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How do you link to yourself? Anchor Text for Internal Links Matters

One of the most basic principles of search engine optimization is that the words that other sites use within the text of their links to you (called the anchor text) have an impact upon how your site ranks for those words.

For example – if you want to rank well in Google for the words ‘pink widget’ then it’d be more helpful for another site to link to you with the words pink widget than any other words.

The principle extends to internal links on your blog. When you link to yourself (for example linking to a previous link that you’ve written) you should consider doing so with descriptive words of the post rather than generic words.

For example – if I wanted to link to my previous post titled ‘blogging for beginners’ in a post rather than linking like this:

‘you can read my post on blogging for beginners here

it would be more powerful in terms of the search engine ranking of the post to link to it as:

‘you can read my previous post on the topic, blogging for beginners

It doesn’t sound like much – but it’s these small adjustments in the way that a blogger blogs that can add up to having a bit impact upon the ranking of that blog in search engines.

One more thing - it’s not just the links from within your posts that this matters for. Internal links from your navigation and menus matter too. For example if you link to your categories – think about the words you use there too.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I haven’t really taken much though to this.. I was hoping any links at all would be good ones… better than none! However, it makes sense. I’d likely want to link for business.

  2. foodette says:

    Once again, another great tip! I have noticed this, and have been striving to make sure all of my links are relevant. Because I write about restaurants, linking back and forth using restaurant names, as well as putting the names in the title of each blog post, has helped me quite a bit. I have noticed that you can type certain restaurants into google search, and my site is the first or one of the firsts to pop up. Thanks for reinforcing how important this is, Darren!

  3. Dan Cole says:

    Darren, I hope you use these tips yourself. I’ve seen a few posts with “here, here, and here.” 10 Mistakes That Will Kill a Forum or Blog, #7 is one example. Bloglines Problems 2 and 449 – 3 Day Professional Blog Design are other examples. They are annoying… hope this doesn’t sound too mean. I guess every website could be better.

  4. YouNeed2See says:

    I knew anchor text was huge, I just never considered it for self-links. I will be a lot more observant while linking to myself (always fun!)

    Thanks Darren

  5. Charles Lau says:

    I think I had messed up a lot of internal links with anchor texts like “this”, “that”, “this post”, etc… Thanks for the tip. I have to make a change from now on…

  6. Sachana says:

    wowow….. will definitely remember this for future, thanks for that.

  7. Roberta says:

    I totally agree. I was just noticing from a very popular site called Starpulse, that they always link to themselves when referring to celebrities with the celebrity’s name as the anchor text. I’m going to start doing that on my music blog and see where how much it helps.

  8. Lori says:

    A good friend taught me this a while back and having a “blogger” blog, you don’t have a place to put in keywords & such. It’s imperative to link to your previous posts using the method you suggested. This is a very important tip that gets overlooked by many, especially those who are still “newbies”.

  9. Deborah says:

    Will do

  10. Andrew says:

    basic …. but very useful… we must remember it

  11. Kanute says:

    Its basic knowledge but still very new to many. Its good you came up with this. The less others know these tips the faster those who now it grow. Its good to know the stuff in time.

  12. derek says:

    Absolutely, I always use descriptive tags for internal links and try to use keyword rich anchors when possible.

    In addition, every now and then throw in a link to your main index page as well with your selected keywords. Often times people don’t think of linking the main page because the post displays on the main page, but when the post is months/years old it will still be linking back to your main index page.

  13. John says:

    That is basics of SEO

  14. John says:

    That is basics of SEO! Well explained Darren

  15. Doug says:

    Another great tip Darren. Thanks!

  16. Adam Snider says:

    Like John said, it’s pretty basic SEO, but something that a lot of people who are new to blogging are probably not aware of. Even more experienced people (myself included) sometimes have a tendency to be a bit “sloppy” with internal links, and don’t necessarily use the most optimal anchor text.

  17. dandellion says:

    Which leads us to conclusion that one’s google rank is affected not only by SEO optimisation but also by SEO awareness of other bloggers that give links. Right?

