Lizzi Sassman, Google’s Senior Technical Writer, said that using the anchor text “here” is considered “bad link text.”
During the December 2022 edition of Google SEO office-hours session, Gabriel addressed the question of whether it makes a difference if an internal link is under the word “here” or if it is linked in a keyword.
“Is there any difference if an internal link is under the word “here” or if it is linked in a keyword?” asked Gabriel.
Sassman’s response was that it does not matter if the link is internal or external, “here” is still considered “bad link text”. This is because it does not provide any context about the page that the link is pointing to, and both users and search engines may not know what to expect from the link.
Sassman emphasized the importance of using words that are related to the topic of the linked page, as this helps to provide context and clarify the purpose of the link for both users and search engines.
While it may sometimes feel more natural to use the word “here” as anchor text, it is important to consider the overall impact on the user experience and search engine optimization.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s an internal link to something on your site or if it’s an external link pointing to something else, “here” is still bad link text. It could be pointing to any page and it doesn’t tell us what the page is about. It’s much better to use words that are related to that topic so that users and search engines know what to expect from that link,” answered Sassman.
Here is Google’s answer in the video below:
Our Thoughts on the anchor text “Here”
Google says using “here” is bad link text, and we agree. Using “here” as the anchor text for a link is not a good practice because first it feels ambiguous.
It is not clear what the user will find when they click on the link. Will they be taken to a page with more information on the topic mentioned in the link, or will they be directed to a completely unrelated page? This lack of clarity can be frustrating for users and may result in them avoiding the link altogether.
Another issue with using “here” in text links is that it lacks context. Without any context, users have no idea what to expect when they click on the link.
This can be especially problematic if the user is scanning the page quickly and doesn’t have time to read the surrounding text. In this case, they may not realize the link is even there, resulting in a missed opportunity for the website to provide valuable information to the user.
In addition to being ambiguous and lacking context, “here” is also non-descriptive. It does not give any indication of what the user will find when they click on the link.
This can be frustrating for users who are looking for specific information and may result in them leaving the website in search of a more useful resource.
Alternatives to “Here”
So, what can be used instead of “here” in text links? Here are a few options.
Instead of using “here” try using a descriptive phrase that clearly states what the user will find when they click on the link.
For example, instead of “Click here to learn more,” try “Learn more about our products.” This gives the user a better idea of what to expect when they click on the link and may encourage them to follow it.
Specific Page Titles
Another option is to use the title of the specific page or content that the link is directing the user to. This gives the user a clear understanding of where the link will take them and may increase the likelihood that they will follow it.
Calls to Action (CTA)
Calls to action (CTA), such as “Sign up now” or “Order now,” can also be used in place of “here” in text links. These phrases clearly indicate the desired action and may be more effective in encouraging the user to follow the link.
It is important to use descriptive anchor text in your hyperlinks to provide context and improve the user experience.
While it may be tempting to use the word “here” as a quick and easy way to create a hyperlink, it is recommended to use more descriptive text to help users and search engines understand the purpose of the link.
By taking the time to carefully consider your anchor text, you can improve the overall quality and usefulness of your website for both users and search engines.