The anchor tag is used to create links to other pages, files, or images on the Web.
To be of value, the links on your web pages must be related to the content of the page, and they
must be active links to real web sites. Broken links can lower your search engine ranking. Links
have always been an important factor in how web sites rank on the Web, but the abuse of linking
that we see so often today started just a few years ago, about the time that Google became the big
name in search.
When links became a ranking criterion, many black-hat SEOs began building link farms, which are
sites that are nothing more than pages full of links designed to gain high search engine rankings.
It didn’t take long for search engine administrators to figure out this sneaky optimization trick, so
they changed the criteria by which links are ranked. Now link farms are fairly ineffective, but links
on your web site are still important. Links show an interactivity with the community (other sites on
the Web), which points to the legitimacy of your web site. Links aren’t the only, or even the highest,
ranking criteria, but they are important all the same.
One other consideration, even before you build your site, is the site’s popularity. Many search engines
include a criterion for the number of times users click on web sites that are returned in search results.
The more often the site is selected from the search results, the higher in the ranking it climbs.
For you, that means you should begin building the popularity of your site, even before it is built.
Begin building buzz about the site through advertisements, info-torials, and even newsletter or other
e-mail announcements. Then redouble those efforts as soon as the site goes live to the public.
It’s a riddle to which there is no easy answer. You optimize your web site for search engines in order
to build popularity, but your ranking in the search engine can be determined by how popular your
site is. There is no magic formula that helps you solve the riddle. It requires time and consistent effort
to draw visitors to your site.
Anchor tags appear as links to users.
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