Why Hyperlink Names Matter to Google

Naming Links Helps Your Rank

One of the things you want to avoid when making your Web site or blog entries are "click here" links. This happens when you link with something like "for a really cool Web site about Google, click here."

It's a bad user experience, and it's bad for your rank in Google, especially when you're linking between your own pages.

One thing Google considers when it ranks pages in search results is the quantity and quality of links that point to your page. Inbound links, or backlinks are part of what Google uses to determine PageRank. You can generate some of that PageRank yourself by linking your own Web pages to each other.

However, PageRank is only part of the equation. Even sites with a PageRank of 10 do not appear in every single search result. In order to appear in search results, the pages also must be relevant.


What Do Link Names Have to Do With Relevance?

Quite a lot, actually. If enough people link to a document using the same phrase in their anchor text, Google will associate that phrase with the page. So, if your page is about Google, for instance, a link that says learn more about Google is better than a "click here."

In fact, this technique can be so effective that it can make Web pages appear in search results that don't even use the search phrase. When this is done maliciously, it's known as a Google Bomb.


Best Linking Practices


  • Use links to highlight relevant words or phrases.
  • Use links to move readers between your own Web pages.
  • Don't over link. A sea of blue links means nothing will stand out.

And most importantly, don't "click here," "read more," or look at "this."