What is Anchor Text and How is it Relevant to SEO?
SEO is a complex technical field laden with hard to understand industry jargon. To add to the confusion there are significant changes every few years, thanks to search engine algorithm updates. So, it is critical to remain informed because it affects any business with a web presence. Google’s Penguin algorithm, which was first introduced in 2012, changed the entire game of backlinking. And one of the most important aspects of SEO is anchor text that is used in backlinks.
Anchor Text Explained
Let’s tackle the big question, what exactly is anchor text? It is the visible, clickable words that appear highlighted in a hypertext link and is used to link one page to another. So, if you created a link to a target web page with the anchor text “family dentistry” search engines will take it as an indicator that the page being linked to will match a search query on family dentists. The World Wide Web is structured around such external links that lead from one site to another site or internal links that connect one page to another page on the same site.
Earlier a site’s rankings in search results were determined not just by the number of links pointing to that site, but also by the anchor text of these links. This led many black hat marketing practitioners to game the system through link exchange and artificial inflation of link popularity. Penguin algorithm devalued and penalized these spammy links to discourage websites from building links with anchor text over-optimization. But anchor text still remains a critical off-page factor in determining rankings for the search engine results pages (SERPs), in Google’s algorithms.
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Benefits of Anchor Text
- Boost Your Brand
When used correctly, anchor text can improve the online visibility of your website but taking a scattergun approach may prove costly, as search engines may view your site as spammy and hit you with a penalty. The words used within the anchor text ensures that your page is ranked for the keywords you desire it to be ranked for, instead of what Google thinks you should be ranked for. For instance, if you want your home page ranked for the term “Inbound Marketing“, you have to find ways to create links from other websites that contain your home page URL and the keyword “Inbound Marketing“ as anchor text. You can create links on other sites through blog commenting, guest posting, etc.
- Better Search Ranking
Backlinks with anchor text helps search engine bots to better understand the content of the page, which improves the search engine positioning of a page. Google counts each link as a vote for the linked “to” webpage by the linked “from” webpage and to validate the vote all constituents of a link “from” a webpage are analyzed to determine whether you qualify to cast this vote Google compares the anchor text to your site’s content to arrive at a relevance match. Optimizing anchor text helps add relevance to your brand and provides value to your audience thus increasing the chances of your page and website ranking well.
Make sure you use anchor text the right way when building links. Only use appropriate anchor text to point to a specific page that has been optimized for that keyword phrase. The idea is to create “natural anchor text” instead of always using exact match anchor text. It is important to diversify the anchor text by using variations like company name, phrase matches, naked URLs, synonyms or antonyms, etc, so that search engines don’t see it as a manipulation attempt, If the anchor text flows naturally within the content and links you create to your site are providing value to a site’s user and also to users looking for information in search engines, then you and Google will be on the same page, and your search rankings will benefit.
With anchor text and other properly implemented SEO tactics, you can stay ahead of the competition. DirectiveGroup has the expertise and experience to draw up an effective digital marketing strategy for your business, while ensuring high SEO rankings.
If you are interested and want to know more about how to get started, contact DirectiveGroup today. We can help your company put video marketing to good use.
This is a guest blog written by Michelle Keyser, Director of Social Media and Content Marketing, at DirectiveGroup, a digital marketing agency, where she is a strategist and blog contributor. Contact them today for more information by calling 1.866.925.9524