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Even if you are an SEO pro, anchor text can be a trick aspect for you. A thin line exists between a successful and an unsuccessful anchor text strategy.

Stepping into the grey or black practices can lead to penalties. This is why knowing the ins and outs of anchor text (for link building) is important.

So, how can you avoid potential penalties? What are the best ways to do so?


There is no need to worry. Discover the best practices for anchor text link building in this article.

Here, You Will Learn:

  • Ancor texts.
  • How it works in link building.
  • Different types of anchor text.
  • Whether it is a ranking factor.
  • The proven strategies that work for link building.

Are you eager to learn about these strategies? If so, let’s get started!

Table Of Content

What Are Anchor Texts?

What Are Anchor Texts

Anchor text is the clickable part of a hyperlink. It serves as the text linked to a URL.

They provide context to both users and search engines about the linked page. Hence, plays a crucial role in link building.

It’s typically presented distinctively, often in blue and underlined, to indicate its clickability.

Generally, Anchor Texts Are Used In

  • To provide a better user experience.
  • Additionally, it helps search engines comprehend the content and context of the linked resource.
  • Connects pages within the same website and pages on different websites.
  • Various assets like PDFs or DOC files.

Finally, in the context of backlink building, anchor text often represents the search term a website aims to rank for.

How Does Anchor Text Work In Link Building?

Anchor text is like a label for a link. It’s often the keywords you want to rank for.

When others use your anchor text and link to your page in their content, it creates a backlink.

To boost your keyword rankings, it’s important to have high-quality websites linking back with different keyword variations.

Google assesses these backlinks to gauge their legitimacy.

Google can verify a backlink’s authenticity by hovering over the anchor text.

Upon Crwaling, Google Gets To Know:

  • Relevance of the link.
  • Context of the link.
  • Consistency in anchor text usage.
  • Authority of linking sites. Creating high-quality backlinks is essential.

Note: If the linked website doesn’t relate to the anchor text, it may indicate a spammy link.

Types Of Anchor Texts

Types Of Anchor Texts

Here are examples of different types of anchor texts. By understanding these types, you will be able to use them effectively.

1. Exact Match

This type of anchor text precisely matches the target keyword you want to rank for. For example, if your target keyword is “best SEO tips,” the exact match anchor text would be “best SEO tips.” It’s highly relevant to your content, but it’s essential to use it sparingly to avoid over-optimization.

2. Partial Match

Partial match anchor text includes a portion of your target keyword. If your keyword is “SEO techniques,” a partial match anchor could be “effective SEO techniques.” It provides a bit more variation while retaining keyword relevance.

3. Branded

Branded anchor text incorporates your brand name. For instance, if your brand is “BloggerOutreach” a branded anchor might be “Bloggeroutreach’s SEO guide.” This type is valuable for establishing your brand identity and trust.

4. Naked URL

The naked URL anchor text consists of the full web address, such as “https://www.bloggeroutreach.io/

It’s a straightforward and direct way to link to a website. It’s especially useful when linking to a specific page.

5. Generic

Generic anchor text uses common phrases like “click here” or “learn more”. While not keyword-specific, it’s user-friendly and can fit naturally within content. However, it’s not as informative for search engines.

6. LSI Keywords

LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing) are semantically related terms to your target keyword. Using LSI anchor text helps Google understand the context of your content. For example, if your main keyword is “improve search rankings,” LSI anchor text could include “boost SEO rankings” or “enhance website visibility.”

Diversifying your anchor text types is crucial for a balanced and natural backlink profile. It improves your site’s credibility and enhances its search engine visibility.

Anchor Text – Is It A Ranking Factor? (Google Data)

According to an article shared by Search Engine Roundtable, anchor text is a ranking factor.

Here Is What They Have Added:

Additionally, Google’s very own search trend analyst, John Mueller, has said the following about anchor text:

  • Google mostly look for specific anchor text.
  • Overly optimizing anchor texts (keyword-rich) is a red flag.

