What is Anchor Text? How to Optimize It For SEO Benefit

Anchor text is a familiar term for internet marketers. This is a common term popular in search engine optimization and it has got the power to help you to get a higher rank. But when Google introduced a new algorithm in 2012 called Penguin, everything about anchor text SEO got changed.

Before that Google used it to understand the relevancy of a website. But now that scenario got changed and Google takes usage of anchors more seriously.

What is Anchor Text

It has become an important point, every marketer should consider, in order to get a higher-ranking website.

After the Introduction of the Penguin algorithm:

After the introduction of the Penguin algorithm, anchor text became a primary factor for Google to analyze your link relevancy.

As a result, Google started to penalize spammy and over-optimized anchor texts.

So, anchor text is one of the important evaluators of your link. It can help with your SEO efforts if you can use it properly. This is a guide that helps you to know how to optimize it to get a higher ranking.

What is anchor text:

If you check content pages, you can see a hyperlinked text in many of them.

You can click on it and it will redirect to a particular page. This clickable text is known as anchor text.

When a user clicks on this text, it will lead him to a site related to that particular topic. This helps the users to navigate to another site

As backlinks are important while ranking your site, anchor text also plays a significant role in it.

Now Google checks them as a better way to penalize sites if it is found over optimized and spammy link building.

So, now we cannot cheat Google by building irrelevant backlinks for better ranking after the introduction of Panda and Penguin in algorithms.

How to Create Anchor text?

This will help you to create regular anchor text in your content. The process is very easy if you can follow the steps well.

Step 1: Create a link

You need to take the content where you need to add anchor text. This you can do by clicking on edit and you can see a lot of option in this tab.

Click on the Text icon and type the text you want to anchor in that block. Then you can highlight the text and click on link icon from the box.

Step 2: Create a unique ID

You need to create a unique id for the anchor text. When you click on link window a new tab appears and click on ‘External’ and enter a hashtag and add the id you want.

If you use more than one word, separate it with a hyphen. Also, the text is case sensitive you can only use lower case here.

Step 3: Add page slug

This is an optional step. But, adding page slug will be better. You can add this before hashtag.

For example, if your external link is #unique-idea-finder then after adding page slug it will be like /about/#unique-idea-finder. So, adding a slash mark (/) is the key here.

Step 4: Add the link

After creating a link, you need to add it to your content. You can select the part where the link to be added and click on insert point and from available option click on ‘Code’.

There you can see code like ‘<p>Hello World</p>.

You can replace the hello world and add the text you want. So, it will look like <p id=” unique-idea-finder”>, this is where the link will jump to </p>. avoid adding slash and page slug while doing this

Step 5: Save

Now you need to save the code. The process is now complete. When you click on the link you create in step 1, it will take you to the link you saved in the last step. This is how we create anchor text on a website.

Types of Anchor text:

Before knowing the optimization techniques of anchor text there are many types of them. Check out some popular types here:

Generic Anchor:

This is the simplest type you can see in most of the content like ‘click here’, ‘go here’,’ read more’ etc.

Branded anchor:

Sometimes you may have noticed a hyperlinked brand name. This type of anchors where the brand name is used as anchor text is called branded anchor. This is the more safest and genuine type if there is any, related to your niche.

Naked anchors:

In this type, people use the whole link as an anchor text instead of hiding it under a text. For example, when someone uses https://www.semrush.com then it is a naked anchor text

Brand + keyword anchor:

This type of anchor text is very safe to use. Here we use a brand name and keyword as per our choice.

This is a very effective way to improve your ranking too. For example, SEO services by Moz

Image anchors:

This is another type of anchor where you can use images. Google reads it and considers the alt in the link as anchor text.

LSI anchor:

Latent Semantic Indexing is the full form of LSI and here anchor text could be any synonyms or variation of your main keyword.

For example, ‘SEO business’ ‘SEO agency’, ‘SEO company’ like that

Partial matching anchors:

If you include a text and half of it match exactly with a keyword, then it can be considered as partial matching anchors.

For example, How to drive a car, learn more about how to drive a car

Long tail anchor:

This is a type of Partial matching anchor with long tail words.

For example, this is an SEO guide, Use SEO tools on your content, read this article based on SEO efforts, etc.

