What Is Anchor Text?

anchor

By this stage, if you’ve been reading our blog at least, and definitely if you’re aware of the world of search engine marketing and its basics, you’ll be aware that link building is important.

Not just this, and something not a lot of people are aware of, is that the words you choose to be the anchor to the links are also incredibly important. 

Words you place links on top of are named anchor text and are a factor that Google’s algorithms pay a lot of attention to. So, if you’ve ever clicked on a link in your life, or indeed inputted a link to something, this is something you need to pay attention to, too!

Decades ago, you could cheat Google, and keyword stuff anchor text to trick the algorithm. But, now – the algorithm is too clever, and not only notices if you use anchor text poorly but can reward you if you use it correctly and in a clever way.

As with everything, the technicalities behind it are in-depth and complicated, but if you understand the basics, you’ll stand in good stead.

If you do what bad SEOs used to do, and keyword stuff and try to cheat Google, you’ll get penalised. Alternatively, if after reading this article you understand the importance of anchor text and how to use it right and begin to implement it, you will be rewarded by Google.

So, what is anchor text? 

An ‘anchor’ in the text is the word or phrase that you click (or tap) on to travel from one destination on the web to another.

Anchor text is quite literally named anchor text because the clickable piece of text is what ties and anchors the two web destinations to each other.

Let’s look at an example of anchor text…

Embryo Digital is a Manchester-based SEO agency, that also specialises in PPC, digital PR, content marketing, social media marketing, web development and web design.

The anchor text in the above sentence are as follows:

  • ‘Embryo Digital is a Manchester-based SEO agency’
  • ‘PPC’
  • ‘Digital PR’
  • ‘content marketing’
  • ‘social media marketing’
  • ‘web development’
  • ‘web design’

Why is anchor text important?

There are many reasons why anchor text is important to understand and implement correctly, but the main two are:

  1. Anchor text allows Google to understand what your written content is about and what it is giving to the user reading it. Through understanding the anchor text, Google can understand what you are linking to. Then, Google can see if you are using bad practices and linking to spammy websites, or whether you are linking to relevant, useful content that benefits the reader. If you are doing that, your content will be rewarded.
  2. Anchor text allows users to understand what they are clicking on, before clicking the link. Anchor text must be relevant to the link it is holding, otherwise not only will Google think you are engaging in bad practices, but it will understand you are not doing what is right for the user. 

What does anchor text really look like?

The text example in the previous paragraph displays what the user sees. But, for those experienced marketers that are looking for a little more knowledge, what does anchor text look like behind the screen?

Anchor text in HTML looks like this:

<a href=”https://www.embryodigital.co.uk/”>Embryo Digital</a>

The ‘Embryo Digital’ text is the anchor, to the link before it.

You have no excuse not to do this right, now

After understanding what anchor text is, and the negatives of doing it wrong and the positives of doing it right, I am sure that you will keep in mind anchor text and what it can do for you and your SEO when placing links into text going forward!

I hope, at least…