Links are a crucial part of SEO, and they can greatly impact your website’s search engine rankings. That’s why Google has recently published new link best practices in their SEO and search developer documentation.
Originally, the document was about how to create crawlable links. But now, it has been updated to include not just how to make links crawlable, but also anchor text placements, how to write good anchor text, internal links within your content, external links from other sites, and crawlable links.
How to Create Crawlable Links?
Google says, “Generally, Google can only crawl your link if it’s an HTML element (also known as anchor element) with an href attribute. Most links in other formats won’t be parsed and extracted by Google’s crawlers.” This means that it’s important to make sure that your links are in the correct format for Google to crawl them.
Anchor Text Placement
Anchor text (also known as link text) is the visible text of a link. This text tells people and Google something about the page you’re linking to. It’s important to place anchor text between <a> elements that Google can crawl.
Writing Good Anchor Text
Using a premium tool such as AHrefs to keep an eye on your anchor text profile is always a good idea. The above shows what a bad profile would look like, essentially full of keywords. Your profile should be heavily brand orientated. Good anchor text is descriptive, reasonably concise, and relevant to the page that it’s on and to the page it links to. It provides context for the link and sets the expectation for your readers. Google also provides some examples of good and bad written anchor text.
Internal links are links that point to other pages on your website. Google notes that there is no specific number of links you need, but it’s important to think about what other resources on your site could help your readers understand a given page on your site, and link to those pages in context.
External links are links that point to other websites. Google talks about the trust factor of links and how sites that link to you can do so, using the nofollow for spammy links, and what about paid links. It’s important to link out to external sites when it makes sense and provide context to your readers about what they can expect.
Why These Best Practices Matter
Links are an important ranking factor for most modern search engines. So anything Google publishes on the topic should be read by SEOs for them to make decisions about how to manage their link building and management practices.
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