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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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JD Rucker

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The Importance of Anchor Text in Links

Anchor Text

As more dealers and vendors start to understand the importance of link-building for organic search engine rankings, I get a lot of questions about anchor text. The actual text itself that's associated with the link is the anchor. It (as well as the link title) tell the search engines what the link is supposed to be about.

I'm often quoted from a 2008 Automotive SEO video as saying that "links are like votes". If links are votes telling the search engines which URL that site is "voting for", then the anchor text and titles tell the search engines which term your vote should count towards.

While most links are getting properly anchored, there are still a couple of questions that continue to pop up. I'll post some examples, but I'll use non-TK Carsites clients so it's not thought that this post is simply for our own SEO use. To those who get the links, consider it a gift.

Are links without anchors worthless? No. They still give credibility to the target sites and help indexing. It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing.

Are anchors completely targeted? In other words, if you write a post that includes a link to Kia Dealers Baltimore, does it only affect that exact keyword? No. The link itself will benefit "Kia Baltimore", "Baltimore Dealers", etc.

Another thing to consider in link-building is that size matters when it comes to anchor text. Going for a keyword like CT Toyota Dealer will require more links with that anchor than going for a term like Spray In Bed Liners Northern Kentucky. The shorter, more general the term, the more links will be required to make it rank.

As I've always said, links aren't everything. They should be natural, high-quality links, particularly with the changes coming to Google in the very near future. When in doubt, simply use the anchor text of something you want. If you're already ranked #1 for a keyword (such as your dealership name) then it doesn't do any good to use it as an anchor text.

You can't get any higher than #1.

Bryan Armstrong
Thanks J.D. I've known this for years but upon reviewing a few things found that lately I've been a bit lax in the wording on some and use my Dealership name FAR to often. Fixing it now. Thanks for the timely reminder.
Joey Abna
I am a disciple of targeted anchor text links. In other words your anchor text exactly matches the search phrase you are after. I think as time progresses links that are not exact matches are also an important piece of the pie. As you point out JD with your 'Kia Dealers Baltimore' example that link is good for the exact phrase as well as variations of the phrase. I follow several SEO communities online and recently an article stuck with me and caused me to put a sticky on my screen. The sticky says "Link like a human, not a SEO". It is a reminder to me to diversify my link profile with exact match and partial match anchor text for a more natural looking link profile. Anchor text matters, in more ways than the obvious.

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