understand what they are and how to use them correctly! – WAU
Anchor text is the visible and clickable text of a link that takes you to another page, be it internal or external to your blog.
The power of links in SEO is enormous. With them, Google identifies which sites are most relevant to users’ searches, to better position them in search results.
The logic is as follows: if a page receives many referrals from other sites with authority in its niche, it means that it is relevant within your market. That is why link building has gained so much importance for the optimization of a website.
Within this logic, there is an important factor that the search engine also evaluates, in addition to the quantity and quality of links to a page: the anchor text of those links.
So, if you are engaged in SEO work for your website, you need to know the power of that factor. But you also need to know the necessary precautions when using it, so as not to be penalized by Google.
In this post, we will unravel the anchor text, understand its importance and see the best tips for using it correctly. Come on?
What is an anchor text
Anchor text is the visible and clickable text of a link that leads to another page. For example, in the phrase “investing in SEO is important”, the word “SEO” is the anchor text for the link.
In terms of HTML, you’ll see the code like this:
Throughout a text on the web, it is common to direct the user to other pages that add more information. In such cases, anchor texts prevent reading from being truncated with these references, as links are inserted naturally in the context of a sentence.
So the anchor text accurately describes landing page content and contextualizes both the user and the searcher about what they will find there.
What is its importance in SEO
Anchor text is one of the main factors evaluated by Google to identify what the page that received the link is about and index it for that subject.
In the example above, the page is receiving a link with the anchor text “SEO”. Thus, the search engine understands that your content talks about SEO.
Let’s say that other sites also create links to that page, but using other terms in the anchor text, such as “website optimization” or “search engine optimization”.
They also help Google to understand the subject matter, as it is able to understand the semantics of words and, in this case, they all refer to the same theme.
So, if several sites use “SEO” or other related terms as anchor text, Google indexes that page for these keywords and it appears for users’ searches linked to those terms.
This logic applies both to backlinks received externally and to links created internally, since these two strategies help to position a page.
Of course, there are many other factors that influence indexing and ranking, but the anchor text is an important element that must be considered.
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When Google started to consider anchor texts as a ranking factor, it was very easy to position sites for a particular keyword.
Just create links in bulk, internally and externally, using exactly the desired term in the anchor text, and so you would be well positioned in the search.
However, this generated a bad user experience, and Google had to revise its criteria for that factor.
Then, the Penguin update in 2012 transformed the link building scene. Sites that built links artificially and without quality started to be penalized.
After this update, the algorithm started to analyze the profile of the links created for a page as a way to track manipulation attempts.
Today, if there is a excessive links with exact anchor text (that is, all with the same keyword that you want to rank for), this can be a sign of spam.
The idea is that the sites should be referenced naturally, due to their content, not through black hat practices.
And if you receive links naturally, it is also natural that the terms of the anchor text vary. Therefore, you need to understand how to use keywords, avoiding excessive repetition, so as not to be penalized by Google.
Let’s follow the post for you to better understand how to use them!
Anchor text types
In order not to always use the same keyword in the anchor text, it is interesting that you explore different variations. This way, you not only prevent the algorithm from interpreting this as spam, but also offer more grounding for Google to understand your page.
There are several types of anchor text that can be used. Check out:
Ex .: Know everything about SEO
It is the exact use of the keyword that you want to rank for, which tells Google exactly what the landing page is about. In the example above, we want to position it for the term SEO, so it – and only it – is being used in the anchor text.
The only caveat is when the exact term is used in excess. When a page receives many exact match links, this can trigger an alert in the search engine about a possible manipulation attempt.
Ex .: Learn all about SEO techniques
To avoid single use of exact match, you can use partial. In this case, the anchor text includes the keyword along with other terms that also inform the subject of the page to Google. Thus, the link becomes more natural.
Ex .: Learn all about search engine optimization (SEO) techniques
This is also a type of partial match. The difference is that the anchor text gets longer with the use of more terms.
Thus, the landing page gains strength in positioning for more specific searches.
Imagine that someone searches on Google for the terms in the example above. They are much more specific than just “SEO” and therefore less popular as well.
Just don’t overdo the length – think of words that people would actually use to search the search engine.
Ex .: Learn all about website optimization
Another way to evade exact match is to use keyword synonyms.
In this way, the anchor text adds semantic value and helps the search engine to be more precise about the subject of the page.
This is especially useful when the anchor text uses ambiguous terms. For example, the word “memory” can refer to different themes. But if the intention is to talk about computers, the use of the synonym “RAM” helps Google to understand its semantic field.
Ex .: Know everything about SEO: click here
Expressions like “click here”, “learn more”, “see more” etc. are classified as generic anchor texts. After all, they can be used for any type of link.
The problem is that these terms do not add any semantic value to the anchor text and, therefore, should be avoided.
Imagine, for example, that someone types “click here” on Google. Certainly that page linked in the example would not appear in the results.
Ex .: Learn all about SEO in Content Marketing
It is the use of the brand name (or website or blog) as anchor text. This type is widely used in natural external references, so it is hardly considered spam.
However, it does not offer much information to Google on the subject of content.
Brand with keyword
Ex .: Learn all about SEO in Content Marketing
The use of the brand, blog or website in the anchor text, next to the keyword, is more relevant information for the searcher and helps to position the brand as a reference for that term.
Ex .: Learn all about SEO at www.marketingdeconteudo.com/o-que-e-seo/
This type of anchor text uses the landing page URL itself. If you use this option, be sure to use a friendly URL that is easily understood by Google.
Links don’t have to be created just in text; images can also reference other pages.
In this case, Google reads the “alt” tag as anchor text. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of filling this tag to optimize your images.
Tips for optimizing anchor text
Now that you know the types of anchor text, let’s see some tips to optimize your use in favor of positioning your pages in Google results.
Use the different types
The most obvious is to use exact match to show Google, objectively, what your keyword is.
However, as we said, this practice can be interpreted as spam when used in excess. So, use the different variations that we mentioned earlier.
For each page, you can create a list of anchor texts, with synonyms, related words and several other possible combinations. Thus, the terms vary and convey naturalness to the searcher.
Always think about the user
SEO professionals know the importance of anchor text for ranking.
However, some are so focused on this optimization for search engine robots, that they end up harming the user experience with an artificial use of keywords.
There is a rule that applies to the entire SEO strategy: think of the user first. If he has a good reading experience, Google will know how to recognize.
So, use anchor texts naturally, making reading enjoyable and exploring the different types we mentioned earlier.
Use in relevant contexts
The more relevant the content of the page is in relation to the anchor text, the better its positioning.
For example, if your term is “SEO tips”, the anchor text will have more strength for Google in a post about SEO than in the footer of any website.
The logic is simple: if a text specialized in SEO creates a link to your website, it means that you are a reference in that subject. So, ideally, the anchor text should be as close as possible to the context of the page.
This is especially true for your link building strategy and guest posts (as we will see later). You should focus on getting backlinks from relevant sites in your niche, not asking for quotes on random pages. Quantity counts but quality counts much more.
Pay attention to guest posts
You will not always have control over incoming backlinks. One of the cases in which we know which website and how the link will be created is the guest post – a situation in which you are invited to write on another blog as an expert.
Take advantage that you have mastery over this publication and create a smart link to your blog.
If you have good relationships, your pages can be referenced – with good anchor texts – by authorities in your area, for which Google places great value.
However, as link building practices are always in the searcher’s eye, it is recommended not to use exact correspondence in guest posts, as it may indicate an artificial link. When in doubt, prevent him from distrusting your site.
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