Among the many elements that can be optimized for search engines on a website, the anchor text is one of the most important. It is a descriptive text that is used in the links and that has a great influence on the relevance of the links.
When a link is received from an external website, Google takes into account the domain authority of the website that links, as well as the keywords used to make the link, that is, the anchor text.
The anchor text is also known as the SEO link text because of its importance when optimizing a website to get better positions in Google and other search engines.
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What is the anchor text?
The anchor text is the part of a link that is shown to the user and that they click to access the content. Anchor text displays informational text about the content to which the link is directed.
The informative function of the anchor text is oriented both to the user and to the search engines to facilitate the understanding of the link of a website. Anchor text is considered a relevant ranking factor when used with external links, that is, they point to an external website and not to the URLs on the page itself.
In the HTML code of a link we find the anchor text between the link tags, as we can see in the following example:
Anchor text for internal links
The internal linking of a website is an essential part to achieve smooth navigation and improve the user experience. The anchor text of these links helps users understand where the links are going and what content can be found when accessing them.
Also, the anchor text of the internal link is very important so that Google can better understand the structure of the web and how it is organized, making it easier to index it more quickly, easily, and in better positions in its ranking.
The anchor text helps to reinforce the message that you want to communicate to Google bots about which words you want to position a page. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the use of anchor text in internal linking, because if texts or words are used that are not related to the content to which they link, Google may penalize web positioning.
Anchor text for external links
The anchor text is a fundamental element in a link-building strategy to increase domain or page authority.
When we see large companies or portals such as Amazon or Google taking the top positions in the results pages or Google SERPs, it is because they have a huge amount of inbound links to their pages with the anchor text of the keyword of search. For this reason, it is very difficult to compete with them to try to overcome them in those positions, and positioning strategies are used with middle or long-tail keywords where these large platforms do not compete.
In a good link-building strategy, the objective is to get inbound links from prestigious websites that can transfer part of their domain authority, and that the incoming link uses an optimized anchor text, which uses the word first. key by which you want to position the content to which it is linked.
Types of anchor text
We can find different anchor texts taking into account the type of words that are used. Some of the types of anchor text that are commonly used in links are:
- Generics . These are texts that do not provide specific information about the link, but are well integrated into the context. Some examples of this type of anchor text are “clicking on this link”, “on this web page” or “click here”.
- Branding or brand . In this kind of anchor text the name of a brand or domain is used, such as: https://wikipedia.org/ ”> Wikipedia leaving the link as Wikipedia.
- Exact keyword . It is used in internal linking when the anchor text matches a keyword by which you want to position the content to which it is linked. For example, if a blog post is about mobile phones and you want to rank with the keyword “the best iPhone of 2021”, in a link from another URL on the site you should use that same keyword in the anchor text.
- Naked link . When the anchor text matches the link’s own URL.
Brand + keyword. When branding anchor text is combined with a keyword. An example of this type of anchor text would be “the best goals on as.com”.
- Images . Images on a website can include a link. In this case, the anchor text is the image itself, exercising its ALT attribute as the anchor of the link.
- Long-tailed . They are links that use long and very descriptive phrases. They are characterized by being very striking and coincide many times with long tail keywords for which you want to position.
Importance of anchor text in SEO
- That the text is relevant and makes sense in relation to the URL to which your link takes . Google may penalize websites that use anchor text with keywords that are not relevant.
- The text must be natural and consistent and fully integrated with the context where it is used . For example, if the link leads to a second-hand car sales website in Miami, it is better to include an anchor text such as “buy a second-hand car in Miami”, than simply put “second-hand car”. If the anchor text offers a lot of information about the content to which the link leads, it is positive for web positioning and to improve the user experience.
How to use anchor text correctly
To use anchor texts appropriately to improve internal and external linking, and to improve web positioning and increase domain or page authority, it is important to keep these recommendations in mind:
Anchor text size
The size of the anchor text should not be very long as it can be confusing for the user, and aesthetically be inappropriate in the context where it is used.
When a long tail keyword is used, the length of the anchor is justified, as is usually the case with long tails keywords that use questions, such as “What is domain authority” with the link to an entry or page that addresses that content.
Do not repeat the same anchor text
When linking to specific content from different links it is advisable to use different anchor text to reinforce web positioning , using, for example, related keywords.
Use the correct type of anchor text
Previously we saw the different types of anchor text that exist. Ideally, use the appropriate type of anchor text for each of the links on a website. If the link leads to a brand, use the brand anchor text type, and if the link leads to content that you want to position with a long tail, use the long tail type.
Don't forget the user experience
Always keep in mind that anchor text, in addition to providing information to Google bots, is a tool that helps the user to understand the text and to move more easily on the web.
When creating the anchor text of a link, you must always think about the user so that they enjoy a good reading experience, and surely that link text will also be friendly with Google.
Tools to obtain the anchor text of your website
The number of links that a web page, eCommerce, or blog can contain is enormous, and having to visualize all the HTML code to locate the anchor text to optimize them and analyze their content is a process that requires a lot of time and effort. Fortunately, you can use tools that greatly facilitate this work, such as Google Search Console or Ahrefs, among others:
This free tool from Google itself allows detecting the anchor text of a web page or eCommerce and identifying if there is an excess of them. In this way, the necessary actions can be taken to correct this abuse of anchor links, and thus prevent Google from ending up penalizing the positioning of the site.
The Ahrefs suite has several very interesting SEO tools with which it is possible to observe a word cloud with the incoming anchor texts to a website (in the Anchor Cloud option).
The anchor text of the links is a very useful element for SEO as it improves the user experience and helps Google bots to better understand and position a website.
Optimizing the anchor text of all the links on a website should be a priority task in order to appear in better positions in the Google SERPs.