How important is anchor text in SEO?
Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. In modern browsers, it’s often colorful and underlined, such as Goods Lift . SEO-friendly anchor text must be succinct and relevant to the target page. Let’s take a look at what Google says about it.
Use links wisely, Write good link text
Link text is the visible text inside a link. This text tells users and Google something about the page you’re linking to. Links on your page may be internal—pointing to other pages on your site—or external—leading to content on other sites. In either of these cases, the better your anchor text is, the easier it is for users to navigate and for Google to understand what the page you’re linking to is about. With appropriate anchor text, users and search engines can easily understand what the linked pages contain.
Choose descriptive text
Write anchor text that provides at least a basic idea of what the page linked to is about.
- Writing generic anchor text like “page”, “article”, or “click here”.
- Using text that is off-topic or has no relation to the content of the page linked to.
- Using the page’s URL as the anchor text in most cases, although there are certainly legitimate uses of this, such as promoting or referencing a new website’s address.
- Write concise text
- Aim for short but descriptive text-usually a few words or a short phrase.
- Writing long anchor text, such as a lengthy sentence or short paragraph of text.
- Format links so they’re easy to spot
- Make it easy for users to distinguish between regular text and the anchor text of your links. Your content becomes less useful if users miss the links or accidentally click them.
- Using CSS or text styling that make links look just like regular text.
- Think about anchor text for internal links too
- You may usually think about linking in terms of pointing to outside websites, but paying more attention to the anchor text used for internal links can help users and Google navigate your site better.
- Using excessively keyword-filled or lengthy anchor text just for search engines.
- Creating unnecessary links that don’t help with the user’s navigation of the site.
- Be careful who you link to
You can confer some of your site’s reputation to another site when your site links to it. Sometimes users can take advantage of this by adding links to their own site in your comment sections or message boards. Or sometimes you might mention a site in a negative way and don’t want to confer any of your reputation upon it. For example, imagine that you’re writing a blog post on the topic of comment spamming and you want to call out a site that recently comment spammed your blog. You want to warn others of the site, so you include the link to it in your content; however, you certainly don’t want to give the site some of your reputation from your link. This would be a good time to use nofollow.
Another example when the nofollow attribute can come handy are widget links. If you are using a third party’s widget to enrich the experience of your site and engage users, check if it contains any links that you did not intend to place on your site along with the widget. Some widgets may add links to your site which are not your editorial choice and contain anchor text that you as a website owner may not control. If removing such unwanted links from the widget is not possible, you can always disable them with nofollow. If you create a widget for functionality or content that you provide, make sure to include the nofollow on links in the default code snippet.
Lastly, if you’re interested in nofollowing all of the links on a page, you can add the tag <meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow”> inside the <head> tag for the page. You can find more details about robots meta tags in our documentation.
Combat comment spam with nofollow
To tell Google not to follow or pass your page’s reputation to the pages linked, set the value of the rel attribute of a link to nofollow or ugc. Nofollowing a link means adding rel=”nofollow” or a more specific attribute such as ugc inside the link’s anchor tag, as shown here:
<a href=”http://www.example.com” rel=”nofollow”>Anchor text here</a>
<a href=”http://www.example.com” rel=”ugc”>Anchor text here</a>
When would this be useful? If your site has a blog with public commenting turned on, links within those comments could pass your reputation to pages that you may not be comfortable vouching for. Blog comment areas on pages are highly susceptible to comment spam. Nofollowing these user-added links ensures that you’re not giving your page’s hard-earned reputation to a spammy site.
Automatically add nofollow to comment columns and message boards
Many blogging software packages automatically nofollow user comments, but those that don’t can most likely be manually edited to do this. This advice also goes for other areas of your site that may involve user-generated content, such as guest books, forums, shout-boards, referrer listings, etc. If you’re willing to vouch for links added by third parties (for example, if a commenter is trusted on your site), then there’s no need to use nofollow on links; however, linking to sites that Google considers spammy can affect the reputation of your own site. The Google Search Central documentation has more tips on avoiding comment spam, for example by using CAPTCHAs and turning on comment moderation.
The links shown below some of Google’s search results, called sitelinks, are meant to help users navigate your site. Google systems analyze the link structure of your site to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for.
- Ensure that your internal links’ anchor text is concise and relevant to the page they’re pointing to.
Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.
The following are examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results:
- Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes:
- Exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links
- Exchanging goods or services for links
- Sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing it and including a link
- Excessive link exchanges (“Link to me and I’ll link to you”) or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking.
- Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links.
- Using automated programs or services to create links to your site.
- Requiring a link as part of a Terms of Service, contract, or similar arrangement without allowing a third-party content owner the choice of qualifying the outbound link, should they wish.
Additionally, creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines.Here are a few common examples of unnatural links that may violate our guidelines:
- Text advertisements that pass PageRank
- Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank
- Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. For example:
There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.
- Low-quality directory or bookmark site links
- Keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites, for example:
Visitors to this page: 1,472
- Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites
- Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature, for example:
Thanks, that’s great info!
paul’s pizza san diego pizza best pizza san diego
As long as you don’t pass PageRank to the buyer of the ad, your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising links won’t violate our guidelines. You can prevent PageRank from passing in several ways, such as:
Indicating the link is sponsored adding a qualifying attribute to the <a> tag
Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file
The best way to get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.
Google also says ” For example, Google may index your page if we discover it by following a link from someone else’s site. If we don’t have access to the content on your page, we will rely on off-page content to generate the title link, such as anchor text from other sites.”
As can be understood from these explanations, Anchor Text that you use and Anchor Text that others use while linking to you are very important criteria for seo.
If you want to get more detailed information about anchor texts, we recommend that you contact your SEO firm.