What Is Anchor Text? Why Your Hyperlink Text Matters To Google

What is anchor text? Learn about anchor texts and why hyperlinks are so important when you want high rankings on Google.

Written by Stephanie Barnes
SEO |   2 minute read

Anchor texts are important for the SEO of your site. They have multiple functions but they are extremely beneficial in the eyes of Google (as long as, you use them correctly!). Learn what anchor texts are and how you can use them effectively.  

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So, what is anchor text? 


Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink.  


For example:

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There are multiple reasons why you use a hyperlink in a text:

  • The anchor text is linked to a website that is relevant to what you're talking about
  • You've linked to a website that has useful evidence to support your statement
  • The link refers the online visitor to another part of your website
  • The link takes the visitor to another website 
  • Improves navigational experience on your site


Whilst there are many reasons you can use a text hyperlink in your content, they are also helpful for search engines. 

The content you use in your text anchor helps search engines, like Google, understand the subject of the website link. 


For example:

"Hiring the services of a HubSpot inbound marketing agency offers benefits for your business strategy."  

In this example the hyperlink is in "services of a HubSpot inbound marketing agency" and the link goes to the homepage of our website. When Google comes across this link it will determine these words are relevant to the website.



If other links from other websites use exact or similar wording, this suggests to Google that these search terms are definitely relevant and can benefit the site's ranking for these search phrases.


This is why your hyperlink text is so important to Google


The text you use, helps Google's algorithms understand your site better. 


Having relevant keywords in hyperlink text can benefit your rankings. However, it's important to avoid putting too many keywords in your anchor texts. Google's algorithms are constantly developing to stop people abusing hyperlink texts. 

The best practice on how to use anchor texts correctly and effectively is to make them relevant. The link has to be relevant to the content, otherwise Google will likely consider it to be suspicious SEO work.


example of bad backlinkssource: blog.majestic.com

Having high numbers of the same anchor text doesn't look good on your backlink profile. Google will presume you're trying to cheat your way to higher rankings.



You know what happens if you try to manipulate Google's guidelines, your website will suffer the penalties. 

Over the last year, Google has said it wants to improve rankings of websites that have relevant and up-to-date content. They incorporated the Panda update into their core algorithm so they can benefit websites with helpful and original content. 

Keep your anchor texts relevant too. If you think you have over optimised your hyperlink texts then here is how you can improve them


Want to take a huge SEO shortcut?

We've created a checklist of everything you need to get higher rankings and keep Google happy. 

Ranking Factors Cheatsheet