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Practical SEO 6 - Anchor Links

Anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as a result of a link, and is placed within the anchor tag . This text tells users and Google something about the page you're linking to. For example, < a href=http://sunwebexpert.com> web developer < /a>, "web developer" is the text of the link. This example tells the search engine that when users search for "web developer", this web site thinks that http://sunwebexpert.com/ is a relevant site for the term "web developer". If many sites think that a particular page is relevant for a given set of terms, that page can manage to rank well even if the terms NEVER appear in the text itself. That's why we can improve the ranking of our website by getting more high qualified backlinks from other web sites.

External anchor text is where it really helps, meaning websites that are not your own linking to you. That's where you really get value from anchor text. Another way to improve our ranking is to use internal anchor text links. This means that you link from one page of your site to another page, or to a specific section on one of your pages. This helps both users and Google navigate your site better.

Here are some tips of how to optimize anchor text, both external and internal.

Targeted keywords

Always put targeted keywords into the anchor text, avoid using "click her", "page", "article", not use page url as anchor text either.

Write concise text

Try to write short but descriptive text-usually a few words or a short phrase, do not write long anchor text, such as a lengthy sentence or short paragraph of text.

Format links

Use CSS to make the anchor text distinguish from regular text so they are easily picked up for users.

First anchor text is more important

If two links are targeting the same URL, only the anchor text used in the first link is counted by Google. This was discovered on SEOmoz a couple of years ago.

Alt attribute for Image link

If a link uses an image, add "alt" attribute which can describe the page linking to for the image. The search engines usually consider the alt attribute as the anchor text.

rel="nofollow"

Sometimes we just don't want the search engines follow the links in certain pages and not pass our pages reputation to the pages linked to, then use attribute rel="nofollow". One case of using this is we have a blog commenting turned on, or a discussion forum embedded. Another use of nofollow is when you're writing content and wish to reference a website, but don't want to pass your reputation on to it. Lastly, if you're interested in nofollowing all of the links on a page, you can use "nofollow" in your robots meta tag, which is placed inside the < head> tag of that page's HTML.

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