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What Is Link Anchor Text?

SEO / traffic-building questions and answers


What is link anchor text? I've recently began reading a couple of webmaster forums and I keep seeing people refer to "link anchor text". Can you tell me what it is so I won't feel like I'm in the dark?

Submitted by Randy P.

Hello Randy. In a nutshell, link anchor text is the "clickable" part of a text link. For example, consider this link:

<a href="http://www.rlrouse.com">This is the link anchor text for this link</a>

On the page, the link would look like this:

This is the link anchor text for this link

Now, on to what link anchor text means in the context of SEO:

Google uses the link anchor text contained in links pointing to your web pages to help rank your pages for search terms.

For example, if you have a bunch of backlinks (links on other sites pointing to your web page) with a couple of your keywords in the link anchor text, your page will likely be ranked pretty well in Google when someone does a search on those keywords.

Let's say you have 50 backlinks to your page, all with the link anchor text Small Green Widgets. All other things being equal (which they rarely are of course), your site will likely rank very well in the Google search results for small green widgets, as well as in a search for just green widgets.

The problem is, there may be many thousands or even millions of web pages in the Google index about green widgets, which would make green widgets what is known as a "competitive search term".

When you're dealing with competitive search terms, search engine optimization (SEO) becomes critical to getting a good ranking for that term.

Using your keywords in the link anchor text of as many inbound links to your web pages as possible is one of the most effective SEO strategies that you can use. Of course, "keyword rich" link anchor text is even more effective when used in combination with other SEO techniques as well.

When requesting a link exchange with other websites, it is to your advantage to provide the link that you want them to use, including good link anchor text with a keyword or two in it. If possible, provide the exact HTML code for the link!

Otherwise, the other webmaster might simply use your website name as the link anchor text, depriving you of your coveted "keyword rich" link anchor text, and the search engine rankings boost that goes along with it.
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