What Is An Anchor Text In SEO - Insight From Semalt
The use of the anchor is a controversial subject in the field of SEO. Indeed, not all webmasters share the same opinion on the use of the anchor texts. Some believe that it hurts the promotion, while others, on the contrary, argue that the anchors help to optimize the page.
Therefore, it is crucial to have a clear point of view on the subject in order to be able to use the anchors effectively. In this article, we will focus on the subject by explaining point by point the role of the anchor in SEO.
Now, let's figure out what is an anchor text, and whether it's worth using it?
What is an anchor text?
An anchor is a specific location on a page. And you go to it, by using a bookmark: a hash link. The bookmark contains the "#" symbol, a hash. Hence the name, anchor text: text containing anchors and links.
Anchors are always paired with bookmarks. By clicking on the anchored link, a user gets to the right place on the page associated with the link.
Why are the anchors needed?
The anchors are used to facilitate navigation on a content-heavy page. Most often, an anchor text is used to create a table of contents. Instead of searching for the required section, a user just needs to follow the link: the browser will scroll the page on its own.
The anchors make it easier to navigate between pages and even cross-domains. By default, any page opens at the very beginning. If you need to send readers to another part of the page or to another site, it turns to a similar code for help. In this case, the bookmarks and the anchors are not on the same page, but on different ones.
An anchor text is often used on landing pages (one-page sites). In this case, it is assigned the role of elements of the main menu. Only instead of being redirected to other pages, hash links redirect the visitors to the subsections of the same document.
How do the search engines relate to an anchor text?
There are two reasons why some webmasters are skeptical about anchors. In their opinion:
- Anchors can mislead the search bots;
- Anchors are like circular links and hint at duplicate content.
Anchors, cyclic links and duplicate content
A link to the same page is called a cyclic link. For example: a link <ahref="http://site.ru">located in a document at http://site.ru leads to a loop. Users clicking on it are essentially refreshing the page. The bots that index the site, in this case, go in a circle.
Google or other search engines do not punish much for this, but some of the rating is lost.
An anchor text (for example, a table of contents) is a list of identical links that look like circular ones. Consecutive links differ only in the identifier following the hash.
- <a href=" http://site.ru#1">
- <a href=" http://site.ru#2">
- <a href=" http://site.ru#3">
It may seem that the search engines will not be delighted with this. The question arises: in addition to the looping, can there also be different links leading to the same page? And as a consequence, is it possible to index the same content under the different URLs?
In fact, the search engines are well aware of the role of the anchors. The robots perceive only the first link in the document as a link and do not take into account all other similar ones. In addition, the presence of a hash is a sign of a structured document. Therefore, both problems are far-fetched: the anchor text does not entail any sanctions.
Anchor text function
It's time to know the effect of anchors on the search engines. For the search engines, one of the functions of an anchor text is to have a guiding effect. A reasonable distribution of the anchor text in the site will enable the search engines' spiders to crawl the website's directory more quickly. This is similar to the breadcrumb navigation we often say, and it is also a kind of the search engines' friendliness.
On the other hand, a reasonable site anchor text orientation will enable engines to more accurately understand the information to be described in the content of the article, and thereby to increase the ranking of the long-tail keywords and the weight of the site. The anchor text of external links will also give a site a high critical weight.
Increase user experience
When the user browses a certain page, the content of the article may not be very useful to the user. At this time, the anchor text plays a guiding role. Through the anchor text, the users will often find themselves faster and more accurately required information.
So, for the sites that do not have an anchor text, when the users do not find what they need, their common action is to close the page. And that also helps to verify the effect of in-site anchor text on the users' experiences.
Used to analyze the opponent's optimization strategy
To put it simply, we can optimize the focus of competitors by a text description of the anchor text links and anchor text of the guide (in fact competitors do keyword ranking). It can be analyzed by drawing a link guide map on the site!
Characteristics of the anchors
It is very important to know the characteristics of the anchors. This is what we will discover at this stage of our article.
Inner-link anchor text
The inner-link anchor text promotes the inclusion of web pages. If the website only includes the homepage and does not release the content page, you should think deeply about the anchor text link.
For example, on this website, most of the articles' pages contain the anchor text links for the main keywords such as SEO, network marketing, etc., which are automatically indexed throughout the site. In addition, each article points to a related article on the website through the anchor text. The area where the anchor text is located is not limited to the bottom and sidebar of the website.
The anchor text interspersed in the middle of the article is exported with the higher weight. Allow the spider to fully index the content page during the crawling process.
Inner chain anchor
Inner chain anchor text improves the user experience. Do not only consider issues from the perspective of SEO when you are building a website. Have you found that many websites do not consider optimization very much, but can have good rankings!
The same is true for the anchor text construction of the website's internal links. In the process of describing the content of the webpage, adding an anchor text to the places that natives are interested or doubtful can not only greatly increase the number of the website PVs and win users, but also add a bright spot for Baidu's weight rating.
