Anchor Text and Your SEO Efforts

Quite simply, anchor text is the group of words that are hyperlinked on your webpage. In this sentence, for instance, we could hyperlink “anchor text” and direct readers to a site with more information. When and how should you use anchor text? How important is it?

The purpose of anchor text is to give readers context without having to spend the time or space on back story, and it also provides a context for the site to which they are being directed. In essence, it is like a virtual footnote. They can be used with links to other sites, to other pages on your site, and navigation maps. Anchor text has typically been seen as very important because it helps search engines identify what the webpage is about, which can raise your profile in online search rankings. It can also help you appear in the top Google results even when the search phrase someone has searched for isn’t in your text.

According to Practical eCommerce, though, in 2010, “exact anchor text is not necessarily good.” So our example of using “anchor text” as the anchor text can be modified. It is suggested that links should be used within sentences and exact phrases should be modified. While a site can have exact anchor text links, it is also beneficial to vary them because search engines comb through the information that is before and after your anchor text.

Having an exact anchor text phrase once on a page may be sufficient for rankings, while adding varied text can help create stable results. According to an independent test, about ninety percent of sites included in the test used varied anchor text, that is, they did not include the target keywords but instead relied on other keywords that were relevant to the topic.

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