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  • Text Anchor Links – How Important are They?

    The importance of text anchor links goes back again to the basics of optimization. Used properly, anchor text boosts your search engine rankings. Anchor text is the hyperlinked words on a web page – the words you click on when you click a link. Usually they are blue or purple and underlined to show that they are clickable, and when hovered over the pointer your mouse controls will change to a hand or whatever you have as your clicker icon.

    Anchor text normally gives your visitors useful information about the content of the page you’re linking to. It tells search engines what the page is about. Proper anchor links boost your rankings in search engines, especially in Google. In 2007 Google created a new algorithm which decreased the effect slightly, but this was to decrease ‘Google bombing’, a practice in which people would slam Google with anchor text links to artificially increase rankings, so the new algorithm simply works to discount attempts at bombing. Anchor text is still important.

    If you use “click here” as the words people are going to click on, you’re telling people the page is about the subject “click here”. If you use “Part 2” as the anchor text, your telling the search engines the page is discussing “part 2”. It is important that people know to ‘click here’, but you also want the search engine to gather some information about what the link goes to. You are probably not trying to rank highly for “click here” or “Part 2”.

    When asking other sites to link to your site, it’s a good idea to provide them with the HTML code ready to cut and paste into their page. That way, you choose the anchor text.

    However, if your site is all about doggie hats, you don’t want only “doggie hats” to be used as the phrase in every link to your site. Over-optimizing like that would create an unnatural pattern. The trick to optimization is to have no pattern, but a natural site that links naturally both inbound and outbound, using keywords in an unforced way and not overstuffing or trying to fool the search engines.

    You can use anchor text in: external links which are links from other sites, internal links which are links on your pages, sitemaps and any links on your main page. Humans will read your links as well as search engines, so the words in your anchor text need to make sense!

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