Link Anchor Text and
Search Engine Optimization
For quite some time, it has
been a well known fact that in order to rank well with the search
engines, a page must have a large number of inbound links (link
popularity). However, a not so well known fact is that the wording of
those links (the link anchor text) is also very important. In fact,
there are strong indications that search engines are nowadays paying a
great deal of attention to the anchor text of the links pointing to your
To give you an example of how important link anchor text is, let's
suppose that you run a web design site, and that you want it to rank
very high with the search engines for the search term "web design". If
you had 100 links pointing to your homepage, and the anchor text of all
of them said "click here", they wouldn't tell the search engines a whole
lot about your site. The search engines will therefore have trouble
knowing that your site is about web design (they will have to try other
ways to find out, like crawling the text of your page), and most likely
won't assign your page a good position in the search results pages.
However, if instead of "click here", the anchor text on those links said
"web design", the search engines would easily conclude that your site is
an authority on web design, and will give your site a high ranking.
Another proof that search engines pay a lot of attention to the link
anchor text is the fact that most companies rank very high when the
search term is their company name (a company's name is normally the most
popular anchor text used to link to its website).
That is why you must take every opportunity to influence the anchor text
used to link to your pages. Your anchor text should always include your
preferred keywords (the words you think most people will type in the
search engine's search box to look for your page). While you won't be
able to influence the anchor text used by people who spontaneously link
to you, there are other instances in which you do have control, for
example, when you list your site in directories.
You can also control the anchor text used by your
. The best way to make sure they will use
the right anchor text, is by providing them not only with your URL and
your site name, but with the exact HTML code you want them to use to
link to you, including, of course, your preferred link anchor text.
(Tip: if your company name doesn't include your keywords but you still
want to use mention it in your anchor text, do so within a phrase that
contains your keywords).
To emphasize how important link anchor text is, consider this example: a
group of bloggers who are not too fond of President Bush, started
linking to his biography page by using the link text "miserable
failure", to the point that Bush's biography was listed in the number
one spot in Google's SERPs for that keyphrase. You can read BBC's
article on the subject:
|About The Author
Mario Sanchez is a Miami based
freelance writer who focuses on Internet marketing and web design
topics. He publishes The Internet Digest (
), a growing collection of web design and Internet marketing
articles, tips and resources. You can freely reprint his weekly
articles in your website, ezine, or ebook.