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How Important are Anchor Text Links for SEO?

A few years back, anchor text on links were vital components to SEO. The exact text in links determined how accurate and specific search results would be and this still holds true to a certain degree, as searching for “click here” still brings up the Adobe Reader website.

However, Google bombing, which was a technique that involved a number of people creating large quantities of exact anchor text links to influence the search results, has mostly been stopped from impacting any search results.

As with just about anything SEO related, suggestions and recommendation differ on the exact number of anchor text links that should be utilized, however it has always been thought to be good practice to use a mixture of different anchor texts rather than focusing solely on exact keyword phrases you want your site to rank for.

In fact it is usually recommended that you have a range of anchor links in the areas where you have influence, control over them to begin with.

On popular websites like YouTube, it is safe to say you have no power of influence over anchor text. Any URL is instantly clickable, but you can’t have it link with any text. It serves only as a raw link that redirects you to the page that holds your uploaded video.

In fact, YouTube takes matters one step further by allowing you to link back to exact times with the video simply by mentioning the minutes and seconds in your video’s description.

From there, YouTube converts that into link form and transports anyone who clicks on it to that certain minute mark in the video.

This demonstrates they have the capacity to include different anchor texts yet don’t want users to have that amount of control.

Apart from YouTube, you should include a variety of different anchor texts, including ones with the specific keyword you are attempting to rank for.

Now while this may seem counter-intuitive, since it doesn’t give Google the precise words you wish to rank for, it is actually a good move because Google’s algorithm usually prefers to work out those kinds of details out for itself and over the years has become exceptional at doing so.

The reasoning behind using different anchor texts, most of which are quite plain is that doing so creates a more natural approach.

Whether or not this approach is valid has and is open to debate and differs from website to website and company to company.

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