Hashtag URLs & Named Anchors: What They Are and Why You Should Care
Have you ever done a search for something and when you click on the search result you land midway through a page but directly to the section of the page that has the information you were looking for? It can feel like magic!
Or maybe you were on a page, like an FAQ page, and when you clicked on the question in the menu item, the page automatically jumped to the FAQ content you were looking for without you having to scroll to it?
That jump to the content you wanted is created by a hashtag URL and a named anchor tag!
From the user perspective, it is not so complicated and often expected, so it seems natural to have these in support of giving your users what they want efficiently. This improves the user experience on your pages, and hey, they can even give us a bit of extra search engine love!
How do Search Engines use hashtags?
It might surprise you to know that Google has been supporting hash tag links since 2009, they call this type of link in search results as "Jump to" Links. When Google identifies "distinct, logical sections" on a page and the page has named anchors for those sections, it can make use of these in search like this example below.
Those links below the description with the red outline are all hashtag links, they all go to the same URL, but each link has a different hashtag. Note how this search result takes up a bit more room and can draw more attention than a result without those links.
To have the best chance at getting your hashtag links to show up in search use short anchor text when possible, like two or three words. This can help avoid truncation and get more links to show up in the search result.
Note: Bing does not generate special search results that include hashtag URLs.