Anchor Text refers to the visible, clickable text within a hyperlink. This text is a significant element in search engine optimization (SEO) as it provides context to both users and search engines about the content of the linked page. Anchor text should be relevant and descriptive, helping to inform the algorithm about the subject matter of the destination page. Post the introduction of certain search algorithm updates, using exact match anchor text—where the anchor text is precisely the same as the target page’s title or main keywords—is no longer advised due to the potential for being flagged as manipulative linking practices. Instead, it’s recommended to use varied and natural phrasing in anchor texts.
Anchor texts are utilized specifically for textual backlinks and play a crucial role in the web’s navigational structure. In contrast, when a hyperlink is associated with an image, the alternative text (alt attribute) serves a similar purpose by describing the image’s content and function, especially important for search engines and assistive technologies like screen readers.