Here are the things you need to remember when putting in anchor texts. First off, multiple anchors from the same page don’t offer more value. Putting the same link on the same page doesn’t at all help in the SEO (search engine optimization) side of things, and users aren’t too keen about them either. There’s no additional value in being redundant with the same anchor texts. As such, anchor text link diversity provides the strongest benefit for your website’s overall SEO visibility.
Keep in mind that while having anchor text from multiple addresses is helpful, they’re not as beneficial if they come from multiple domains. You should get anchor text links coming from a whole assortment of different domains and focus on the diversity of your anchor texts themselves, because redundancy is best avoided when it comes to SEO.
Anchor Text Fluctuation, First HTML Anchor Text, and External Anchor Text
Speaking of diversifying your anchor texts (also known as fluctuating anchor texts), there’s a bit of debate in regards to their usefulness. There are those that think that it may assist in masking spam or manipulation. There are others who believe that the real value of the anchor text lies with what’s inside it, which is the link itself. It doesn’t hurt to apply this practice nonetheless, if only to ensure freshness and avoid repetitiveness, because search engines tend to skim through duplicate content more often than not, even when it comes to anchor texts. It also avoids possible pattern matching problems from search engines to boot. What’s more, the first anchor text in the HTML code of the page is what Google and Bing counts.
There have been tests concerning this curious fact, and it has all been confirmed by Matt Cutts (Search Quality Group Representative of Google) himself. When Google is tasked to choose between two links pointing to the same page, the first anchor text in the HTML code will achieve priority over any other redundant anchor texts within the page. While internal anchor links help you a little bit, external anchor text helps greatly. SEO companies and web promotion experts should spend more time building their external anchor texts (anchor texts that aren’t linking to your own site) than internal anchor texts (anchor texts that directly link to your own site).
Images as Anchor Texts and the Surrounding Text for Contex
If a link uses an image, the alt attributes usually becomes the anchor text. This particular fact is great news for screen readers and usability reasons. It’s also useful for SEO. For example, if there’s a screenshot of the website people are supposed to visit linked over, even if it’s an image, then its alt attributes will serve as its anchor text as far as the search engine is concerned. If the picture lacks Alt attributes, some engines go as far as using the surrounding text or even page titles as an anchor text alternative instead.
Finally, the surrounding text will mostly likely used as a signal by the search engine, especially if the anchor itself doesn’t have much value or context. The text around the anchor text matters because it provides the context it needs to be relevant, especially if it contains information that’s trending or is talked about often on the Internet. The engines have advanced to the point that they can now parse the paragraph and scan the page in order to try to comprehend what’s the main topic or subject of a given site. It’s all about contextual association.
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