Definition: Anchor Text

Also known as a Link Label. Anchor Text is the text which has a hyperlink attached to it. For example in the following short paragraph the anchor text is ‘This is a link’:


“In this paragraph, there is a link. Can you find it? This is a link. Oh, there it was.”


Anchor Text is important in that it helps search engines to understand what the linked-to page is about. If the anchor text for a link says “vacuum cleaners” then it is relatively safe to assume that the page linked to is about vacuum cleaners.

However, due to chronic misuse, the importance of anchor text has been severely reduced by Google in recent years. To game the system, many people worked to make sure that every link to their site said exactly the same thing over and over again. This, in turn, made Google think that those sites were exceptionally relevant for whatever the anchor texts said.

Due to this Google penalises sites that have too many occurrences of exactly the same anchor text. The precise amount of times that causes a penalty (or more likely – the percentage of occurrences of a single anchor text which cause a penalty) is unknown. However avoiding this penalty is simple enough – just don’t work to make sure the anchor text is always the same, and variations will happen naturally.

Black Hat SEO never works out in the long run!

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