How to Optimize Anchor Text – The Complete Guide

This is a comprehensive guide to help you master an anchor text optimization strategy. Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. In modern browsers, it is often blue and underlined, for example, this homepage link.

Anchor text serves to promote the resource and optimize it for search engines – this is to get the most out of every link you create. In this context, anchor text is the most important element as it plays a key role in effectively unlocking the link building potential.

You should also be aware of the impact of search algorithm updates and Anchor text best practices. This is important because over-optimizing your anchor text can ultimately have a negative impact on your site’s ranking. On the other hand, applying the right tactics can give you great results, both in terms of site authority and SERPs.

What is anchor text?

Anchor text is a visible, clickable word or phrase that links one web page to another. For example, anchor text in HTML looks like this:

Anchor text This is the link text and visitors will see it on the website

Optimizing Anchor Text

The phrase “Optimizing anchor text ” Here refers to and is the anchor text in this case. It is easy to bind a link to text on a page, as CMS platforms offer ready-made functionality for this.

Now that the meaning of anchor text is clear, it’s important to understand its impact on search engine rankings. Anchor text allows search engines to determine a web page and whether it is relevant to the selected keywords.

Anchor Text in the Era of Google Penguin

Google’s ranking algorithm has undergone numerous changes in recent years, but the 2012 Penguin update was arguably the most important one to date. The idea behind the update was to target sites that ignored quality guidelines and used spam to get rankings.

As previously mentioned, prior to the update, it was easy to play optimization using only accurate website anchor links and easy to rank for any keyword. But the advent of Google Penguin has changed everything, as sites that over-optimize anchor text are now subject to severe penalties and could lose traffic as well as organic rankings.

Practices such as unnatural link building and exact match text links are now completely banned as they can irreparably damage SEO efforts. This article: 7 Concepts for Link Relevance and Google Ranking to Optimize Link Sorting.

Updates such as Panda, Hummingbird, and Penguin 4.0, which replaced Penguin, reinforced this trend and further emphasized the importance of anchor text optimization. These updates, on the one hand, resulted in an improvement in the quality of search results, and on the other hand, they also created problems for marketers who had no idea how to cope with the new algorithm.

The backlink checking process used in the updated Google algorithm includes the following steps: 

  • You have added a backlink
  • Google indexes the specified backlink
  • Your link profile has been updated by Google with this new backlink
  • The process continues indefinitely as Google uses the information to determine the ranking of your site.

Throughout the process, the algorithm carefully analyzes your link profile and compares it to keyword optimization. This uses a specific set of parameters to determine if your anchor methods are rewarding or punishing. Not knowing these parameters can lead to a rating downgrade.

Types of Anchor Text

In keeping with the changes introduced by the Penguin update, it becomes important to understand the different types of anchor text so that you can use the correct text in the right place.

Anchor text can be thought of as a variety of niches that can be used to build backlinks. Each of these types has a specific purpose and should be used optimally to avoid penalty.

Title Tag

The title tag, as the name suggests, refers to the title of the page. For example, if the link leads to an About Us or News page, you can simply use the meta title or main H1 tag as an anchor. Likewise, when linking to a blog post, the post title will be the anchor.

Exact Match

An exact match keyword is the exact keyword for which you want to rank a page. For example, if you are trying to evaluate Optimize Anchor Text , you will have to copy and paste this exact anchor phrase. 

Key Phrase Plus Word

This type of anchor text combines the exact keywords you want to rate with other words / phrases. For example, if you want to claim the title of “Midi Fashion Shop”, the corresponding key would be “View Fashion Midi Dress Store.”

The best thing about this type of anchor is their versatility as they can naturally fit into the content. However, you must make sure that each of the Keyword + Word anchors is unique.

Only Part of the Keyword.

As the name suggests, these anchors only have a portion of the key phrase you are looking for, not the entire phrase. A good example here would be using “buy trendy midi dresses” as in the previous example. Again, these anchor texts must be unique and not repeatable.

Just Natural Anchor

An anchor that does not have any of the key phrases is called Just Natural Anchor. This is a simple piece of text that explains where users are redirected to. For example: “Here”, “On the blog” and “This site” are examples of Just Natural anchors.

Brand Anchor 

Understandably, the brand anchor refers to your business or brand name. For example, will use AVANZET as a brand anchor.

Brand and Keyword Together

The next type of anchor is Brand and Keyword Together, which is a combination of a brand anchor with either the exact keyword or just part of the keyword. For example, ” Comprehensive Internet Marketing from the AVANZET Agency ” is an example of such anchor text.

Naked URL 

A bare URL refers to an anchor that does not contain anchor text but is itself a link. For example, is just a URL.

It can be an empty URL anchor that links to the home page of the site, or an internal page using the site URL as the anchor. For example, the phrase ” Read the information in our blog at ” leads to the appearance of a link to the blog page on the site.

Home Page URL

This type of anchor text is similar to anchors, but the only difference is that they use the full URL of the home page. Naked URL without Http: //: This is a bare URL that only uses www and skips the https: // part.

No Text Anchor 

This tricky strategy involves creating a link without words in the anchor text. The easiest way to do this is through images, or forgetting (intentionally or unintentionally) to include it in the article, leaving the link tag without text.

6 Anchor Text Rules to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

Now that the various types of anchor texts have been clearly explained, you should also be aware of the best techniques to follow when using them to achieve high search rankings. Let’s list them for you. 

1. Make them Versatile and Natural

Search engines prioritize those websites that provide users with real value. In this context, link placement should be natural when users expect them to get some valuable information from those links.

As algorithms are getting smarter than ever, reusing keyword-based anchors will likely lead to a lower ranking for your site. Therefore, the best approach is to deliver high quality content with relevant links from sites with high domain authority.

2. Make Sure the Anchors are Relevant to the Content.

Anchoring to content is another best practice you should follow. Algorithm improvements in addition to the use of advanced artificial intelligence technologies make it possible to understand the meaning of the content of a web page.

Thus, relevance is of great importance, and you should not post inappropriate anchor texts and links. Google is currently fully focused on delivering an unrivaled user experience, so it won’t compromise relevance at any cost.

3. Avoid Over-Optimization

Using too many keyword-based spam anchor texts is another red flag for Google. Therefore, you should avoid over-optimizing the anchor text and keep it as natural as possible.

It is best to distribute them among the incoming links in optimal proportions. For example, you can try to bind text variations that are similar in meaning to keywords, but different.

4. Correctly Position your Anchors

Another best practice related to positioning anchor text; place them where they are most likely to grab the attention of users.

The first few paragraphs are the best place to use them, as well as headings, subheadings, and images. The idea is to get them where they are able to generate high click-through rates and engagement rates.

5. Focus on Deep Links

One strategy that SEO company professionals tend to get wrong about is focusing anchors on top-level pages (such as the home page, landing page, or product pages) and ignoring the bottom-level pages.

This practice is no longer relevant today because top-level pages often turn out to be shallow in terms of content value compared to deeper-level pages such as a blog. These are the ones that are really valuable to the users. 

6. Participate in Guest Blogs

Guest blogging is a key element of a successful digital strategy in general. When it comes to using anchor text, you need to participate in guest posting to get the best results.

Pay attention to the authority as well as the relevance of the website you are participating in for getting authoritative links. According to recent updates, Google also includes the sites you link to when determining your ranking. Check outbound links to make sure you are avoiding spam and substandard sites.

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