Most marketers know link building is one of the countless critical factors for boosting your search engine rankings in the eyes of the Google Gods.
However, the words you choose for linking out and into your site matter too – and quite a lot! Those words are called anchor text, and Google’s algorithms pay more attention to them than newbies (and even some marketing veterans) realize.
In the early days, you used to be able to game the Google system by keyword stuffing anchors. Well, Google noticed and now carefully watches not only which words you choose to link, but also how often you use them and the surrounding text.
Yes, the technical details are complicated, but the basics are easy enough for everyone to understand and apply.
By optimizing—but not over-optimizing—your anchor words and learning the best practices, you can fine-tune your SEO and watch your rankings climb. If you break the rules, Google can penalize your site. (Not good.)
This post will:
- Explain what anchor text is
- Go over all the anchor text best practices you should know
- Explain how anchor words impact SEO
- Provide a few tips for perfecting your anchor strategy
- Offer examples of good and bad anchors
What is Anchor Text, and Why is it Important?
SEO is a complex matter that consists of a thousands of little details Anchor text is one of these details. Before starting to learn this theme I recommend you to read our master-guide – What is SEO.
An anchor is a text you click to move from one internet destination to another; it literally anchors two different locations on the internet together.
While anchors typically link webpages, they can also initiate downloads and link to documents like PDFs or files in Google Drive. That is why you should only click anchors from sites you trust, and hover over the link with your mouse – but don’t click! – to make sure the URL looks legitimate. – Read more