Anchor Text Tips That Rocket Your Rankings

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Google/Yahoo bombing is the practice of placing terms you want a given page to rank for in anchor text that links to that page. Huh? Ok, here’s an example: if I wanted this page to rank highly for the term “President of the Internet” I’d create a link like this: President of the Internet and have all my friends and friendly readers post that link and text on their sites.

Discuss anchor text optimization in WebProWorld.

Ah hoy! Dropping Anchor on your website...
Ah hoy! Dropping Anchor on your website…

With enough pages carrying that same text and link I’d knock the current president from his perch. (He’s also governing in Yahoo, by the way…)

Google bombing is also effective on pages that don’t want to rank for certain terms – Miserable Failure is one example.

The ability to manipulate search results this way indicates the weight that the two most searched engines give to the text webpages use to link to other web pages.

Matt Bailey of The Karcher Group believes search engines attribute this value to the anchor text because it, “is very important to the user; it should describe the content of the target page and the subject matter.”

Joe Griffin of SubmitAWebSite described the way text link works this way: “by identifying your pages through relevant keyword links you are “telling” the search engine which keywords the linked pages represent. The rule applies for both internal and external anchor text.”

“Proper use of anchor text,” said Joe, “can help you show the relevancy of your web pages to key search engines to help rank for desired keywords.”

I wrote to Joe, Matt, and two other SEO experts recently and asked them about their thoughts on anchor text and anchor text best practices.

“Anchor text is extremely important to rankings, especially in Google. I’ve seen some evidence in Yahoo, but not to the extent that Google rankings can be influenced,” said Matt. Jim Hedger of Stepforth said, “I believe in the value of anchor text.”

Anchor Text Best Practices

Matt’s anchor text best practices include excellent general guidelines for you to follow:

1. Do what’s best for the user.
2. Make it easily understood by the user.
3. Don’t try to hide your intentions.
4. Be honest about the anchor text. What it says is what you should get.

Jim’s anchor text best practices offer some specific advice that will help you make anchor text decisions on your site:

Use Judiciously
1/ Navigation maps (the text-links at the bottom of each page) Nav Maps are a great place to put keyword enriched anchor text. These text-links tend to be found at the bottom of each page in a site. An important note is that these links WILL be used by site visitors and MUST be created and phrased with live-visitors and SE Spiders in mind.

2/ Links on the INDEX page
The INDEX page of a site is the most powerful real estate found that URL. Again, all work on the INDEX page MUST consider live-visitors before SE Spiders. When keyword-enriching text on the INDEX page, there are often ways to link into internal pages. This is a good thing as it pushes spider traffic while associating the keyword (anchor text) with the specific page
linked to. An important consideration is that the INDEX page often has a higher page rank than internal pages.

3/ Links on Internal Pages
Links on internal pages are not as important to search engine rankings as on the INDEX page. Nevertheless, each internal page is terribly important to the clients and can add to a good internal linking strategy.

4/ External Links
Links coming from other URLs should use effective anchor text. With larger campaigns we can mix and match the keyword phrases targeted through anchor links in order to associate keyword phrases with specific internal pages.

Fathom, a moderator from WebProWorld, offered these six suggestions to those who want their anchor text to work well for them:

1. Important link positioning top left to bottom right. (throwing tons of links at bottom helps little).

2. Exact anchors that best support the content on the link to page It’s great to use tons of links where the anchor text suggest importance to “web design” however if the page is specific to “web development” then the use of “web design” link anchors will be less effective.

3. The use of “broad” has the benefit of aiding “broadly” e.g. using links to a website about “college degrees” where the link indicates “degrees” has the benefit of gaining associate degrees, bachelor degrees, masters degrees, as well as the specific subject matter for the degree itself link computer science degrees.

A link anchor however about “masters degrees” dilutes the value to other degrees e.g. bachelor degrees – so it is a game of tradeoffs.

4. If attempting to do item #3 for “web” to capture “web design”, “website design”, “web development”, “website development”, a text link anchor looks quite inappropriate. Thus the value of image links e.g. <a title=”web” href=””><img alt=”Web” src=”web.gif”></a> where the broad term is less apparent and the image actually reads “web design”.

5. Avoid “stop words” such as and, with, by, from etc.

6. Internal site linking structure has a significant impact of supporting and propagating weight, relevancy, and PageRank to similar topical pages… e.g. Google’s indented secondary results for a specific query helps show this. If you are listed (ranked) with only a single results listing – your internal linking structure is likely the cause, and fixing this can help improve overall results.

Joe of SubmitaWebSite contradicted some of what Fathom said, however. “In terms of anchor text being found on relevant vs. irrelevant sites I have yet to see any substantial proof supporting the claim that relevant websites will yield a better return in the natural rankings.” From a purely pragmatic perspective though, if you’ve got links on a page that’s more relevant to your site you’re more likely to get foot traffic in that way rather than if you’ve got your text links up on unrelated/irrelevant sites.

