How the Web Uses Anchor Text in Internal Linking
- under Media Coverage
Even with the ongoing changes taking place in the SERPs, SEOs still rate anchor text as the most important of all ranking factors.
"How the Web Uses Anchor Text in Links [Study]" served as a good reminder about the significance of anchor text in links for natural search ranking. More than 4.2 million external links from 650+ domains were analyzed in Searchlight, Conductor’s enterprise SEO platform, to understand more about how external links flow to websites (disclaimer: I work for Conductor).
While the significance of external links in ranking is well known, it may be less well-known that internal anchor text — links coming from your own domain pointing to pages within your own domain — can significantly impact search visibility.
Given the important but less-talked-about significance of internal links for ranking, and based on feedback after last month’s article asking how websites implement internal links, this month we’ll narrow our focus and examine how websites implement internal links.
This research includes data from more than 3,000 ecommerce and non-ecommerce domains and examines more than 280,000 internal links and their corresponding anchor text. With this sample size, the resulting analysis should give us a good sense of how websites implement internal anchor text.
Internal Anchor Text More Condensed than External
Let's first look at a distribution of links by length of anchor text. We compared internal to external links to discern how anchor text might differ for each.
In comparing internal to external link text, we found more than three-quarters (77 percent) of internal links were between 1-3 words, compared to just over half (53 percent) of external links.
Most Common Words Used in Internal Anchor Text
Analysis of the most common phrases used in anchor text gives us insight into the 1 to 3 word skew for internal linking: 100 percent of the 20 most commonly-used anchor text has between 1 to 3 words in it. The majority reflect the kind of navigational and standard enterprise page links found on websites such as ‘Careers’, ‘Customer Service’, ‘Home’, and ‘Blog’.
|Ranked Frequency of Term||Most Common Words Used in Internal Anchor Text|
|10||Customer Service/Customer Support/Support|
|14||Bookmark This Site|
Read the full Search Engine Watch article here