What is Anchor Text? And Why is it so bleeping Important?

By: John Elder posted in SEO

Hello good people!

Anchor text…. oh anchor text… how we love you seo…uh, I mean so…

One of the most important core functions of SEO that you must master to drive thousands of targeted visitors to your web site is the proper use of anchor text.

What is anchor text?

Wikipedia defines it as:

The anchor text, link label or link title is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. The words contained in the anchor text can determine the ranking that the page will receive by search engines.

Pretty straight forward right? Here’s an example. Look at this link:

<a href=”http://www.MarketingFool.com”>Search Engine Optimization Articles</a>

It’s a perfectly normal link. What is the anchor text of that link?

It’s Search Engine Optimization Articles

Simple right? Yep. It’s just the text of the link.

So why do we care? Because one of the most important parts of the major search engines’ algorithms (especially Google’s) relies on linking and anchor text in order to determine how important a web site is and how to categorize it.

I’m talking about Pagerank, and while Google seems to be scaling back pagerank, it’s still an important aspect of ranking.

Here’s how it works. You want as many other web sites to link to you as possible. BUT, you want them to link to you using the proper anchor text.

If Google see’s 20,000 web sits linking to your site, and each of them uses the phrase “Gardening Tools” as the anchor text, then Google will decide that your web site must be about Gardening Tools. And it doesn’t really matter that your site is really about cat pornography, in Google’s eyes, you’re now all about Gardening Tools.

SEO is pretty simple. To get tons of traffic you need to do three things.

  1. Do keyword research to find keywords that aren’t very competitive, but get searched for often at the search engines (I use the Micro Niche Keyword Finder Tool for this).
  2. Optimize a web page on your web site with each of those keywords you choose from step one, using the exact keyword as your page title, in your meta description tag, and in the copy of the page.
  3. Get lots of other web sites to link to each of those pages with that exact keyword in the anchor text of the link they give you.

That’s really all there is to it. Now you can go into greater detail with each of those steps, and that’s where a good SEO expert differentiates him or herself…but for the most part, it’s all about those three steps….which is why anchor text is so important. It’s the anchor of the whole SEO industry. Ok, that was cheezy. But you get the idea.

So when you leave comments on other blogs, or on online forums, or where ever you crank up link juice, never leave a link that looks like this:

<a href=”http://www.MarketingFool.com”>Visit My Site!</a>


<a href=”http://www.MarketingFool.com”>MarketingFool.com</a>

Because you’re just throwing away all that great anchor text link juice. Instead always use your keywords as anchor text.

Comment on this article below…

-John Elder
The Marketing Fool!

John Elder is an Entrepreneur, Web Developer, and Writer with over 21 years experience creating & running some of the most interesting websites on the Internet. Contact him here.

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