An anchor text is a clickable text which points to another URL. Here it is irrelevant whether the target address is within the same or another domain. The term link text or reference text is also often used. Learn more about the application and optimization of link texts.
What is an anchor text for?
Anchor texts are used to give the user a kind of preview of what information can be found on the respective target. For this, there are different aspects, which sense the respective link should make:
- Clear indications for the user (e.g. the 10 best tips for a good SEO text)
- Navigation on important topics
- User guidance through the topics (e.g. current news)
It is important that the link texts are also natural and self-explanatory, because only good texts also help the users. Exactly this principle is also included in the Google guide for search engine optimization:
What are the differences in link texts?
There are 2 different types of link texts:
- internal link texts with the goal within a domain
- external link texts for a foreign URL
In the past, a lot of brand names and so-called money keywords were used - often relatively indiscriminately. This led to the fact that search engines also took measures, which can detect and recognize an unnatural accumulation accordingly. If this is the case, links can also have a negative effect. In addition, trustworthiness is also taken into account when assessing links - the more trustworthy the recommender is, the more trustworthy the target page is assessed.
Are there do's and dont's?
Always make sure that your links are natural. Search engines are now very good at detecting unnatural or purchased links. Pay attention to the following points:
- Sparing use of money keywords
- Meaningful user navigation
- Healthy ratio of brand name and domain name
- Be sure to follow Google's rules for sponsored content or purchased links
What should I look for in external links?
Inbound and outbound external link texts are important parts of a SEO work. Here you can compare a link text with daily life. A link is like a recommendation - the better, the more valuable. Check your inbound and outbound anchor texts for the following points:
- Context & Context - referring and target page should match thematically
- Important keywords always as far as possible in the front of the text
- Direct links are more valuable than redirects
- Backlinks must lead to traffic pages - otherwise they could be evaluated negatively
- Rather only one link per page / contribution - less is more!
- Use higher traffic keywords instead of meaningless
- Check your inbound linkswhether these also refer correctly and which link texts are deposited in each case.
Possibly contact external page operators, so that you can possibly improve the link structure here. Likewise, you can evaluate your competitors to see if any broken links are present (so-called broken links) - every now and then a positive side effect results here.
What should I look for in my internal links?
For the internal links, basically everything that applies to the external links also applies (although there are a couple of deviations). Please note the following tips:
- Linking are thematically related topics
- Use keywords and avoid brand and domain links
- Make sure that each referral page passes value to the target page
- Also make sure the structure is clear and as flat as possible
- Avoid phrases like "here", "read more", etc. - rather clearly define the link and the expected information (e.g. instead of "read more" rather "more about our monthly offer")
Can I influence my links as well?
There are use cases where a link is useful - but you want to avoid that search engines follow this recommendation. Therefore, you can set link with "nofollow" or mark it. If the link is not defined, it means that the search engine will mark it as "do-follow"considered.
This marking makes a big difference for search engines - however, they are often also considered as hints instead of instructions. Since in practice there are also "paid" or "sponsored links", so these can also be marked accordingly:
- Sponsored - here you deliberately tell Google that there is an agreement between the referring page and the target page
- User generated content (UGC) - here Google is told that the entire content of the respective page was placed by users (e.g. in forums)
Do anchor texts affect my SEO?
Yes. There are 2 important reasons for this:
1.) Good anchor texts help users - this improves user satisfaction. The better the user satisfaction, the better your website will be rated by search engines.
2.) Each better the anchor texts are, the better the Target page understood become. This is now very important, because Google & Co. now understands a lot in the field of linguistics and can interprieren. It is no longer about keywords - it is about the fact that users have needs or are looking for solutions. Every user has a reason why he uses Google etc..