Link Context

How you write a link matters, according to Google.

If you do not use a Backlink Checker that shows Backlink Context, Google is making it increasingly clear that you might be falling behind other SEOs when it comes to developing the right backlink profile for your business website.

Google hardly ever talks officially about “link building”. This is partly because SEOs take every mention and extrapolate the wildest of interpretations. This post might be no different. Another, more noble reason, is likely to be that we only affect the web and the link graph when we are linking OUT of a page. So if you look at how Google recommends you describe links to documents when writing content, you get an indication of what is important in a link to Google.

To write link text, use descriptive phrases that provide context for the material that you’re linking to. Quotation

In fact, the cited Google article above focuses on “anchor text” rather than the page context but makes it clear that you should try and give that something meaningful. It should describe the content on the page it is linking to, in some way.

Google also states in its accessibility documentation that developers should create links that make sense REGARDLESS of the context.

Use meaningful link text. Links should make sense when read out of context. documentation

Knowing this, we can use a tool like Majestic’s Link Context tool to see how to improve these links without too much hard work. Here’s an example:

By looking at the Link Context tab for your site, it is quite likely that you can find easy ways to change the anchor text of existing backlinks, without having to click through and check each backlink manually.

Anchor Text “Hampton Court Palace”

In the above example, we have a great link. It is on a BBC page about Kitchen Gadgets through the ages and links to a page under the correct palace, talking about chocolate. However, it says “Hampton Court Palace”, and the page it links to is “Chocolate fit for a king”. If the anchor text was to say “Hampton Court Kitchens”, it would be even better.

Anchor Text “Can harm the whales”

Here is an important issue. The National Geographic was trying to help by linking to the “threatened and endangered” page for Saving the Whales. But by missing the word “Humans” from the anchor text, they lose a lot of meaning for Google in the link.

Why is it important to Google to fully describe the meaning in the anchor text?

Back in 2019, around the same time that Google started using BERT, Majestic launched link context. Last month, Google published an interesting video about BERT, which tangentially says why this was important.

BERT as described by Google

Given Google’s clarity in their new video, it is not enough to “just get links”… even on good pages. Google has spent so much of its energy trying to understand what is in the context of a short piece of text. It makes sense that Google now (or at the very least humans) also derive meaning and add that meaning into the link properties.

Some tips and takeaways:

Getting meaningful anchor text that makes sense out of context helps Google better understand the meaning of the target page and thus ultimately improve your search results, by affecting the inputs in underlying algorithms like BERT.

Search Engines have to make machine-based decisions based on imperfect data. By improving the information quality fed into the search engines’ decisions, you can rapidly improve the quality of your search traffic.

The authority of your web page is only considered in context. In other words, if other web pages cite (and link) to your web page as the source of information, this is great! However, it appears that Google still relies on exact anchor text (at least according to its public-facing documentation) to understand that context.

Dixon Jones
Latest posts by Dixon Jones (see all)


  • Sandeep

    Cleanly hit the nail on the head the points mentioned in "Two examples of links that we might improve"

    I don’t know if any example couple to better explain these absolutely big points on Content SEO.

    Thank you for this fabulous read

    March 17, 2022 at 5:41 pm
  • Curtain Maker

    Hi, Can i get support on this website for backlinks and keywords
    Curtain Maker Dubai, they provide blinds and curtains in dubai

    April 3, 2022 at 9:21 pm
    • Philip Aggrey

      Hello Roshan. Majestic have tools that enable you to check your backlink profile and also to research keywords. The best way to get to know Majestic is to book a demo here: <a href=""></a>.

      April 4, 2022 at 10:25 am

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