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Does Backlink Anchor Text Matter to Search Rankings?



When dealing with websites and pages, you probably know what anchor text is. Simply put, it is the clickable text found in a hyperlink. Search Engine Optimization specialists understand that the best practice is to make sure the anchor text is entirely relevant to the site or page you will link to. In short, you should refrain from using generic words, which was once the norm in the early 2000s.

Anchor text can easily be distinguishable even if you are new to SEO. The web standard uses an underlined word or phrase with a blue color. Of course, the color can be changed and even the underlining, which is possible when you modify the HTML code.

There are many types of anchor texts, including the ones used in backlinking. Whichever anchor text you have, it is essential to take a look at the keywords because they are among the signals that search engines utilize to learn about the topic on a particular webpage.

Good vs. Bad Anchor Text

Many years back, many sites use generic anchor texts such as “Click here!” It used to be acceptable, but Google has modified the rules and became a little tighter when it comes to ranking pages. Today, a good anchor text demands that it should be related to the other page. It should also be descriptive and at the same time, succinct.

The anchor text is the link title or label, and the words you use will help determine how the page will rank in Google and other search engines. In this case, the text you utilize is important, mainly if you care about increasing the ranking of your page or site in the search page results.

Understanding a Backlink Anchor Text

A backlink comes from another site, and the anchor text used here is one utilized by other sites to link to your page. The text of the backlink is crucial because it helps the search engine figure out the most relevant keywords that an individual page should rank for.

A backlink can be one-way, which means that one site links to another but this other site does not link back to the first site. One-way backlinks and their anchor texts are sought out because the ranking of the specific page flows from one domain to the other. SEO specialists believe that if there are several one-way anchor text backlinks in a website or page from another site that has a high ranking on PageRank, it will help the other site to rank higher on search engines.

When a site links to yours, it is inevitable that you will have some lousy anchor texts that do not identify your page’s topic. The good news is that Google does not frown upon this natural occurrence.

On the flip side though, if your site shows excessive anchor text usage, a high number of one-way anchor text backlinks that appear to be targeted, and there is lack of naked URLs, search engines will find this unnatural. It is possible that you will get penalized because Google thinks you are manipulating the anchor text to compromise user experience.

The Best Practices for Backlink Anchor Texts

SEO specialists agree that the unbeatable way to get text links to your website is to create good content. The best links are organic links, which will come naturally and help your site rank if you have relevant and helpful topics on your site. According to anchor text distribution research by SEO Jet, more than 60% of backlink anchor text on high-ranking sites consisted of natural mentions such as homepages, urls, and brands.

No matter what type of anchor text you have, it should possess the following qualities:

  • Has low keyword density: Google began looking at keywords found in the anchor text. Some sites abuse the anchor text by using the same wording for their backlinks. Unfortunately, this practice is something that search engines do not like because it can be a sign that the links were not naturally acquired. While it does help to use keywords in the anchor text, it makes sense to strive for a variety of phrases instead of using the same ones over and over.
  • Not generic: Avoid using “Click me” or any generic anchor text since they will not help you get more visitors or clicks to the targeted page.
  • Concise: There is no specific length for anchor texts, but it is a good practice to keep it as succinct as possible. The important thing is that the anchor text includes the most accurate way of describing the page you are linking to and the words should encourage the readers to click on the link.
  • Connected to the page you are linking to: Target page relevance to the anchor text is one of the top metrics that search engines use to determine the rankings for specific sites. It means that website A should be related to website B concerning the topic being linked to on the second site. If the link is highly relevant, it can improve the possibility of both pages to rank high on queries or searches related to the subject.

The Power of Backlink Anchor Text

It should not come as a surprise that the anchor text you use for backlinks can influence your search rankings. In fact, you do not even have to mention the keyword or key phrase on a specific web page, including in the header. It is possible that with the help of your backlink anchor text, you can get a spot at the first page rankings.

Link building is an integral part of Search Engine Optimization, which is why several small and even huge companies invest on good links. In the real world, if you have a lot of links, they can help your website rank for your favorite keywords.

While Google does not entirely conclude the position of websites based on their anchor text alone, it is still one of the prime factors that the search engine looks at. The system though still works just like how it used to before, and the best way to reach the potential of backlink anchor text is to vary these texts. Additionally, it also helps that the words or phrases are relevant to the topic and the website.



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