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Monday, June 28, 2010

Using Anchor Text in Hyperlinks Benefits for Several Reasons

I'm taking time off this week for a much needed vacation.  That makes it a perfect time to introduce my first blog post from a guest blogger!  Michael Yublosky, MBA, is a successful self taught do-it-yourself Web master and E-Marketer.  He  combines 30+ years of professional consultative sales experience coupled with sales and marketing management, training, coaching/mentoring experience. He is also an adult educator and conducts classes and seminars in several northwest suburban Chicago locations.  Michael shares his knowledge with similarly minded small business owners and managers as well as self employed entrepreneurs.

Anchor text provides useful information about the content of the page you invite visitors to link to. It also tells search engines what the destination, or target, is about. It is important to use proper hyperlink anchor text to maximize search engine results.

Links, or hyperlinks, point to a Web page or to a portion within a Web page. Wikipedia defines a hyperlink as a “reference to a document that the reader can directly follow...” We use links to navigate from one location on the Web to another quickly. At times the target location replaces the source location when the hyperlink is activated.   A completely new page may be opened at other times. 

Hypertext is the definition of a hyperlink made with text (as versus a graphic, banner or image, etc. being used).  The text of this type of link is generally underlined. Its color is often a different than that of the neighboring text. When your mouse hovers over it or once you click on it, it may also change color.  The change in color shows you previously followed that link. 

Another benefit to using anchor text is enhanced search engine results.  Google Webmaster Guidelines (Google Webmaster Central, 4/10/10) state:  “Make a site with...text links.” It later notes: “Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.” Still further on it reads:  “Try to use text instead of images to display.....links.”

My conclusion is Google tells you to use text for your links, so it must be a good thing to do so. Why? Because its Googlebot search software reads text to index Web sites. So, if you want to tell the search engine what the page is about, what content or information it displays, use text.  When the anchor text reflects the page's keywords it gets a boost from Google, or sort of extra credit.

Use relevant keywords for your target instead of “Contact Us” or “Click Here”.     When you use "Contact Us" as the anchor text, you tell the search engines the page is discussing "Contact Us". If you use "Click Here" for words people you want people to click on, you tell them the target is about the subject "Click Here".  Do you want to rank highly for “Contact Us” or “Click Here”? 

Finally, use words that make sense to your readers!

Yublosky’s free information and tips as well as down loadable pdf files can be viewed at his DIY Web E-Marketing site.  Additional interesting small business insights are found at his DIY E-Marketing blog.
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