Google’s John Mueller confirmed in a webmaster hangout on YouTube that the anchor texts of hyperlinks are a ranking signal for Google. Normal anchor texts help Google to rank a page for what the anchor text says about the page. Google is also able to ignore spam links that try to manipulate rankings:
Anchor links are an important ranking signal
John Mueller said that anchor texts are a ranking signal, and he said that Google can detect fake links:
“In general, when it comes to these kind of links, what we try to look at is the specific anchor text there.
So if it’s something where, when we look at it, it looks like, oh, it’s promoting this website in a way that it uses very keyword-rich anchor text, then that would be more problematic. If it’s essentially just linking to the URL or if it’s using the business name as something that is linking to the website name, then usually that’s less of an issue. […]
It’s very possible that we already ignore these specific links, because these are the kind of links that are very easy for our systems to pick up and say, well, we can just ignore those.”
You can view the full video here:
How to analyze the anchor texts of any website for free
Checking the links of competing websites can help you to improve the links of your own website. Unfortunately, Google Search Console shows the links that point to your own website but not the links of your competitors. Fortunately, there is a free tool that enables you to check the links of any website.
Google has confirmed that links from other websites are a strong ranking signal. There is a strong correlation between good links from other websites and high rankings on Google.
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