Well, I imagine you’re ready to start optimizing your text links. Remember to focus on those within your site as well as those your link partners use to mention you. Anchor text is an important way of showing the search engines, as well as your visitors, just what they’re getting when they land on the page. And, for now, it’s a powerful way to raise your ranking for particular terms.

And don’t forget to cast your vote (on all your Page Rank 10 pages) for the new President of the Internet!

Garrett French is the editor of iEntry’s eBusiness channel. You can talk to him directly at WebProWorld, the eBusiness Community Forum.

Anchor Text Tips That Rocket Your Rankings
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  • http://www.affiliatemarketingintro.com abi

    Great entry. I use anchor text links from time to time. It is however worth mentioning two things
    Vary the term you use for your anchor text or you may look spammy
    Not all sites that you can post to allow anchor text links

    Affiliate marketing Introduction

  • http://www.profingers.com Sabin Tandukar

    Great post. Thanks dude. Please post more tips on SEO.

  • Sam

    Fantastic article and well optimized itself. Keep the blogs rolling :)


  • Guest

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  • Guest

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  • Guest


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  • Guest
  • http://www.smoothwebdesign.co.uk Jon

    nice blog man



  • http://www.myworkathomedaddy.com/ thatsme

    Great info for a newbie like myself.  Can’t wait to try it.

  • http://www.eporia.com/ Website Design & Development

    Anchor text can still have a positive affect on SEO, but nothing like it did at the time this was posted.

    • http://www.passwordportal.net Katie

      Thats true, does anyone know the current google calculations as far as anchor text goes on high page rank pages go? For example PR4-6?




  • http://www.feather-trees.com/feather-trees/ Feather Trees

    I’ve heard a lot of poeple talking about how anchor text isn’t that important anymore.  To that I say it is simply not true.  My proof?  Do a standard keyword search in Google.  Then, do the same search but using the "allinanchor:" operator.  The results will be almost identical.

  • http://www.fosterwebmarketing.com Attorney web marketing fan

    Some great tips in this article, bookmarked, thanks!!

  • http://www.goldenchoiceproperties.com/ Golden Choice Properties

    Good post but I’m wondering is it good to use the same keywords in the anchor text or you always have to mix them.I’ve got a real estate web site selling worldwide property and I need to find out first the right way to start with that link building

  • http://marbellapainting.com/ marbella painting

    Another good post I’m keep reading and I hope with that info to improve my painting and decoration web site

  • Rahul

    Awesome Post Sir.Great Info on the topic.This will help me improve my movie reviews blog

    <a href=”http://www.uberreelz.blogspot.com”>UberReelz Movie Reviews</a>


  • http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/ Gwydion

     Good points and an excellent article. Having recently had my site hacked:

    Celtnet Recipes Site

    I’ve had to work very hand in the past month to get the links to that site anchored properly so I score for what the site’s about (free recipes) rather than the male enhancement products that the hack was about. Very frustrating and annoying, but it shows how important link text is and how an attack can effectively destroy a website.

  • http://vncuisine.blogspot.com/ Guest

    this page is great thank you.

  • http://www.newmethod.co.uk Web Design Horsham

    Great article on anchor text and cleared up a few questions I still had on them. Thanks.

  • http://www.valandis.de Valandis

    Great tips mate! I’m gonna use anchor text more often now. More tips would be welcome :)

    Val Web Design
    Joomla! powered Web Design

  • http://www.carmelcarsales.blogspot.com carmelcarsales

    Anchor text is without a doubt the #1 factor in rankings. Its just that most people do not know how to do it.

  • Guest

    Thank you so much for this article! It was helping me a lot in my anchor text campaign for a site about how to tie Thai Wrap Fisherman Pants or translated in to German Wie bindet man eine Thai Fischerman Wickel Hose

  • http://www.mmdogtraining101.com Henry

    I know there are two ways of doing it i.e a hef= and url= but I’m wondering wah tare the other ways of adding anchor text apart from those two?


    Henry from Mm Dog Training 101

  • Guest

    Wonderful information Please keep blogging!!

  • http://www.aboutyourbody.net Guest

    I have just begun using anchor text links to start making one of my client’s sites more effective. He is the inventor of The “Clear” Line, a holistic products.

    did i get it?

  • http://www.liverpoollegal.com Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney

    Very informative, I will be definitely using more anchor texts in the future.

  • http://www.golfrangefinderworld.com bushnell yardage pro xgc

    I was making the cardinal sin with my backlinking especially article marketing where i was not putting in relevant anchor text. I was always linking to my website via “CLICK HERE” dumb i know.

    Really enjoyed reading your article, very well thought out.

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