When you code a link to another blog or website, the link anchor text is the name or description that you give to the link. The anchor text is the word or words that people click on to take them to where the link leads. These visuals show a sample link code and how the anchor text would look in to your readers.
<a href=“http://[URL goes here]”>Link Anchor Text</a >
would look like this to readers:
Link Anchor Text
Some people use the name of the site or blog as anchor text. Some use words such as here or click here instead.
Search Engines Care about Anchor Text
It’s good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to anchor your links with strong descriptive text. Strong anchor text is a sign of a blogger who knows best practices, who understands how search engines travel links, and who cares about readers. Aaron Wall, who wrote the book on SEO, recommends avoiding click here anchor text, except in the rare case when it can’t be avoided.
Search engines pay attention to what you write in your anchor text. Spiders use anchor text as they follow links. The anchor is an opportunity to show how your post relates to the information you have linked to. It’s a way underscore to the relevancy of what you have been saying. Take the time to be descriptive when choosing text to anchor your links.
It’s also good be inconsistent when you name multiple links to the same source.
Search Engines Like Human Links
Search engines know that humans aren’t consistent, and they don’t like to reward paid for manufactured links. So they use consistency one of many tests that a link was made by a human links and didn’t come from a link farm. See the anchor text I used to link my blog Letting me be . . . random wondering and philosophy in the sidebar as an example. As I travel the blogosphere, I’ve seen my same blog linked to as Liz, ME Strauss, Letting me be, LMB, and Miz Liz. Those are all human links. A machine would never change the original title.
People Care about Anchor Text
Readers care about anchor text too. People use anchor text to know where we’re sending them. I know I like more information than a sentence that says the equivalent of Look here. A little descriptive anchor text is worth the trouble to win the confidence of readers. Adding an alternative title that makes links accessible to all readers is also easy and a strong brand builder.
These little time investments could be just the nudge we need to stop and consider whether the link we’re planning is worth the investment of making it. The Checklist for Linking to Quality Blogs is a great test for making sure the link will add value and serve your readers.
There I go again talking about readers. In the end everything comes down readers, doesn’t it?
Brand you and me.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
If you’d like Liz’s help with your business, click on the Work with Liz!! page in the sidebar.