The term anchor text refers to a portion of text on a page, linked to another resource (internal or external to the site). To make it simple, they are those words contained in the famous blue underlined links. These are present in all web pages; and whose click will have the effect of redirecting you to another page. Both within the same site where you publish the HTML anchor, and outside.
But why did we decide to talk about it? What importance can the anchor link play on your site? Why should you focus particular effort on correctly interpreting the meaning of anchoring?
Let’s go in order!
HTML Anchor: Google’s Rules for Having the Best
The SEO experts understood very quickly that using a certain type of anchor text could lead to very interesting results for positioning on search engines. Starting from this idea, however, they began to “abuse” it to the point that Google introduced various algorithms – such as Penguin – which penalized the excessive use of anchor texts that contain the same “dry key”. Let’s see what tips Google’s Guide offers on how to improve HTML anchor text:
Choose Descriptive Texts
Make sure that the anchor text gives a basic idea of the content of the linked page, and instead avoid using generic anchors (such as “click here”), and in general words without relation to the content or URL;
Create Concise Text
Use short but descriptive text, and avoid very long sentences instead. So try to keep the length of the link as low as possible;
Format the Links So That They Are Easy to Find
Make sure that the links are easily distinguishable from the text, and instead avoid that they can be clicked by mistake -or worse- not found because perhaps the same color of the text. The basic settings of the editor you use to write online probably
Use Anchor Text for Internal Links
Pay close attention not only to external links but also to internal links on your site, making sure that they are useful and navigable for both Google and users. Therefore, try to take care of cross-linking in the best possible way to extend the reader’s stay on your site, sharing information that they may find increasingly useful.
We invite you to reflect on the fact that the guide clearly states that “a good anchor text will help Google understand what the page you are linking is about”. So take a cue from this important statement and use “talking” anchor texts, which can help the user understand where it will end!
At the same time, as we have already partially mentioned, it is also important not to exceed the use of the same keywords on a too high percentage of links.
6 Tips for Not Making Mistakes
In this scenario, it is good to remember that a “penalty-proof” strategy is to use, more or less with the same percentages, these six types of anchor text:
- Exact match: I want to position myself for [SEO consultant], and therefore I use the same keyword as anchor text, e.g., SEO consultant;
- Partial match: in addition to the keyword of my interest, I insert some other related term in the anchor text, for example [freelance SEO consultant];
- Synonyms/Related: use as anchored text [SEO specialist] or [SEO expert];
- Brand: if I am already known I could also use my brand, that is [mybrand];
- URL: I use the URL of the page I want to place, for example [https://blog.mybrand.com/advice];
- Generic: it is normal that some links must also come from totally generic terms, such as [click here], [this site], or [this page].
Finally, I remind you that anchor text is a very close relative of links, and Google wants your links to be natural, and NOT artificial.
Therefore, Google will consider as artificial an excess of anchor texts that have the same keyword inside, especially if this keyword is unnatural and people use to an excessive extent compared to the other links you receive.
If you do link building/link earning, then gladly accept links with keywords that are not exactly “precise”, and do not insist on always and only wanting links with keywords that stink of SEO from miles away.
FAQs About Anchor Text
Yes, it is valid to use the anchor tag without a href attribute. Suppose the a element has no href attribute. In that case, the element represents a placeholder where a link might have been placed, if it had been relevant, consisting of just the element’s contents.
When using named anchors, you can create links to a specific section on a page, instead of letting your viewer scroll around to find what he/she is looking for. Named anchors are called bookmarks in Expression Web. The name of the anchor can be any text you care to use.
The id attribute can be used to create an anchor at the start tag of any element.
Conclusion on Anchor Text
We hope that these brief considerations on the more agreement use of the HTML anchor can improve its use within your site. Remember that its conscious use can be very important to give your content an edge but that – like any element that can impact positioning – an error in its management, especially if protracted over time, could cost you dearly in terms of visibility.