Exact matching anchors:

These are anchors that exactly match with your keywords.

It is easier to create and also there is a high risk of getting a penalty from Google if not used properly.

If your target keyword is an SEO guide, then anchor text will also be ‘SEO guide’.

Anchor text distribution:

So now you got an idea about various types of anchor text. As I said above you can use as many of them in your content but make sure they are connected to relevant links.

Don’t just connect words to links for the sake of link building.

Over optimization will result in penalty and Google may consider our content as spam.

How can you distribute various anchor text without causing any issues?

These are the recent distribution statistics you can follow

Branded Anchor text is the safest way to include links to your content. You can include 70% of your backlinks as brand anchor text.

Google likes to see a brand on your content and you can build a strong backlink profile at the same time.

Naked links percentage is around 20%. You can include any link you want in this percentage distribution. They are very safe to use and natural too.

Generic Anchors can be 5% of the entire content. They are very important to keep your content look genuine.

You can try various anchor texts like click here, read more, etc.

LSI and partial match Anchors 1-5% of the entire site. These should be used carefully and may not cause any issue for your content

Exact matching should not be more than 1%. They are very dangerous and you should use it very carefully.

It should be taken as the last option if any of the above options are not available.

Anchor Text best practices for Google:

Anchor text optimization is very important for your site as Google considers any flaws in using this text seriously and can lead to more complication for you in the future algorithm updates.

You can follow some good practices with anchor text to avoid over optimization problems with your website. Here are some tips you can follow

Relevancy of anchor text:

When you relate an anchor text from your content to a link, it should be relevant to your content topic.

If you write about ‘SEO guide’ then your targeted keyword should be SEO guide.

Distribution of anchor text:

You should distribute anchor text in your content according to the above percentage. Just by including so many of them into your content cannot achieve anything for you. You need to follow the percentage value of each type of it and distribute them accordingly.

Some type of anchor texts like exact matching type should only use if you don’t have any other option. Each type of content has a different anchor text distribution.

You can research well about your competitor site to know how they distributed this text in their content. You can try practicing it because that could be the reason for them getting listed under the top search result.

Don’t link with spammy sites:

It is a well- known fact that Google only accepts authoritative backlinks. For the sake of link building, don’t jump into dangerous links.

When you get backlinks, you need to verify the link authority and make sure that it is genuine.

When you create an anchor text make sure that you linked your text to healthy informative sites that can cause benefits to your website and SEO efforts.

Be careful with internal linking:

We know that internal linking also can bring more site traffic and improves SEO. But, when you use keyword anchor text that exactly matches to your own link, that is bad.

You can twist the words and make it look different than that of your content. This is only advisable if you don’t have any other option.

You should always work to get more external backlinks than creating internal links

Test and track your Anchor:

You need to test your anchor text on your site to analyze its SEO impact. There is a tool called Text categorizer tool which can help you in this task.

Here you need to enter some details about your page and the anchor text you used in it.

It will show the type of keyword you used and the percentage of each anchor text type in the entire content. There are other tools also to perform this task like SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc.

Make sure to distribute the anchor text well and avoid over-optimization in it by using more and more keywords.

Get links with good Domain authority:

If you want to get the expected result you must concentrate on getting backlinks from sites with good domain authority.

It is not useful when you receive backlinks from any site that is not worthy. There will be some famous site with good authority.

While getting links you can check their domain authority and if it is above 30 then accept it. Page authority of a good website should be above 35.

Anchor text should look natural:

When you create anchor text in your content it should look natural a well as versatile. You should provide real value to users when you use it.

They expect something useful when they click on it and if you can make sure to include something valuable to them, they will be happy.

Only link to high-quality links and disavow low-quality ones. Google will also love natural anchor texts other than stuffing keywords to get backlinks.

Avoid it on landing pages:

When you include anchor text, avoid it in your website landing pages.

It is always better to include in deep pages and it should look natural and related to the topic.

Final Words:

We can say that anchor text is an important ranking factor without any doubt. But when you implement it, you must be extremely careful as it can damage your site ranking. Use it only if needed and avoid overstuffing keywords in it. Use the ones that can be beneficial to your site.

For example, you can include brand anchor text because it is very safe to use, and Google will also like it.

Avoid bad link building practices because it can end up in penalty and spammy site

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