Backlinks are an important part of determining the trustworthiness and authority of a web page. When one website links to an external website, a backlink is created. This backlink is essentially one website telling another, “Hey I trust you and I want to share your content with my followers.” Search engines place great value on backlinks. The more credible backlinks you have, the more trustworthy search engines like Google find your content to be. If numerous credible sources find your information useful, there is a higher likelihood that other users will as well.
Good Backlinks vs Bad Backlinks
Not all backlinks are created equally. It is important that most of your backlinks come from credible, trustworthy sources. Backlinks from sites that contain spam, adult material, or have tried to game the Google algorithm will hurt your SERP rankings. Creating and obtaining high-quality backlinks is an important component of establishing a good reputation and achieving greater page authority. An SEO specialist can help you develop a backlink profile and help you figure out why you may be getting lower quality backlinks.
What is anchor text?
In order to create a backlink, anchor text must be utilized to direct users to the external webpage. Anchor text is the actual text you click on that directs you to another site. On most web pages, the anchor text will be blue and underlined like this.
Anchor text applies to both internal and external links. While you can’t control the anchor text that links back to your content, you do have control over the text you use to link to other external websites or your own.
The type of anchor text you use is important
Linking to another page is not as simple as inserting a keyword and attaching a link. There are a few different types of anchor text that can be used to direct browsers to another page. Let’s take a look at the different options you have.
Exact match: Exact match anchor text is an exact match to the primary keyword on the destination page. “Deep dish pizza” is an example of exact match anchor text.
Partial match: Partial match anchor text includes the primary keyword but also includes other words. For example, “Chicago’s best deep dish pizza.”
Branded: Branded anchor text has nothing to do with the destination page’s primary keyword and is simply the company’s name, e.g. Papa John’s.
Image: Image anchor text is a direct link from an image to another page. Because there are no words to reference, search engines will utilize the image’s alt text.
Naked URL: A naked URL has no anchor. The clickable link is simply the URL itself.
Generic: Generic anchor text does not contain any keyword text. Examples include, “click here” and “visit this page.”
So is the way you use it
It may seem like the best way to increase your page ranking would be to utilize exact match keywords. While this may have been the case in the past, doing so too often can actually hurt your SEO. The goal is for your content to come across as natural as possible. Search engines place a great amount of value on user ease of experience. If your content is littered with too many exact match keywords, the search engine will view you as spammy, which will hurt both you and the page you are linking to.
The best way to maintain a cohesive user experience is to diversify your keywords. Using a variety of types of anchor text will lend to a more natural flow and better user experience. Remember, when you are creating anchor text it needs to be aligned with the page that you are pointing to and not the one that you are on.
Why anchor text matters
Search engines analyze anchor text to determine the content of the outgoing link, its relevance, and authority. A relevant backlink helps increase the authority of a web page, but misleading or inaccurate anchor text can lead search engines to place less value on these links. Remember, whatever anchor text you use will be associated with the accompanying link and will influence whether search engines find the content relevant.
Backlinks are an important, yet often misunderstood component of your online platform. It’s never too late to work on your backlinks and anchor text. Contact SocialSEO today to learn how we can help you manage your backlinks profile.