Anchor Text & Why Its Important

Anchor text is the visible, underlined, clickable text link, or hyperlink as it is sometimes referred to. For example:

About the Artist Naj

"About the artist Naj" is the anchor text in the above link.

It is so-called because the text sits between the anchor tags in the html code, as shown in the example below:

<a href="http://www.mydepictions.co.uk">About the Artist Naj</a>

Google and other search engines give weight and importance to the words in the anchor text. A good choice of words in the anchor text can boost your position in search engine results. This is why I try to avoid anchors such as "click here" or "http://www.mydepictions.co.uk" or "home". It is better to have choice keywords (searchable words) as the anchor text, and it is better to have text links, or a combination of text and image links, rather than image-only links on a web page. This applies to the internal links on a website, as well as in coming links from other sites.

If hundreds of sites link to a page with the same anchor text phrase, that web page may appear high in Google's search results for that phrase. Known as Google bombing, the phrase does not even have to be present on the web page (the George Bush "Miserable failure" phrase in 2003, being the most famous example; see the Official Google Blog response). This goes to demonstrate the importance search engines give to anchor text. But wait...before you go about getting whole forums of people to link to your site with a particular phrase, Google does take many other factors into account since anchor text could easily be used to spam the search engines. Therefore, it is also better to vary the content of the anchor text for incoming links, so they are not all the same. This is why I like to ask people to link to my web site using particular and varied anchor text.

Also see: Check Out Anchor Text Used to Link to Your Site

Naj's Links to Free Web design Resources

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