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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Importance of Link Text

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Just recently someone asked me, "What's the most important thing you need to know about SEO"? That's a great question and one I will answer in this post. Before doing so, let me say that there are search engine optimization guru's out there who can better speak to the more technical and often esoteric aspects of SEO.

In fact yesterday I was viewing some interviews online with some of these folks and they were talking about the GooglePlex and associated algorithms. Way too complicated for me. Again, that's why I created this blog - to share my SEO success with ordinary people (like me!) who want to improve their search engine results.

Okay, so back to the topic at hand. What is the most important thing you need to know about SEO? My answer would be link text What is link text? According to Wikipedia, link text is something that gives the web site user relevant descriptive or contextual information about the content of the link's destination. The link text (also referred to as anchor text) may or may not be related to the actual text of the URL of the link. For example, a hyperlink to the main Marketing Blog page might take this form: replace "[" with "<"

[a href="http://marketing">The Marketing Blog[/a]"

The anchor text in this example is The Marketing Blog; the complex URL displays on the web page as The Marketing Blog, contributing to a clean, easy to read text or document.

Now the answer to our original question... the reason that I consider anchor text to be the most important SEO element is because the anchor text of inbound links is what improves your Google search engine results (among other things of course). I have found in my own SEO efforts that the more links pointing to my site, using my keywords in the anchor text, the better my website does on search engine result placements.

A couple of things to keep in mind. As important as link text is you must continue to focus on on page optimization (metatags, etc.) and off-page optimization (link text, submissions, etc.). If you manage your optimization factors AND focus on building links to your website the right way, you'll see a dramatic improvement in your search results!

Michael Fleischner, Search Engine Optimization Specialist


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