How to Improve Link Text Quality

What is Link Text?

Every link on a website should have anchor text or link text. An example of a standard link is:

<a href="improve-link-text-quality">Improve Link Text Quality</a>

As you can see the link points to this page, and it has a link text of "Improve Link Text Quality". This text should effectively inform the user of what will happen when they click the link.

Why Improve Link Text Quality?

As previously mentioned, a link's text should summarize the content of the link's web page or why the user should click the link. If all the links on the internet contained link text of "click here", users would either not click any links or constantly have to click the back button. Think about how search engines show web pages in the search results. They try to provide the most detailed text of the web page and tell why it is relevant to the user's search query. Providing concise anchor text in your links will allow users to determine if they should visit the link.

Search engines have a slightly different way to use a link's text. A long time ago, search engines focused more on the number of links to a particular page. The idea is that a quantitative reputation can be determined by counting the number of links the page receives from other web pages. However, they started to consider the text of these links to the web page. If you had thousands of links to a web page about improving link text quality, but all of the links had anchor text of "dog food", then search engines would scan the improving link text quality page for the keyword "dog food". If the search engine couldn't find this text on the page, all of these links are basically discarded since the page is clearly not about dog food. However, if all of the links had the anchor text of "improving link text quality", it is likely that this page would rank high in the search results for that term. Anchor text acts as a textual endorsement for a web page from other web pages. Search engines consider all of the anchor text to a particular page, including external and internal links.

Levels of Link Text Quality

Low Anchor Text Quality

We already discussed that links to a web page containing words that are not found on that web page are often ignored by search engines. While you cannot usually control the text of external web pages that link to your web pages, you can control your internal links' text. Providing anchor text like, "click here", "this link", "read more", etc., offers little to no benefit for the user or search engines. Users would be left confused by the poor description of the link, which means that are unlikely to click the link. Links can certainly be one or two words, but adding more words will provide more context for the user. When writing the anchor text for a link, visit the link and use words from the page in the anchor text to explain why the link is relevant to the user.

Great Anchor Text Quality

We can see that poor link text quality is not only using irrelevant words, but it is also anchor text with only a couple of words. However, you should not start creating links with paragraphs of text. With descriptive text, a link should be roughly 2-5 words in length. Of course, these words should all be found in the web page's content that is referred to by the link.