Internal link anchor text
The internal link anchor text is a magic weapon to increase a website's weight. The calculation of the website Baidu's weight is directly related to the number and the quality of the external links, which is beyond doubt.
For a single web page, the inner link anchor text is undoubtedly a powerful tool for weight division, and the page content is linked to each other to form a web. The external links of the article pages are not brought by other domains names, but by other pages on the website. You can achieve unexpected results by optimizing the long-tail keywords through the internal link anchor text.
Off-site anchor text
In the site ranking optimization work, off-site anchor text optimization is more important than on-site optimization. In the case of not doing on-site optimization, but only doing off-site optimization, the website ranking can still achieve good results; otherwise, the optimization is relatively more difficult.
An SEO professional spends most of his/her daily work time in the external optimization of the website. Here are a few things to note briefly:
In the process of making the external anchor text of the website, the core keyword anchor text should be diversified.
How to diversify? For example, when we exchange links with friends, we can do: Semalt website optimization, Semalt optimization website, Semalt optimization, etc. Pay special attention to the dilution of the keywords.
The existence of both anchor text and URL text is a common practice for the websites, because, under normal circumstances, the external links to a website cannot be the anchor text, but should naturally distribute the anchor text and URL exposure.
- Growth rate
How to control the growth rate of an anchor text? It is not advisable to keep making the anchor text of the next keyword before the previous keyword ranks up.
The above items that we should pay attention to in the work of the anchor text construction are the summaries of our years of work experience, and all our tangible contents.
The anchor text links are actually hyperlinks. There is a bridge between the text keywords and the links. In a hyperlink, it can be a keyword or a sentence. Its role is to guide the user where the mouse click will point to. An anchor text is a very important factor that affects a website keyword ranking.
Since we need to improve the ranking of the keywords by optimizing the anchor text, the choice of the keywords is very important. The anchor text must use the keywords that are directly related to the linked webpage, and usually the descriptive keywords with a large search volume. Also, we have to avoid using meaningless words such as "more or click here".
The length of the anchor text must be as short as possible. And the use of a sentence or a paragraph as the anchor text should be avoided. The anchor text including 1-2 keywords is the best, and the longest should not exceed 60 characters.
Although in order to improve the ranking of the keywords, we need to deploy as many links as possible for certain keywords, but we must also avoid over-optimization. This includes avoiding all the anchor texts using exactly the same keywords, such as SEO forums. Try to avoid using "SEO Forum" for all the anchor texts, but mix and use brand words such as "SEO Learning Network". At the same time, the websites of the link's sources should be as diverse as possible, rather than a large number of links coming from several websites.
When you are linking to a company website, the anchor text usually used is usually in the form of "some company website", such as "Apple Computer Official Website". But try to add related traffic words after the brand name, such as "Apple Computer".
What else you need to know
The anchor text optimization is not only for the external links. The internal links of the website also need to be optimized according to similar principles and try to use an anchor text that contains the keywords. But when you are optimizing the anchor text of the internal links, it is necessary to avoid excessive optimization.
For example: usually, the anchor text of the internal link that points to the homepage is "Home" or "Homepage".
If you deliberately change all "Homepage" to "SEO Forum" and other words, it will not affect the ranking of the word "SEO Forum". In some cases, it affects the user experience and has a counterproductive effect on the ranking.
When you are linking to the images on a website, you should pay more attention to the description of the image's content as much as possible in the anchor text. Because the search engines cannot still read well the image content, the image search of the search engines will obtain certain image content by analyzing the anchor text Information, so a good anchor text application can improve the ranking of a website's images in the image search.
It is necessary to conduct a regular anchor text monitoring on the website to ensure that the anchor text of the internal and external links of the website is within the ideal range. If the anchor text distribution is found to be poor, timely optimization and improvement should be carried out. The anchor text monitoring can be through some SEO software, or you can view the main anchor text of the website through Google's administrator tool.
Some SEO software or websites can be used to monitor the anchor text of competitors and improve the anchor text strategy of your own websites accordingly.
The positive impact of an anchor text on SEO
The anchors do not only affect negatively the optimization, but also affect the promotion positively. And that is not directly related to SEO. The search engines simply do not take the anchors into account. But the anchors serve as additional hooks for readers to fall on and to click on it.
In addition, the anchors greatly simplify the navigation document. This improves behavioral factors. And PF is one of the most important criteria that the search engines are guided to determine the moment to rank.
Search engines watch over ordinary controls in the anchors. Therefore, there are no restrictions on the number of anchors from the SEO point of view. The main constraints are common sense and usability. The elements should facilitate the search and perception of information, and not sidetrack the reader.
The anchors are useful tools. However, you need to use it wisely. Because the anchors are not relevant everywhere: only where there is a need for additional navigation.
The rule is simple: if the anchors make life easier for the users on the site, the text should be "anchored". In other cases, it will be useless.