What is Anchor Text?

Q: What is anchor text?

Hyperlinks were the original way to “Surf the Web” going from page-to-page and website-to-website. The days seemed much longer in 1997 due to all of the new information that you could find using a dial-up Internet account. Over 15 years later, hyperlinks are still going strong, but these little pieces of text are a lot more important to Internet marketing thanks to anchor links. Especially if you are trying to take back your website from the death grip of the Penguin. <—– This is an example of anchor text!

Anchor text or anchors as they are called used to be an Internet marketer’s best friend. Before Internet marketer’s even dreamed about Pandas and Penguins, anchor text was the best way to insert money making keywords into your blog posts or website content. Anchors mask the original link to your website by replacing it with keyword-rich text. It is a long and tedious job to type out your full URL each time you want to create a link and anchors save you time and keep your text readable for human beings.

RIP Anchor Text (1997 to 2012)

Anchor text lived a long life on the Internet, but has recently succumbed to the power of Google and has been laid to rest. The old way of using anchors are no more. Google has devalued the use of anchor text and has shifted the entire Internet marketing world into a panic. I know what you’re thinking. What if you do consulting work? What if you create and sell cool apps? Don’t worry. Looking at anchor text in a new way and implementing the new Google rules will make sure that all can be well again.

Why did Google step up and make things harder? No one knows for sure, but Google claims it is to “level the playing field for all websites to breed healthy competition” or something to that effect. Just like having great content is very important, using anchor text in the new ways that Google demands that you use it will keep your website out of the sandbox and put it higher and higher in the search results. It will not be long until Bing and Yahoo follow suit and start changing their algorithms so buckle up and start changing your anchors fast.

New Rules for Anchor Text

Rule #1: The 50% Rule

The days of keyword stuffing your anchor text have went up in flames. Google used to get a “good idea” of what each linked page was about by analyzing the anchor text. Those days are over. Google now analyzes the content of your website and makes 100 percent certain that every word, phrase and sentence is meaningful and has user value. If you plan to use anchor text to link between your internal website pages, you must use targeted search keywords less than 50% of the time. This means that if you have been using your page title as your “moneymaking” anchor text, please stop doing it now to avoid further problems with Google.

Rule #2: Generic Anchors

When you can’t use your main keyword in an anchor, the next best thing is to use generic text. Generic text was used in the early days of anchor links and now Google has rolled back the hands of time and started valuing it again. We have done the hard work for you and put together nifty little list of generic anchor text to use when you create your anchor links. Anchor text like the generic words in our list work great for the times when you are getting close to your 50% saturation with your search targeted keywords. The use of generic anchors is tested and approved by Marketer’s Black Book and the Penguin and Panda left us alone.

Rule #3: Strip Your URL Naked

Before the recent algorithm changes, you rarely witnessed the use of a naked URL like www.marketersblackbook.com used in place of anchor text. The “nakedness” of this type of URL is special because it is not masked with keyword text. At some point in time, you will run out of generic anchor text, keyword-rich text and other words to mask your internal and external linking. Stripping your anchor text and making your URL naked is a great way to add more clarity to your links. That’s all Google wants these days anyway. Why not give them what they want? Get naked whenever you can.

** Secret Tip About Anchor Text **

When you master your on-page linking using new anchors, you cannot forget about your backlinks that you create away from your website. Backlinks need love too and they are still susceptible to Panda and Penguin changes. Don’t think you’ve seen that last of the algorithm changes. They have been going bi-monthly for over a year now and we’re likely to witness another one soon. Treat your backlink anchors just like those that go on your website and you won’t get punched in the gut by Google and have to build your rankings all over again.







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