WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ANCHOR TEXTS
Anchor text is what a user can click on to be forwarded internally (within the domain) or externally (to an external website). These can be single or multiple words or even a URL. On most pages, the link anchor is highlighted visually, for example by underlining or by a color (such as the pink of seo-nerd®).
The function of the anchor text in the text is therefore to draw the reader’s attention to a link that contains further information. In this text and at this point, for example, it makes sense to refer to the article about link anchors by Neil Patel in the Kissmetrics blog, as it is the main source of the following remarks.
TYPES OF ANCHOR TEXTS
Anchor texts can be characterized according to the choice of term(s) used for them:
- Anchor text with the keyword (also called “money anchor text” or “match anchor text”): In our example, in the phrase “article about link anchor by Neil Patel in the Kissmetrics blog” the link anchor would then be on the word “link anchor”. This variant is particularly recommended if you want to refer to important internal pages. With external links, such keyword anchor texts should always be treated with caution. After all, you want to present yourself as an important source for the keyword. (Since Google always looks at the entire context of the article with a link, the search engine in our example understands anyway that the linked page is also about link anchors).
- Anchor text phrase (often referred to as “compound anchor text”): in our example the entire phrase “article about link anchors by Neil Patel in the Kissmetrics blog”. This is always a good choice if the user should already know with the anchor text what the linked page is about. Occasionally, the choice of such a phrase also forces itself to make links distinguishable from each other.
- Brand anchor texts: They contain the brand name or the target domain. In our example phrase, this could be “Kissmetrics”.
- Generic Anchors: This refers to “descriptive” anchor texts such as “Click here” or “Order online now”. Generic anchors are particularly useful if a request for action is connected to the link behind it.
- Images as anchors: Images can also be anchors and lead to other pages when clicked. The alt attribute then functions as anchor text, which can only be seen by the user when the image cannot be displayed (however, Google reads the alt text and evaluates it in such cases like an anchor text).
- Anchor texts with topic-related keywords (also called “LSI keywords”): LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing, meaning words or phrases related to the focus keyword of the text. Anyone who writes about Paris, Moscow and Berlin, for example, could also talk about “European capitals” and then link this term on occasion.
- Headline anchor text: If the text flow permits, the headlines (h1-tag) or the meta-title of the page to which the link is made may also be used. In our example, the “Anchor Text SEO: Everything You Need to Know in 2018”.
- URL as anchor text: It only makes sense to link the URL if it is a talking URL. This is particularly useful in internal linking in order to strengthen your own brand name (for example from sub-pages to the start page with the brand name as the link anchor).
WHAT HAS TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN USING ANCHOR TEXTS?
Link anchors provide important information to both users and search engines. Therefore, anchor texts in the text flow should always appear as natural as possible and be concise and relevant. If they look like a foreign object, both users and search engines will probably ignore the links. In the worst case, they even contribute to the text being considered bad.
Before the introduction of the Penguin Update, it was possible to use anchor texts to assign pages to keywords that they did not even correspond to in content. This form of keyword stuffing is now recognized and punished by the penguin algorithm.
WHAT SHOULD A NATURAL LINK PROFILE LOOK LIKE?
It therefore makes sense to vary the anchor texts and always consider which part of the sentence could arouse the reader’s interest most or what he or she would like to know more about. A natural link profile offers a mix of all anchor text variants. Neil Patel recommends a link profile for homepages that want to rank nationally,
- which consists of 50 percent brand links
- where money keywords are used sparingly (share of one percent)
- whose generic and topic-relevant link anchors each make up about 5 percent of the link profile
- with a proportion of URL as anchor text of around 20 percent
For subpages, however, the ideal link profile shifts from brand anchor texts to headline (around 28 percent), keyword (17.5 percent), generic (15 percent) and URL anchor texts (around 12 percent). The link profile of pages to be found in local search queries should be similarly balanced. Here, too, it is recommended to rely primarily on brand (around 20 percent), generic (around 15 percent) and URL anchor texts.
PAY ATTENTION TO NATURALNESS WHEN USING INTERNAL LINKS AND AVOID “BAD LINKS”
However, it should be borne in mind that all these figures are based on best-practice studies and therefore basically only form cross sums of link profiles. The figures do not reflect whether and how the different link anchor types were used. If you thoughtfully link to sub-pages in which topics are deepened, you are certainly not wrong, even if you use keyword anchor texts more frequently, as long as you do not overdo it.
In the case of external links, you should especially keep away from “toxic websites” or websites with “low content” and be careful not to be linked to such sites. With the Disavow tool from Google, you can invalidate incoming links.
PAGESPEED INSIGHT NOW ALSO ALLOWS DOMAIN QUERIES
In Google’s tool for checking the loading speed, PageSpeed Insights, it is now also possible to query how fast the pages of a domain are loaded on average. Until now, only requests for individual URLs were possible. To get an estimate of the loading speed, simply enter the operator “origin” in the input field and then enter the URL of the domain with a colon, e.g.: origin:https://www.seo-nerd.com.
Compared to a tool like GTMetrix, the results are usually somewhat worse. So webmasters should apparently be encouraged to continue with the loading time. This applies above all to “First Contentful Paint” (FCP), i.e. the time required to display the first elements. Google is probably once again stepping up efforts to speed up Moblie loading times in particular. Finally, the speed update will be rolled out in July 2018.
PICTURES-SEO: WHEN ARE IMAGES INDEXED?
In a tweet at the beginning of June, John Mueller answered the question whether Google could also recognize images from div tags: he did not know, but suspected that Google could not and asked the users to simply test it once. Image SEO expert Martin Mißfeldt has now followed up on this request and presents his results in an article.
Accordingly, images are indexed if
- the image is embedded as BASE64 without a physical file
- the image URL appears as src attribute of an iFrame
- the image URL is in the text without a link
Images are NOT indexed if the image URL is in one of the following ways:
- in the src of a div container
- in src of a p-tag
- in the src of an h2 heading
- in CSS style of a div-container
- in an HTML comment
Google does not automatically evaluate all image URLs, but only those that may contain potentially relevant content. For optimal integration of images, Mißfeldt recommends the use of the image tag, ideally in the context of a figure or picture element.