Why Use Anchor Text?

The Internet is constantly evolving. Methods and mechanisms we took for granted just a few years ago are being replaced, upgraded, modified, or done away with completely. While keeping up with the changing landscape can be a challenge, it can help to remember that nearly every change the World Wide Web experiences is designed to make things easier on the user, the programmer, the search engines, or all three at once.

For example, href anchors are a response to the otherwise cumbersome inclusion of full web addresses in the middle of paragraphs of text, a practice which was not only unwieldy and unattractive, but also oftentimes prohibitive, since some web addresses can contain incredibly long strings of random characters. Anchor text allows an otherwise complicated and lengthy web address to fit nicely into your copy without breaking u the flow of your words.

The code that creates an anchor text tag follows a specific order, called the “A href tag syntax”. An “A” tag results in a hyperlink, and the “href” is the address of the linked document. The document can be an external webpage, a different page within the same website, or a different portion of the page containing the “A” tag itself. The syntax will describe where the link goes, specify what type of device the target is intended for, and even decide the language of the target page or document. And all of it can be contained in whatever anchor text you, the programmer, feel is most appropriate to the link. It is even possible, in certain situations, to include an anchor without href parameters. An anchor without href specifications can be used to refocus a web page, which can assist with “keyboard only” page navigation or assistive devices other than a standard mouse.

Anchor text is not as important to search engine rankings as it used to be, but it is still relevant. Relevant anchor text keywords can, just as regular keywords in your copy, be used to improve SEO, but anchor text has the added benefit of being a link, which is also a key metric search engines use to return relevant search results. But more important than all of that, anchor text makes your links more appealing to your readers. And that is the ultimate goal.