Anchor Text Optimization

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If you have done some serious reading about your website's optimization, you probably would have come across the reference to the phrase “optimization of anchor text”. This article discusses the definition and importance of anchor text and how you can use this powerful website optimization feature to get high ranking in search engines.

What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text is the visible hyperlinked text on the page. Let's take this example:

Please examine our SEO case studies for validation to evaluate our search engine optimization capabilities.

Here the words “SEO Case Studies” and “Search Engine Optimization” are hyper linked to the hidden URLs http://www.seorank.com/seo-casestudies.htm and http://www.seorank.com respectively. The words within the visible links, “SEO Case studies” and “Search Engine Optimization”, are called the anchor text.

In a normally built site, anchor text is usually used to indicate the subject matter of the page that it links to. For example, the text SEO case studies indicates to visitors that they can expect to see content about case studies pertaining to SEO if they visit the link. This pattern of usage has been applied in search engine algorithms to enhance the relevance of the “target” or the “landing page” URL for the keywords appearing within the anchor text.

Anchor Text Enhances the Relevance of the Target Page

Please note that the keywords in anchor text enhance the relevance of the target page pertaining to the keywords used. While the relevance of the page containing the anchor text is also enhanced to some degree (because of relevant keywords appearing on that page), the real gainer is the target page URL. Use this knowledge to build the relevance of each page of your site, through optimized anchor text containing important keywords, relevant to the theme of such pages, from other pages of your site.

Search Engine Algorithms like Anchor Text

The inclusion of important keywords in the anchor text can make a big difference in the final ranking of your site pages. All search engines that matter, give significant weight to the anchor text on your pages. In fact Google even has a special operator: ‘allinanchor:keyword’, which picks up text only from within the anchor text of indexed pages. This further implies that Google’s algorithm is configured to index anchor text as separate queryable data, thereby making it evident, that Google considers it an important pointer to page relevance. Our internal research leads us to believe that weight given to anchor text has been raised recently in the Google algorithm. With these changes, it is possible to enhance your website’s ranking by using the right keywords in anchor text.

It has also been studied that anchor text, whether from external, or internal pages, is important. It should therefore be ensured that significant attention is given to the inclusion of important keywords in your anchor text.

How to Optimize Anchor Text Within Your Site

Anchor text optimization can be deployed throughout your site to enhance the relevance of most of the web pages based on individual page content. You would be surprised, how easy it is, to find suitable instances of hyperlinking structures to make use of optimized anchor text. When linking to internal pages, it is better to hyperlink relevant keywords instead of linking unrelated common words. A common lapse is the hyperlinking of the common words like "here" instead of content related keywords. For example in the sentence:

"Read all about Anchor Text here", the tendency is to link "here" to the anchor text content URL whereas the best way is to link " Anchor Text ".

This is important because you can leverage the hyperlinking of important keyword phrases instead of hyperlinking unrelated text wherever possible. For delivering relevant results, robots are hungry for anchor text so it is always a great idea to hyperlink important keywords to help search engines deliver relevance. Always restructure sentences if keywords don’t fit in anchor text.

Using Keywords in Natural Text to Create Anchor Text

You can also locate (or insert) important keyword phrases in your page’s natural text and link it to relevant target pages of your site. Consider the paragraph below. Notice how the highly relevant keywords ( underlined )can be converted into powerful anchor text. Each keyword phrase links to an important relevant section of the same site.

Search engine optimization is an important part of any search engine marketing initiative. Some people believe that submitting the site to search engines alone is sufficient in getting a top-10 ranking. This is not true. Search engine submission only announces your site's existence to search engines. To get a good search engine ranking, it is important that you carry out title tag optimization, meta tags optimization and anchor text optimization of your website amongst other SEO techniques.

While the above example seems like overkill, this is just to illustrate how you can accommodate your important keyword phrases by carefully rewording the text of your web pages. If you feel that the standard blue underlined hyperlinks appear ugly on your website, then you can re-format its HTML markup code to change color of the text and get rid of the underline without losing the power of the anchor text.

Optimizing Anchor Text of External Links

Keywords within the anchor text are equally useful from links pointing to your website. If you are pursuing or considering a link building campaign, put some serious thought in writing multiple options of the title and description of the link pointing to your website.

The “title” which is usually used as the hyper-linked text, should contain your important keywords. It is good to work with ten different options of title and description as it not only gives you more room to play with several keywords, but it also helps search engines give you a wider keyword coverage.

When soliciting external links, it is better to provide your own “cut and paste” HTML code. Webmasters like it when a ready to paste HTML code is available for them to use, to provide a link to your website.

Consider the following examples:

Website Promotion & Search Engine Optimization
SEO Rank provides Website promotion and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services for small websites to large e-commerce sites requiring Search Engine Optimization & Ranking
http://www.seorank.com/seo-programs.htm

Search Engine Copywriting Tips & Techniques
Search Engine Copywriting services at SEORank - offering Search Engine Copywriting tips and copywriting techniques for creating your Search Engine Friendly copy.
http://www.seorank.com/seo-copywriting-article.htm

Notice how not only each of the title anchor text is optimized to contain important keyword phrases, but also that the description text varies to accommodate more keyword variation. Also, note that each variation has a different landing page URL to boost the relevance of your site’s individual pages depending upon the theme of that page.

Links from external sites help your site to gain relevance for keywords mentioned in the anchor text which boosts your site’s ranking. As the number of such inbound links increase, so will your site’s ranking in SERPs.

Anchor text therefore comes on top of the checklist in your SEO initiatives.

Article last updated: April 02 2004

Related Reading:

Meta Tag Optimization

Title and Meta Description Tag Optimization
(c) Copyright 2004 Jagdeep.S. Pannu, SEORank


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Publication Date: Tuesday 5th October, 2004
Author: Jagdeep. S. Pannu View profile

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