Moreover, A Popular SEO Consultant, Glen Gabe, Has Tweeted:

Anchor Text Best Practices For Backlink Success

Before you actually apply the strategy, ensure that you are linking to a page that is relevant to your content.

1. Use Exact-Match Anchor Text In Moderation

Use Exact-Match Anchor Text In Moderation

The use of exact-match anchor text has long been debated in the SEO world. Some believe it’s risky, while others see its potential benefits. But before we dive deeper, let’s first understand Google’s official stance.

Regarding anchor text, Google advises using phrases that describe the linked content to ensure a positive user experience.

For instance, if your anchor text is “link building strategies,” clicking it should lead users to a relevant page discussing just that. In essence, it’s about clarity for both readers and search engines.

So, is the exact match anchor text a villain or a hero? The answer is a bit of both. Google appreciates link text that closely matches the title or heading being referenced.

It ensures that users know exactly what to expect upon clicking a link. Instead of vague phrases like “click here” or “learn more,” Google encourages more precise and relevant anchor text.

This approach enhances user experience and makes it easier for search engines to understand the content.

However, this doesn’t mean you should overuse exact-match anchor text to improve rankings.

Google frowns upon tactics such as guest posting on numerous sites and stuffing them with identical exact-match anchors. This is considered a direct link scheme, potentially leading to penalties or manual actions.

2. Anchor Text Diversity

Anchor Text Diversity

Variety is key to a successful backlink strategy. Recent studies indicate that using a diverse range of anchor texts is associated with higher search traffic. The general rule of thumb is to avoid using the same anchor text more than once.

While some keywords overlap is acceptable, get creative and mix up your keywords. This approach prevents your anchor profile from appearing overly optimized, which could raise red flags with search engines.

3. Make It Descriptive

Make It Descriptive

Anchor text should be informative and describe the linked page’s content. This ensures that users and search engines understand the context of the link.

Avoid generic phrases like “click here” and opt for descriptive anchor text that adds value to the reader’s experience.

4. Audit Your Anchor Text

Audit Your Anchor Text

Periodically review your anchor text profile to identify any overused or potentially problematic anchor text. This audit helps you maintain a healthy and natural anchor profile.

5. Compete Information And Punctuation

Compete Information And Punctuation

When you write a complete sentence that refers the reader to another topic, introduce the link with the phrase “For more information, see” or “For more information about…, see.”

If you have punctuation immediately before or after a link, put the punctuation outside of the link tags where possible.

7. Style Link Text

Style Link Text

To enhance user experience, apply styling to your link text. This helps readers easily locate links within your content.

Key Styling Tips Include:

  • Contrasting link text colour with the regular text colour.
  • Underlining link text (but not non-link text).
  • Making visited links change colour for easy differentiation.

8. Make It Natural

Make It Natural

For successful anchor text, it should seamlessly blend into the content, feeling like an organic part of the text.

The test of naturalness is simple: if an SEO can’t instantly identify the link as an artificial placement, it passes. Think like an editor, not a keyword-stuffing SEO.

9. Variety Is Key

Variety Is Key

In a world of constantly evolving SEO, variety is the spice of life. To maintain a diverse anchor profile, refrain from using the same anchor text twice.

Instead, explore different keyword combinations to keep your backlink profile natural and diverse.

Incorporating these anchor text best practices into your SEO strategy will help you achieve better backlink success while adhering to search engine guidelines.

Final Word

For effective link building, focus on high-quality backlinks. Avoid overusing exact match anchors, which may trigger Google’s algorithms to detect unnatural activity.

Instead, diversify your anchor text variations to enhance your page’s topical relevance and potentially rank for more LSI keywords.

With our premium SEO services, you can enhance your online presence, increase visibility, and drive traffic to your website.

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Tuhin Das-image

Being in the content writing landscape for 4+ years, Tuhin likes to go deep into the minds of his readers through his writing. He loves sharing content related to SEO, digital marketing, content writing, copywriting, Education, and lifestyle. Besides his inherent inclination towards creating content, he is also a sports enthusiast and travel freak.