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How does anchor text improve your SEO?

  
  
  
  

Good, descriptive anchor text goes a long way toward defining your web pages for the search engines. Anchor text is the clickable text (often blue and underlined) that is clicked to navigate to another page.  Anchor text, whenever possible, should be used to define the content of the underlying link.

anchor text graphicFirst, it helps your reader understand the value and/or subject of the link.

Second, it helps the SEO of the destination page, whether it is another page on your site, or a page outside your domain.

In both cases, it improves the search engines’ understanding of the content of the page, but will also help that page’s SEO for the keywords used in the anchor text. 

The search engines see an inbound link to a page using a specific keyword phrase to describe it (anchor text) and it makes the connection between the page and the keyword phrase, especially if the destination page content, its URL or its title already contain that phrase.

If many links point to a page with similar keywords in their anchor text, the page should rank very well for those terms.

So how do I get people to link to my site using the same terms?  Well, you don’t, typically.  What you do is you create good content, you stick to a point that people are interested in, and the incoming links to the page, when they occur, should naturally fit the profile of the page.

As an example, let’s look at a page on YoChicago.com. The page is a guide called the West Loop neighborhood guide.  There are 23 external domains linking 262 times to this page – and the anchor text on 90% of them is West Loop. No one at YoChicago asked them to link this way – it was a natural selection.

Other pages are more diverse such as the YoChicago video search page.  This page is defined by 19 external domains in a variety of terms including video, real estate video, search video, video page and video home tours.  All the terms are relevant. All the terms are helping the search engines to understand the content of the page.

This is another example of the search engines counting on real people to determine the relevance of a page.  People describe the destination pages by the anchor text they use on a link.  And you recall from this blog post on inbound links, Google favors what other sites say about you over what you say about yourself.

But don’t discount the importance of anchor text in your internal links.  They perform the same function and create important relationships between the pages of your site.  It is good practice to always consider the anchor text when linking anywhere.

An anchor text primer:                                                         

Yes – See a video tour of an Inverness country retreat

NoClick here to see a video tour of an Inverness country estate

Comments

Thanks for the post. Can you please tell me whether having an index on the side of each page with links that take you to specific parts of that page for that specific topic like all the wikipedia pages are helps with seo?
Posted @ Friday, September 16, 2011 1:22 AM by Jim Hana
Good question. Called 'anchor links', their SEO value is debatable and depends on the content of the page. It will increase your keyword density, but as long as you are not going over the benchmark 100 links per page, you’re not hurting SEO. If the text in your links is relevant to the keyword phrases you’re targeting for that page, you may see some slight benefit. Most importantly, if you’re helping your users to navigate and keeping them engaged and on your site – that’s your benefit.
Posted @ Friday, September 16, 2011 6:21 AM by Mike Scotty
Thank you scotty for your message above. If there is a maximum of 100 links per page how come sites like craigslist do not get hit?
Posted @ Friday, September 16, 2011 1:22 PM by Fabric Wholesale
There are many sites with more than 100 links on the page – some do well in search, others don’t. There’s rarely an instance where one SEO factor is going to make all the difference – it always depends on what’s happening (SEO-wise) around it. 
Craigslist has domain and page authority based on its traffic and changing content that far outweigh and override what may be a link issue. 
Google recommends that links on a page be kept to a reasonable number, which they classify as 100. While some classify that number as outdated, because the spiders now search more of the web page, the opposite effect can be that more than 100 can set off the spam filters.  
Posted @ Friday, September 16, 2011 1:55 PM by Mike Scotty
How important is having a seperate on page header for each particular post? I have recently added that on my chiffon fabric website. please advise.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 12, 2011 10:08 PM by Chiffon Fabric
Like all SEO components, they all combine to give you your best shot. A quick look at your page says you have all the right on-page elements in place... The headers are marked <h1> which is appropriate and you have title, in-copy and link references to your keywords. 
 
Based on your link profile - you need more inbound links to rank. Your on-page looks good.
Posted @ Thursday, October 13, 2011 7:29 AM by Mike Scotty
On the Platinum SEO program they recommend to use 3% or less keyword density of the particular lsi phrase. What have your experiences been? Do you recommend tweaking your website according to keyword density?
Posted @ Thursday, October 27, 2011 5:02 PM by Tricot Fabric
Because there is no hard and fast rule for keyword density, this is as good a rule of thumb as any.  
 
The most effective way to write pages is to do it naturally and your keyword should appear naturally - if you can work it in without it seeming contrived, do so. Most importantly, distibute it in the key positions on the page, as indicated in this blog post: Your on-page SEO opportunity – a real estate site primer
Posted @ Friday, October 28, 2011 9:13 AM by Mike Scotty
Thank you so much for providing useful information. Good job dear, keep it.Property search Miami
Posted @ Wednesday, July 04, 2012 5:25 AM by Steven
Anchor text is the visible blue text, often underlined, that links to an article or blog post. This type of link is particularly effective because the embedded text is relevant to the product or service, creating link juice that helps a website rank for the specific keyword phrase. Anchor text diversification is now more important especially after the penguin update.
Posted @ Monday, June 10, 2013 8:14 AM by Arindam Dutta
Thank you so much for providing useful information. Good job dear, keep it.Property search Miami
Posted @ Thursday, June 05, 2014 11:50 AM by Songs.pk
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Blog authored by:

Mike Scotty, President
Data Based Ads, Inc.

  Mike Scotty, President DBA Inbound / Data Based AdsInbound Marketing certification badge