What is Anchor Text? 6 best link text optimization methods

Anchor text is a key element that “unlocks” the full potential of a link – to the extent that Google rolled out its first Penguin update in 2012, devaluing text optimization methods too much. momentum or not well out of the ranking picture.

Over time, anchor text optimization best practices have evolved significantly. It’s time to learn how anchor text best practices can allow you to get the most out of links in 2018.

What is Anchor Text or Anchor Text?

Anchor Text is the visible, clickable link text within the hyperlink. In modern browsers it is usually blue and underlined, such as this link to the homepage seothetop.com

Link text is the clickable text in the hyperlink. SEO best practices stipulate that the link text is relevant to the page you’re linking to, rather than generic text.


Example anchor text

Optimal format

The SEO-friendly link text is neat and relevant to the landing page (i.e. the page it links to).

What is link text?

Link text is the phrase in a hyperlink that shows up when linking to a document or other location on the web. It usually appears as blue underlined text, but you change the color and style of the site’s links through your HTML or CSS.

Link text can provide both search engines and relevant users with contextual information about the content of the link destination.

Anchor text of the link
SEO knowledge is the anchor text of the link.

Search engines use external anchor text (which other text pages use to link to your site) as a reflection of how other people view your page – and by extension, what pages are on your site. What could be yours. While site owners generally cannot control how other websites link to their sites, “you can ensure that the link text you use in your site is useful, descriptive, and related.”

If many sites think that a particular page is relevant to a certain set of terms, that page can manage to rank well even if the terms don’t appear in the text itself.

Types of Linking Texts

Use the correct phrase

Anchor text is “exact match” if it includes keywords that reflect the page being linked to. For example, ‘link building’ links to a page about link building.

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Partial match of keywords

Anchor text includes a variation of the keyword on the linked page. For example, ‘link building strategy’ links to a page about link building.


The brand name is used as the link text. Eg: ‘SeoTheTop‘ linked to an article on SlideShare.

The “naked” link

The URL is used as an anchor text ‘seothetop.com’ in a link.

Website Name

The URL of the website with the anchor text written as “YourWebsite.com” (ex: seothetop.com)

Page/blog post title

The link text uses the title of the page with the link on it (example: Top 14 SEO Trends 2018)

Keyword LSI – Latent Semantic Indexing (latent semantic index)

Keyword anchor text is related to a targeted keyword that Google shows at the bottom of the search results page.

For example: business advice, business advice for entrepreneurs, success stories in startup business


A generic word or phrase used as the anchor text. “Click here” is a generic anchor.


Whenever an image is linked, Google uses the text contained in the image’s ALT attribute as the link text.

Best practices for optimizing anchor text for SEO

SEO-friendly anchor text is:

  • Succinct
  • Relevant to the page linked to
  • Low keyword density (not too keyword heavy)
  • Not generic

Remember that you generally don’t have any control over the link text that other sites use to link back to your own content. So most of these best practices will govern how to best use anchor text in your own site.

1. Neat Anchor Text

While there is no specific length limit for link text, you should keep your link text as neat as possible. However, the terms you choose to include in your anchor text should consider two main factors:

  • What is the most concise, accurate way to describe the linked page?
  • What word or phrase will encourage users to click on a link?

2. Landing Page Relevance

As search engines have become smarter, they have started to identify more metrics to determine rankings. One metric that stands out among the rest is link relevancy, or how it relates to the topic of site A as site B if one links to the other. Highly relevant links can improve the likelihood of both site A and site B ranking for queries related to their topic.

Link relevancy is a natural phenomenon that occurs when people link to other content on the web. It is determined by:

  • Theme of the source page
  • The content of the anchor text on that source page
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Links that point to content relevant to the source site’s topic are likely to send a stronger relevancy signal than links that point to unrelated content. For example, a page about the best food in Hanoi is likely to signal a better relevance to Google when it links to a restaurant’s website than when it links to a sports site.

Search engines pay attention to the anchor text variation different are used to link back to the original article and use them as an additional indicator of what the article is about – and which search queries are relevant. This, combined with natural language processing and other factors such as link source and the information hierarchy, which makes up the link-related metric ratio. To ensure your links send strong relevancy signals, keep your anchor text as descriptive as possible of the landing page topic.

3. Keep the anchor relevant to the content

Over time, Google will only improve its algorithms to understand the actual meaning of website content. Since 2015, it has been testing DeepMind, a natural language processing technology that allows artificial intelligence to learn like humans.

Provided Google knows what is placed on a particular web page, it should not have any problem figuring out if a particular anchor text or link is relevant to the content of a web page.

If you place internal links with irrelevant anchor text on your own site, this can harm your search rankings. This is true for backlinks with irrelevant anchor text.

Google is obsessed with improving user experience. They do their best to provide relevant content in the most convenient way. Google doesn’t appreciate irrelevant links when it comes to directing users to irrelevant content.

4. Keep it natural…and flexible

According to Google, every part of any website, including links and their anchor text, should provide real value to users. Links must be placed only where users expect to see them, so that they can get something of value to them.

With Google’s algorithm getting smarter every year, it’s a good idea to avoid a lot of repetitive and keyword-based anchor text in your site’s anchor text cloud. Failure to do so will inevitably lead to a penalty.

To quote Neil Patel:

“I love building natural links, because that’s what Google wants. You can’t be smarter than the engineers who spent their time working to make the algorithm work smarter. So focus on high-quality content and avoid penalties on Google and other search engines.”

Of course, you need to link to relevant, high-quality pages and disavow all links from low-quality, irrelevant sites. Acquire links from high authority (high DA) sites.

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5. Diversify keyword phrases in anchor text

With the Penguin algorithm update, Google started to take a closer look at the keywords in the link text. If there are too many links in the site containing the exact same link text, it can start to look suspicious and could be a sign that the links are unnatural. All in all, it’s still best practice to get and use keyword- and topic-specific anchor text when possible. However, SEOs can get better results by striving for more natural anchor text phrases than the same keyword every time.

Important Note: Don’t overdo it with keyword-heavy internal links. Internal linking is certainly a recommended best practice, but be careful with the link text you use to link your pages together. If too many links to a page, all using the same link text, even if they are on your site, Google may perceive spam behavior.

6. Avoid over-optimization

Google doesn’t appreciate hyperlink text. The spam, keyword-based anchor text cloud is a big red flag for Google. It shows abusive manipulation with backlinks, and the result will be an unnatural link penalty.

Instead, try to keep your anchor text natural by spreading it across your inbound links in the right proportions.

For example, instead of putting “Software Development Company” in every guest post, try using something like “software development company” or “most trusted software development company”. ”, etc

Golden Formula Using Anchor Text

  • 50% – Branded anchor texts
  • 15% – use domain name in anchor text (WebsiteName.com)
  • 10-20% – “naked” URLs
  • 10-15% – Page title/post title
  • 1-5% – Generic Text Anchors (here, click here, see more, learn more)
  • 1-5% – Exact keywords and partial matches
  • Is different
Anchor Text using the brand name is the most effective
Anchor Text using the brand name is the most effective

Surprisingly, using the URL and Site Name in the anchor text around 50% gets great results, plus a good number of random keywords (such as “click here”, “more info” etc) also helps to create a natural looking link profile and you will get better rankings.

However, the most important thing is that you don’t abuse your target keywords…by using your target keywords too often (more than 15%) puts your site at risk get penalized by Google and push down the rankings.

The above article hopes to help you use Anchor Text better in link building, and remember small connections create big power. Good luck!

Dung Hoang

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