Anchor text

Dennis Benjak

Wiki

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Anyone who has ever read through an article on Wikipedia already knows them.

Definition

Anchor texts (also called link text) are the words or text modules usually marked in blue behind which a link (read also: What are backlinks) is hidden.

These anchor texts can be clicked on and refer to a link which, for example, explains the marked word or refers to another website. Link texts, as they are also called, are useful for internal as well as external linking and increase the usability of the website considerably.

How does an anchor text work?

The link that anchor texts contain is attached to the HTML code. The destination address referred to is not visible to the user.

Therefore, it is important that the description also delivers what it promises.

Here’s an example from Wikipedia:

Anchor text

Every word in the body text that is highlighted in blue is an anchor text. On Wikipedia, it’s mostly internal references. Only the description of the anchor text is visible.

So if the anchor text “screenshot” hides another page than the one shown in the example, the link does not correspond to what the user expects. The titling link text is included in the hyperlink.

Example: <a href=”http://beispiel.de”>Link text</a>

Relevance for SEO

Anchor texts, among other things, flow into the evaluation of a backlink.

Example: Anchor texts with “click here” are inferior to “what are anchor texts”, because users know directly what is behind the link.

With the Penguin update, Google clearly took action against keyword stuffing. Websites that can be proven to have unnatural link building will be charged with a so-called penalty by Google. This has the consequence that these pages fall in the ranking or are no longer to be found in the Google index.

Search engine optimization (SEO) and link building are in a constant state of flux. While it was common practice for years to direct as many links as possible from various websites to a target page, the quality of the linking pages now plays an important role. Also, the context in which the anchor texts occur is important.

A natural link profile consists of a mixture of various anchor text types with different linking depths as well as individually designed link texts.

Which Google sees as a positive:

  • if the majority of the link texts consists of brand name and/or domain name
  • if you use money keywords sparingly as anchor texts on web pages with appropriate content
  • a balanced mixture of start page links and sub-page links (deep link)
  • Primarily do-follow and no-follow links within Google’s purchased/sponsored content guidelines.

Anchor texts play an essential role in search engine optimization. Especially internal links often hold great potential for optimization.

Tip: You should definitely check internal link texts that contain “here”, “read more” or “click”. You should prefer to use descriptive terms that make it clear to users what is behind them. Don’t use anchor texts like “click here” or “click now”, but try to describe them as best you can.

When it comes to internal linking within a domain, there are no limits to anchor texts.

One final tip: Always use the same anchor text for a URL (this does not refer to external links) or variations of it. The respective keyword of the target page should appear in the anchor text. This is how you signal to Google and the user what to expect on the page.

They promote the usability of the website as long as they contain a meaningful thematic classification and can also influence the ranking.

Conclusion

Not only the type of links are important in indexing. Their description, the anchor text and the link text also play an essential role when the crawler does its work. You should therefore pay attention to meaningful and professional anchor texts in any case. This not only benefits the search engines, but also the users who visit your website.

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