Artificial Intelligence

What Is Anchor Text? Everything You Need to Know

By Ali, Having 13 years experience in the IT & Servicing Industry. A.I Lover, Startup Enthusiast, IoT Implementor, and Blockchain Follower.

What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text is the visible and clickable part of a hyperlink. It provides information to search engines and users about a page’s content, and it is relevant to the page you are linking to. It is easy to identify a hyperlink because a distinct colour and an underline commonly mark it.

Search engines use keywords in the anchor text to identify the topic of the web page.

Types of Anchor Text 

Generic anchor text

The generic text does not reveal any information about the type of content available on the page. These anchors are devoid of keywords and do not yield fruitful results in correlation to page rankings in SERPs. It uses standard text with words like ‘website,’ ‘info,’ ‘link,’ or phrases such as ‘read more,’ ‘click here,’ etc. So why is generic text important? Because it is pretty powerful and omnipresent over the internet and uses functional language and active CTAs.

Branded anchor text

This anchor text includes your brand’s name, and it contains a clickable link where the text includes the site’s name to which the link is connecting. The branded anchor text is crucial for building your brand’s image—for example, Adidas activewear, McDonalds Happy Meal, or Canon DSLR.

Partial Match anchor text

The Partial Match text does not use the exact phrasing; instead, it adds variation. 

For example: “driving for beginners” = “beginner’s guide to driving”

Exact match anchor text

It includes precisely the keyword that the linked-to page is targeting. E.g., search engines.

Phrase match anchor text

It includes the link title consisting of a specific phrase for which your website is trying to rank. 

Naked link text

A naked link is a hyperlink that uses the URL directly as an anchor text.

 For example:

Image anchor link

Images can be used as anchor links and also enhance SEO for images. You should add descriptive or alt text for the search engine to understand the image. For example Pinterest uses image anchor links to redirect users to the destination url.

Random anchor text

These comprise phrases that are not excessively generic such as ‘click here.’ However, they are not related to the target keyword either. 

Natural vs. Unnatural anchors

The natural anchor includes text, image, or button for the user to click for further information. If you produce high-quality content, anchor text links will naturally come to your website. 

On the other hand, an unnatural anchor text uses spammed backlinks and keyword stuffing to maneuver a page’s ranking. Google’s SERP algorithm proactively penalizes any content using unnatural practices for SERP rankings, resulting in a substantive reduction of your audience size. 

How does anchor text affect SEO?

Anchor words enable search engines like Google to know about the web pages and rank them accordingly for the right keywords. Adding internal links will allow Google to understand your website structure. Similarly, the text of the internal links provides an understanding of the content. So when you link to other content, Google will analyze the link text ad as a determinant of the topic of the linked page. 

Moreover, the link text also informs users about the link’s authenticity. Additionally, you should avoid adding the focus keyphrase in the link text to avoid causing any confusion for both search engines and users. Overall, the anchor text in the backlinks is crucial in SERP rankings. 

Suggested Read: Difference Between On Site, Off Site and Technical SEO

How to optimize anchor text for SEO?

There are different ways to optimize anchor text for SEO. 

It would help if you used crisp words for the anchor text, however there is no recommended word length. Nevertheless, it would be best to employ words that concisely convey the crux of anchor text and prompt users to click on your link.

Page relevancy has become one of the primary metrics to determine rankings. A relevant link must improve the rankings if there are any queries related to the topic. Likewise, do not include links to spammy websites, do not use generic text, and avoid linking internal links with keyword-rich texts. 

How to optimize your anchor link texts

Links should be coherent

Employ writing techniques when adding links to the text. Make sure your links are consistent with the text. Add your links where you think they are suitable and remove any inconsistent links that disrupt a smooth flow.

Intent-based internal linking

Make sure that the link’s text matches the content of the page you are linking to. It will let the user know what they should expect when clicking on the link. 

Don’t deceive users

For maintaining the credibility of your site, the link you add must be accurate. If your link title says ‘sneakers,’ the link should direct the user to the same page. 

Add a clickable link

Ensure that the link you add is visible and clickable. For instance, you can add a different colour and use an underline for a link.

Anchor text manipulation

Anchor text manipulation occurs when SEOs over-optimise and abuse link building by featuring one targeted anchor text and obtaining links with the same anchors. It would help if you avoided repetitive keyword-rich anchors that adversely affect your backlink profile. Similarly, numerous anchors on a page can also alarm search engines; hence avoid adding external links on one page. 

Spammy anchor text

The spammy anchor text denotes no connection to the page it exists on or the page it is linking to. It is used to harm another website.

One-way anchor text backlinks

If one website is linked to another website and not linked back to the same website, it creates one-way backlinks.

Targeted anchor text

Link builders or SEOs specialized in building links control the anchor text from their links from other websites. These anchor texts are targeted – the keywords in the anchor text will match the targeted keyword of the page an SEO is trying to rank on.

Excessive anchor text

Excessive anchor text is when lots of keywords within one page link to numerous pages of a website or the same page with varied anchor texts. It is similar to keyword stuffing.

Anchor text distribution

SEO experts vigorously create links to their website involving targeted anchor text. Hence, some keywords will encompass a larger share of the entire anchor text distribution. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is anchor text still a ranking factor?

Absolutely. Anchor text is considered a ranking factor as it enables search engines to connect URLs with specific keywords or key phrases.

What is the difference between hyperlink and anchor text?

Hyperlinks enable you to move from one page to another. In contrast, anchor text allows you to move from one part to another on the same page. 

What is the most common type of anchor text?

The blue and underlined text is the most common type of anchor text.

What is a rich anchor text?

Rich anchor text contains appropriate target keywords. These keywords often rank you higher in SERPs.

How to add anchor text in HTML?

Just take an example by creating a link to TurboAnchor’s website:

<a href="https://www.turboanchor.com">Visit TurboAnchor (Pvt.) Ltd.</a>

Above line of code would be displayed as: Visit TurboAnchor (Pvt.) Ltd.

Conclusion

In SEO, link building is critical, and anchor text is the core of link building. Anchor text gives an idea to search engines and users about the content. Accordingly, search engines use the anchor text to index and rank web pages in SERPs. However, you must try to optimize the anchor text in sync with SEO but avoid over-optimization – This way you anchor text will enable you to boost your rankings in SERPs.

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