There’s no denying that the world of SEO is a complex and confusing one. From the endless streams of jargon to the technicalities of the methods themselves, it’s not a marketing method for the faint hearted! Anchor texts and backlinks are no exception; in fact, there’s a whole lot of confusion surrounding them. The long-running debate of whether anchor text holds any SEO importance is a particularly heated one, so we thought we’d put together everything we know to try and clear up the matter once and for all.
What is Anchor Text?
Anchor text is the highlighted, clickable words of a link. So, for example, this is anchor text. Easy! Well, almost.
There are actually a whole bunch of different anchor text types that can be used, and they could be pretty important when it comes to your backlinks. It all comes down to the keyword you’re focusing on, so, for these examples, we’ll use ‘digital marketing’.
- Exact match – This is when the anchor text is the keyword, e.g. ‘Digital marketing services from Ram Digital’.
- Partial-match – If your anchor text is a variation on your keyword, it’s a partial match, e.g. ‘Expert digital marketing services from Ram’.
- Branded – When a brand name is used as the anchor text, e.g. ‘Digital marketing from Ram’.
- Naked link – When the link shows in it’s URL format, e.g. ‘Digital marketing services from Ram (https://ram-digital.co.uk/ram-outreach)’.
- Generic – When the anchor text is generic, such as ‘Click here’.
Now you’ve got the low-down on the different types of anchor text, understanding their importance for backlinks is going to be a whole lot easier.
Is Anchor Text Important in Backlinks?
There’s a lot of debate around whether or not the anchor text of a backlink is hugely important – in other words, whether it affects your SEO. The fact that Google keeps their algorithms pretty tightly under wraps doesn’t help either!
We do know that in Google’s early days, the anchor text of a backlink did hold importance, and the fact that it has a system of checking for spammy anchor links hints that it still does. The system in place is called Penguin, and it makes sure that the backlinks to your website are being used to add value rather than simply as a marketing ploy, and the main way it does this is by making sure there aren’t too many exact match anchor texts. This means that your backlinks should always be a mix of those mentioned above, otherwise you could get penalised.
So, we know that Google is checking up on anchor text. It’s also likely that anchor text is used by search engines to give them a better understanding of your web page and to know which search results to rank you for. In this way, it definitely would be helping your SEO – as long as your anchor text isn’t spammy!
The importance of different SEO techniques is constantly changing as algorithms are updated and digital marketing evolves, so if you want to stay ahead without wasting all of your time, why not bring in the experts? At Ram, we know everything there is to know about online marketing and can use it to help you get ahead. If you want to know more, get in touch with us today!