How Anchor text linking is one of those SEO processes that looks easy, but it’s deceptively complicated. Properly using anchor text is a blend of art and science with an end result enabling people to seamlessly surf the web to find what they’re looking for.
It’s important for everyone with a web presence to understand what anchor text links are, why they are important, and how to use them.
First, the what:
The Science of Anchor Text Links
The technical function of anchor text is to label an outbound link. When the bots and algorithms of Google and other search engines evaluate the quality of a website, they first must understand the focus of the website. This is done in two ways.
When webmasters submit a website to Google’s search index, a web form is filled out to label and categorize it. This way, search engines know whether it’s intended to be used as a media site, commerce site, social media site, etc. It also knows the subject that the site focuses on.
Anyone can build a website and label it, but filling it with timely and useful content is the tricky part of website development. With access to a wide net of sources providing content on all aspects of basically any subject you can think of to search for, search indices like Google must then rate the quality of each site in order to determine its potential relevancy for different search terms.
The Importance of Anchor Texting
Think of it as checking a website’s Curriculum Vitae (a term people use to avoid typing the accents in résumé). The search crawlers need to see a website’s education, experience, special skills, and references. Anchor text is a website’s references.
When links from reputable websites link to a website, it’s recommending that website for the term used in the anchor text. The more reputable sources endorse a website for specific anchor text, the more search engines know to list the site for relevant search terms. The more search terms a site is listed for, the more organic search traffic it receives, which raises its SEO ranking.
If a website is only listed for generic terms like “Click Here,” it’s competing with over 2.24 billion other websites about any conceivable subject. Why am I clicking here? What is it about? Where am I?
How to Use Anchor Text While Linking
The process of adding anchor text depends on the software platform being used, along with which step you start on. In a word processing program like MS Word, adding anchor text is accomplished by highlighting the text you want to use as the tag, and adding a hyperlink. It’s also possible to add a hyperlink in WordPress and other web publishing platforms directly.
Sometimes when building a website or typing, the links are added first and the anchor text is filled in as a step in that process. This happens often when typing out URL’s, so instead of displaying //www.v9digital.com, I’d go in and manually change it to display Volume Nine’s Home Page, or, if I’m feeling especially generous go for broke with the best SEO company in history, to which I actually linked to a secondary page.
The reason I switched it up a little is to illustrate the procedure of anchor texting. In this piece, I embedded 12 different links attached to what I think are relevant resources on the subject of anchor texting. Each of these links serves as a reference for anyone reading this blog to click and learn more about those focused keywords.
In doing so, I made myself another link in a wide network of experts on the subject of anchor texting, linking, SEO, and content management. Click anywhere but here to learn more.