  18. Darren Rowse says:

    Dan – yep, all these tips are things I need to work on too :-)

  19. vargas says:

    I didn’t think about that. I’ve been linking to my blog internally for years, to no avail apparently! Good tip!

  20. I’ve been doing this for awhile now, but I might go back and make sure all of them are optimized as much as they should be.

  21. Cormac says:

    if you want to rank well in Google for the words ‘pink widget’ then it’d be more helpful for another site to link to you with the words pink widget than any other words.

    Getting the anchored backlink is one thing but you need to optimise the landing page with some keyword equity too.

    This means that you if you receive an anchor of ‘Pink Widget’ then you’re going to have to include those keywords, or variants of those words, in your content.

    Using bold on the keywords, H1 +2 tags and lists will help you maximise the power of the anchored backlink.

  22. Ok, trying it out now! =)

  23. Pat B. Doyle says:

    Good tip. I would like to add that you should not always use the exact same anchor text for a page. Vary it a little bit. Otherwise you can get penalized for being “over-optimized”.

  24. Sonia Simone says:

    I’ve done this for a long time because it makes the copy more readable, but I was apparently napping in SEO class when they covered the SERP implications.

    It’s nice to get simple tips sometimes along with all the really hard and complicated stuff! Thanks for the steady stream of great useful content.

  25. Eli says:

    Great tip, great advice. It is the little things like this that help just a little bit extra. I used to always use the word ‘here’ as the link, but now I use much more descriptive links, and I’m still working on all of my old content.

  26. Thanks Darren,

    I don’t even aware of this to be honest… Will bear in mind.

    So much to learn…

  27. Ankur says:

    Hi Darren,
    Thats a nice tip…during my 10 month stint as a blogger I have never thought about this[Anchor Text :)].

  28. yep it up with these simple but good tips as they help beginners and keep us old timers in check :)

  29. Ning says:

    Though doing this take up little time,I never did such things.
    As it is so helpful for google pagerank,I shoud take it a big deal.
    Thanks for good tips,I am always neglect things like this.

  30. Christian says:

    This also makes using images a lot less helpfull. Anyone know if using an alt text is the same as a regular text link?

  31. Jacob Cass says:

    Hi, i am new to blogging and was just wondering how do u actually link to your own posts… do you an absolute link or relative? or what? thanks

  32. Jacob Cass says:

    i found the answer :) google is amazing.

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Linking_Posts_Pages_and_Categories

  33. Good post and excellent advice. Internal linking is something easy to do, but many often do not realise. And you are right about they being small things. Well if we always ingore these small things eventually they do add up. It is also a good practice to follow, so people should just try to do it. Ranking high in SEO doesn’t just happen overnight.

    Work From Home Biusiiness Blog

  34. Excellent post. I may well have to do a bit of re-structuring of certain websites. I only wish I had come across this blog several months ago. It would have saved me a great deal of work. Still, you live and learn.

  35. Zander says:

    theres some awesome info on here *thumbsup*

    your website has helped me quite a lot, it’s amazing how much even the smallest nuances can change results in a big way

    found a little spelling mistake though ;)
    “…blogs that can add up to having a bit/b impact upon the ranking of that blog…”

    i take it you mean big :p

  36. A valid observation and you made it clear enough for even the beginners to understand.

    Many thanks

  37. Good post and excellent advice. Internal linking is something easy to do, but many often do not realise. And you are right about they being small things. Well if we always ingore these small things eventually they do add up. It is also a good practice to follow, so people should just try to do it. Ranking high in SEO doesn’t just happen overnight.

  38. Good post and excellent advice. Internal linking is something easy to do, but many often do not realise. And you are right about they being small things. Well if we always ingore these small things eventually they do add up. It is also a good practice to follow, so people should just try to do it. Ranking high in SEO doesn’t just happen overnight.

  39. bilecem says:

    is it possible to get automatic anchor text that will be applied automatically in terms of the head of the posts?. i.e wikipedia