SEO Terminology: Link Anchor Text Versus Linking to Name Anchor

The two terms sound incredibly similar, which gives the mistaken impression that they must be the same.

I see many people getting confused when you are talking about name anchors… “Is this what we need to build links for?”… Ugh, no.

The two are used for different functions entirely, and they have different tags used to make them.

Link Anchor Text

The simplest way to explain that: anchor text = visible text of the link

LinksFor example, let’s say you were speaking about Google’s search engine. In the post itself, you might mention that Google has been offering lots of cool user tools

Notice how I have anchored the link into the text speaking about Google. Clicking on that link will take you top their website. This is the same process used by people who want to connect articles together. So they would anchor a link to relevant text speaking about another post on the same blog, or page on the site.

<a href=””>Anchor Text Used Here</a>

Google: Link anchor text is believed to be the most powerful SEO element. Read more about that here.

Linking to Anchor

When people adapt books, scientific studies, research papers, tutorials, or any other kind of wall-of-text style page, they will create different anchor points within it to make navigation simpler for the reader.

Name anchor allows you to point the reader to a specific part of the page…

<a name=”Section Title”></a>

Next, create the link pointing to that name anchor. This will use the standard link code, but will feature an ‘#’ before the anchor to signify that it is pointing to a section within the same page. It will look like:

<a href=”#Section Title”>Text</a>.

Google: This link may be picked up and used by Google to form the search snippet to point the user to a specific part of your web page:

Name anchor link in search results


Most of us have to do it on a regular basis; it’s the terminology that can be misleading!

Image Credits: 1, 2.