Being meticulous about links is crucial to an SEO campaign. Links are a critical ranking factor for major search engines and play a vital role in building authority and communicating what your site is about. So, if Google is updating their guidance around links, then we’re placing close attention!
Recently, Google announced new best practices for link building in their search developer documentation. The guidance provides information on how to create crawlable links, anchor text placements, writing anchor text, internal links and external links. Essentially, Google is providing some basic instruction on what they want from links and how SEO agencies and site owners can get the most of out the link-building work being carried out.
Crawlable Links – Google can only crawl links placed within an anchor HTML element
<a> with a
href attribute. Other elements won’t be parsed, even anchors without
Anchor Text Placement – This is the visible text of the link and is sometimes referred to as link text. Ensure anchor text is placed within the
<a> elements so it can be crawled.
Writing Anchor Text – Anchor text should be descriptive, concise and relevant to the page being linked to, as it sets the expectation for whoever is clicking the time. In doing so, a site is easier to navigate, and Google is able to understand what the linked page is about.
Internal Links – Linking internally is just as important as linking externally. Linking internally can help Google understand your website more easily. All important pages should have at least one internal link. Google encourages links to helpful resources that will help users understand a topic or page.
External Links – Trust is a big factor with external links, and there are attributes to denote untrustworthy links (as well as spammy or paid links). Trust is a two-way street, so linking to sources or enriching your page with extra context is helpful to readers.
While this information isn’t exactly groundbreaking, it certainly confirms a lot of practices we’re already carrying out for clients. Links were confirmed as one of Google’s top ranking factors, so any additional information or resources are extremely useful to optimise a website. If you’d like to learn more about link building or anything else we cover in our SEO packages, please get in touch.