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Anchor’s Away! Concerning Anchor Text

How does one surf the Internet when there are all these anchors everywhere? Fear not, for here is an explanation on how to catch that relevant wave of information using “anchor text”.

WHAT IS ANCHOR TEXT?

For those brand new to the concept, anchor text basically forms the words in a link. It is the visible, and clickable, text that is a link to a new website.

From a visual perspective, it looks like this:

In this example, the anchor text is in blue.

From a coding perspective, it will look like this:

ANCHOR TEXT AND SEO

Link building is very important for page ranking/SEO – that is accepted science (and something that has been explored in our back-linking blog post). Having good links from websites with authority and relevance is crucial when it comes to making a website stand out from the crowd.

But how does the anchor text help with that? Well, it relies in part on the type of anchor text used (described below). It is important to know that anchor text SEO is not something that is agreed upon by the entire SEO community. Debates rage around the Internet about the relevance of Exact Match in Google’s algorithm, and whether Branded or Partial is the more important. Furthermore, Google’s updates mean that forming any absolutes would be foolhardy.

Also, beware the double-up!

As is shown in this image, provided byMoz.com (see what I did there?), Google does not look kindly on stuffing a page full of links to the same page. That being said, there are ways to manoeuvre around Google to get multiple links to the same source to count separately.

THE TYPES OF ANCHOR TEXT THAT EXIST

There are numerous types of anchor texts that lurk beneath the waves of the internet:

1. Exact Match: This is when the wording of the anchor text matches keyword searches for SEO. Bear in mind that excessive use of this style can lead to being penalised by the leviathan of Google, as it can look very spam-like. That being said, many SEO experts still recommend using Exact Match when possible. An example of Exact Match would be “Click Through Rate”, which would redirect you to Predikkta (it’s one of our keywords that we target)

2. Partial Match: This is where the anchor text has some of the keywords being targeted, as well as other phrases. An example would be “How Predikkta can improve your Click Through Rate”, when the keywords are “Click Through Rate”. This is seen as one of the most preferable forms of anchor text, as it avoids the problems of Exact Match anchor text whilst still keeping the target keywords there.

3. Zero Match: Where there are no key terms in the anchor text, with common examples including “click here” or “learn more”. This style, whilst mostly safe from Google’s Penguins, doesn’t help with SEO a great deal, due to the absence of keywords.

4. Naked URL: When you see the bare URL on a website, that is the naked anchor text. Do your best to avoid this where possible, since it is not really seen as beneficial for SEO, although it won’t harm your rankings either. For example, https://www.predikkta.com/what-we-do.html in the text would direct you to our website’s list of tasks we achieve, but that wouldn’t help Google’s robots identify that the text on the other end mainly revolves around CTR.

5. Branded: In lieu of a search term, sometimes a particular brand name may be substituted. Another favourite, Branded anchor texts do very well in regards to SEO due to their links to relevant and reputable sites. Google does like brands after all. For example, you could use “Predikkta” when discussing how to improve CTR.

TRICKS TO BEAR IN MIND

When using anchor text, it is essential to make sure that the keywords chosen are not all entirely identical. This is because Google’s Penguin (which, sadly, is only the name of an update and not an angry bird web investigator) has been increasingly honing in on “unnatural” links. By stamping out “link stuffing”, a black hat technique condemned by Google, there has been an increased pressure to “earn” links. That translates into doing the hard yards, by making your content stellar and share-worthy, as well as contacting relevant and reputable other sites with similar goals.

So earn those links, have the keywords come naturally, and avoid the Penguin that way.

Another thing to bear in mind is the context of the link. Does the anchor text disrupt the flow of the text? Did you have to add text to try and make the link fit, or was it a smooth insertion? And, most importantly, will the user know exactly what information they are being taken to when they click on the anchor text? There is no point in having a carefully selected keyword for a link, if the site it links to has vanished or – worse – it will take them somewhere that is not what you promised. Google, in its drive to provide the greatest user experience.

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