How to link and how not to

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 11, 2008
Updated • Dec 8, 2012

I would like to write about a subject that I have been investigating lately. I'm talking about links in general and how they should look like and how they should not look like. This is solely from a webmasters point of view so forgive me that I'm not taking the users into account here. Links play a important role in search engine rankings, they are probably the most deciding factor when it comes to search engine rankings.

Let me give you an example to make this clear. If you search for Click Here in Google you will see that the first result is a page at Adobe, to be precise the download page of Adobe Reader. You won't find the phrase on that website but it still ranks as number one for that term. Why is that ? Because other websites that link to this page are using the keyword Click Here as the anchor text.

And here begins the dilemma for the average webmaster, Adobe could care less because they are a huge company. Lets say you write an awesome article about Windows 7, the new operating system of Microsoft. If someone links to your blog with the anchor text Windows 7 or Windows 7 review you will get a vote from that website for that keyword and your ranking in the search engines might improve.

It actually will improve if you get enough votes. The article is about Windows 7, you get votes for that keyword, that's awesome. Right ! That's the correct way of linking to another website because it is helping the other website in the search engines which attracts more visitors that visit that website.

Many websites however use a sites name, or even worse phrases like here, website or click here to link to other websites. Those average terms do not help the linked websites at all. They do not hurt either but they cast votes in a field with a competition in the hundreds of million. Not that helpful.

So, if you want to help a website and write an article about a story that you found on another website you should use a related anchor tag to help that website - that is, unless you want to rank better for that term.


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  1. Martin said on January 11, 2008 at 11:16 am

    As far as I know flash and Javascript do not count at all.

    Ace yes I know but I did not want to go deeper into that discussion

  2. Ace_NoOne said on January 11, 2008 at 10:04 am

    You might not have intended it, but you have in fact taken users into account there – especially from an accessibility point of view.
    Either way, I wholeheartedly agree.

  3. Jesse said on January 11, 2008 at 5:36 am

    Ha ha maybe I should make my name be “free porn” on all my blog comments and I could get tons of irrelevant traffic. Plus askimet would probably flag me as spam.

  4. WizzKid said on January 11, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Some extremely nice tips Matin,


  5. Ma Petite Mort said on January 11, 2008 at 2:33 am

    What do you think about the flash button links ?

    Does they count in pagerankings or are they simply dismissed ?

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