targeted at manipulating the effects of anchor text by utilizing the same text in every linking instance.
- Avoid Links from and Linking to Spammy Sites: Google always checks the sites you link to. When you link to a site that spreads wrong information, promotes hate or take part in spammy practices, Google can penalize you. It can hurt your ranking in the SERPs, even if it is for good intentions. This is called the co-citation principle. Eliminating hate-promoting sites from the equation, checking a site’s Alexa ranking and only linking to sites that has a score of 100k or less is a smart practice. Google understands that sometimes you have to link to bad sites for reference. In that case, using a nofollow link will help; it tells Google that you don’t endorse this site and don’t want to count it against your SEO.
- Avoid Keyword-Rich Anchors for Internal Links: Avoid exact match anchors for internal links. Google knows that you might not have control over what other sites do, but it knows you have control over your own internal links. If you are using internal-links, do not use exact match anchors; if you do, Google will think that you are trying to manipulate the system and may penalize you. Instead, use related anchors, generic anchors, or long-tail anchors.
- Test and Track your Anchor Texts: You can track how you use anchor text, but it will take a bit of effort. At the same time, it is the only way to find how they are affecting your SEO over time. To start tracking the variety of anchor text you use, try Anchor Text Categorizer Tool by Linkio. It will ask you to fill different details about your content which includes, the URL, your brand name, page title, and your keywords.
Anchor text is an integral part of SEO. It plays a heavy role in search engine rankings. You have to invest in creating useful and relevant anchor text to get better results from your SEO campaign. Ensure that you are using the best approach for your own SEO by relying on experts in an established SEO Company in USA. They will help you keep your anchor text contextually relevant to send positive signals to Google. This will ensure a strong anchor text strategy and boost your SEO.