The Importance of Anchor Text in Backlinks

Anchor Text for SEO Backlinking - sliStudios - Miami SEO
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"Backlinks" are a huge part of the search engine algorithm. The importance of anchor text with respect to a linking strategy cannot be overstated.

When initiating a linking campaign, it is vital that external sites link using the appropriate keywords and terms in the anchor text.
Almost always, linking candidates will use the company name as anchor text. This does not provide any type of description of the target company’s products or services. Sure, it may be great for branding purposes, but it isn’t usually needed. In most cases, companies already rank very high (if not first) for searches that incorporate their brand.

Fictional Example

“Acme Plumbing Supplies”

Most people will link simply using the terms “Acme”. This is alright, but it does not describe the company’s products or services, nor provide any context.

By adding the word “plumbing” or term “plumbing supplies” (i.e. “Acme Plumbing” or “Acme Plumbing Supplies”), you may be able to drive additional traffic that may not have otherwise attained the corporate site.

Link-building is an essential part of SEO.

The more links, the merrier.  Not So Fast..

Each link to any website consequently comes with an anchor text; the more Backlinks you had to your website, the more Visible it becomes..right!? 

That used to be the sentiment, however, for 2017 and into 2018, Google has caught-on to “Blackhat” link-building campaigns and now Demotes websites with a lot of “Toxic Links”, or links from other websites that have ZERO Authority.

How Google derives
a Link’s relevance.

Before we go on to conclude the importance of anchor text right now, let’s take a look at how Google derives an individual link’s relevance. Basically, there are three major ways:
1.

Anchor Text

The anchor text is what we want to tackle today. This is the “blue” underlined text that is clickable and will take you to another webpage to which it is pointing to (on our website, it’s a dotted underline). There have been many controversies and exchange of ideas surrounding anchor text – some swear by its effectiveness, while others proclaim its death.

Recently, Google has announced that it will gradually reduce its dependence on anchor text until it has minimal effect. Many sources have provided infographs depicting the future of SEO factors – and it clearly shows that anchor text is in rapid decline.

Update for 2018: While Google has become more scrutinizing about the Number of backlinks a website has, it still holds in high regard, the Quality of those backlinks – More is not better.

2.

Anchor Title

The Anchor Title is the tool-tip text that appears whenever you mouse-over a link or an Image.

The importance and weight of the Anchor Title is not really as big as the anchor text – but it is one of the most visible factors describing the link and what it is pointing to.

Tip: Anchor Text is also Vital for ADA Compliance as Screen Readers depend on this text to read-aloud to visually impaired web users.

3.

Context around the link

The context that surrounds the link is also used to derive the link and what it is pointing to. Basically, we look at two major factors that comprise the context:

Anchor Text’s
current importance.

Right now, looking into an experiment posted on MOZ, the facts are laid out straight. Google isn’t there in its acclaimed ‘anchor text independence’ yet.

Right now, how the system works is how it still does – varying anchor text is still the best as long as there is relevance in the words.

For Example:

If you have a website that sells gift checks, building links with the anchor text “gift checks”, “gift certificates”, “gift items” will get you further up the ranks in the long run than making just focusing all your anchor texts on “gift checks”. But not having the keywords “gift” or “checks” or “gift checks” inside the anchor text would lead to it being somewhat useless.

 

If you visit the experiment from MOZ, you’ll see that the website with the backlinks having the anchor text “Click here”, “See here”, “This entry”, was nowhere to be found in the long run.

What now?

Well, the results of the experiment laid it straight out: build backlinks with relevant, but varying anchor text – and you’ll get to rank well in the long run.

Tip for Keeps: Don’t ‘follow your heart’ there is no such thing in SEO. Experiments and trial-and-error is the only way to go.

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