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What Is The Defintion Of Anchor Text And Why Is Anchor Text Important?

Written by George Manty  · August 27, 2007

Tammara at Link And Blog Challenge asked me to participate in a blogging glossary she is creating at Link and Blog Challenge. So, I agreed to define a word for her. My word is:

Anchor Text

“Anchor Text” is the text that a person clicks on to visit a page on your site. By default “anchor text” is blue text with an underline. For example, this is anchor text. In the previous sentence, the text “this is anchor text” is an example of anchor text.

Why Is Anchor Text Important?
The anchor text that you use to link to pages on your site and that other people use to link to pages on your site plays a big role in how the Search Engines rank your site. Search Engines use anchor text to help them determine what your site is about. In fact, the number of links to your site and the anchor text used to link to your site predominantly determine what keywords your site will rank highest for in the Search Engines.

Back when I started in Internet Marketing, all you had to do to rank high in the Search Engines was to exchange links with other webmasters and have them link to your site with the keywords you wanted to rank high for. That technique doesn’t work as well anymore.

Search Engines have gotten smarter over the years. A few years ago, the Search Engines started to detect if people were using the same exact text to link to your site over and over again. The Search Engines determined that this technique was easy to spot as an “unnatural” link pattern. In other words, when websites get links without asking for them, the links usually are done using a variety of anchor text. Some of the most common links used are “click here”, the full URL (ie. http://www.canimakebigmoneyonline.com/), and the website or page name. Due to this fact, the Search Engines started to lower the ranking of sites that had too many links with the same anchor text linking to them.

That is why when you trade links, buy links, and interlink your sites you should be sure to vary the anchor text between AT LEAST 2 keyword phrases (preferably more).

For example on my son’s dinosaur website for kids, I might have people link to it using the following anchor text variations:

“Dinosaurs for kids”
“Dinosaur Toys”
“Dinosaur Games”

A better method might be to include the same keywords in your anchor text, but to use different variations of that text. For instance, for our dinosaur site, if we were targeting the keyword phrase “dinosaur for kids” we might use the following three anchor text links (all of which include the words, “dinosaur”, “for”, and “kids”):

“Dinosaur website for kids”
“Dinosaur for kids”
“Dinosaur Time Machine for kids”

Either method is a good method of varying the text you ask for in your reciprocal links. Search Engines are always changing, but at the moment it is very important to vary your anchor text (especially for Google).


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