"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What You Need to Know About Anchor Text...

Guest Post by Scott Spjut

Scott Spjut is a writer and editor who has been featured in various magazines, newspapers and websites - including Newsweek, the Washington Post, CBS News and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Scott currently works with Professional Marketing International helping people change their lives.

Without hyperlinks, the power and effect of the Internet would be greatly diminished. Often referred to just as “links,” hyperlinks are the text, image, or other feature which – when clicked on or otherwise accessed – directs the user to another place on the website, another website, or some other location.

In the instances where text is used as a hyperlink, the specific text utilized to display that link is called anchor text. The author is able to decide which text they would like highlighted or otherwise set apart in order to distinguish it is a link. Most often, a link will be underlined and will be a different color (usually blue) but most content management systems will allow you to customize those features.

There are several purposes to anchor text. Firstly, the anchor text should give the reader a good idea of what they’ll be seeing if they click the link. That highlighted text will give them a brief insight as to what they author wants them to see.
Secondly, from an SEO perspective, anchor text is one of the many factors which contribute to search engine results pages. If search engines see that various websites are each linking to the same website using the same anchor text, the search engine will likely rank that website higher when people search for that phrase.

Because of these factors, there is some strategy when selecting anchor text. The most important factor should always be the user’s experience. If they’re going to be confused or surprised when clicking on that specific link, it’s probably best to either place the link elsewhere or present it differently. Keep the SEO benefits in mind, but pay more attention to how it will affect your readers.

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  1. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 27, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    I'd like to start off by thanking Scott for his time and expertise. This is a unique and noteworthy topic that definitely deserves coverage here.

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksApril 28, 2011 at 5:05 AM

    Thanks so much, Linda. I admit that this is a topic that I needed more in-depth knowledge of. :-)

  3. Thank you, Scott, for sharing this info. Thanks also, Jen, for hosting him. :) This will come in handy!

    Have a great weekend,

  4. Scott, thanks for this topic. I didn't fully understand the power of links until I started blogging. I went to a 1-Day Wordpress Workshop given by Chicago Wordpress Meetup and left feeling like a genius. Now, I'm a professional SEO rookie.

    Again, thanks for this.