Anchor Text, also known as the link label or link title is the clickable text in a hyperlink that links to another location or document on the Web.
Just like the anchors of ship, anchor text keeps your Blogging boat afloat and helps you in optimization of the post. If you use it correctly, you’ll witness your rank climbing higher on a daily basis. However If you use it without thinking, you might notice your organic search traffic disappearing overnight or being penalized and your Blogging boat will sink in the sea of Blogs.
Anchor text is weighted (ranked) highly in search engine algorithms, because the linked text is usually relevant to the landing page. The objective of search engines is to provide highly relevant search results and this is where anchor text helps. Anchor text can also serve the purpose of directing the user to internal pages on the site, which can also help to rank the website higher in the search rankings.
What does an anchor text look like in HTML? The first piece of code is the URL, while the second part describes the link and this is the anchor text.
<a href=”https://viaENS.com/blog/what-is-anchor-text/”>What is Anchor Text?</a>
According to Wikipedia, on April 2012, Google announced in its March “Penguin” update that it would be changing the way it handled anchor text, implying that anchor text would no longer be as important an element for their ranking metrics. Moving forward, Google would be paying more attention to a diversified link profile which has a mix of anchor text and other types of links.
Here is everything you should know about the Anchor Text- The various types of Anchor texts and its optimization.
Types of Anchor Texts
Generic Anchor Text-
Generic Anchor texts are normal anchor texts that redirect you to a specific link. Generic Anchor Texts are the hyperlinks on texts like Click here, read more, check out this website, here, this page etc.
Naked Link Anchor Text-
Naked link anchors are the direct URL’s mentioned in the content. They are direct links without any hyperlink to a text.
Example of Naked Link Anchor Text-
https://viaens.com/blog/ and www.viaENS.com/blog are both the examples of Naked Link Error.
Branded Anchor Texts-
Branded Anchor Texts uses your Brand name as the anchor text.
Example of Branded Anchor Text-
a link to viaENS.com with the anchor text “viaENS” is a branded anchor.
Brand+Keyword Anchor Text-
This is another effective way to generate a productive anchor text. It is basically a combination of your keyword you want to focus on along with the brand name.
Example of Brand+Keyword Anchor Text-
“Managed WordPress Services by viaENS”.
Image Anchor Text-
When Google indexes the Blog Post, it considers the Alt text specified in the image as anchor text. If you leave the alt text empty, there will be a ‘no Text’ Anchor.
Example of Image Anchor Text-
<a href=”http://example.com”><imgsrc=”http://example.com/sample-image.jpg” alt=”alt as anchor text” /> </a>
Partial Match Anchor Text-
Partial match Anchor texts are those where the texts partially matches the anchor text. Example of Partial Match Anchor Text-
“Learn more about on-Page SEO” or “Guide for link Building”.
LSI Anchor Text-
LSI or ‘Latent Semantic Indexing’ basically refers to the related keywords to your original keyword.
Example of LSI Anchor Text-
Let us assume your focus Keyword is ‘Link Building’, then your LSI Anchor Texts will be ‘Link Building in SEO’ or ‘Link Building in Digital Marketing’.
Long Tail Anchor Text-
Long Tail Anchor Texts are similar to Partial Match Anchor text with the only difference that they are longer.
Example of Long Tail Anchor Text-
“How to get sponsored travel trips and earn money?” or “How to turn Fashion into full time Career?”
Exact Match Anchor Text-
Exact Match Anchor Texts are a crucial form of Anchor Texts. While it can improve your ranking, it can also be a reason you get penalized by Google. Your target keyword becomes your Anchor Text.
Example of Exact Match Anchor Text-
If your Target Keyword is ‘Link Building’, then the Exact Match Anchor Text will be ‘Link Building’.
Optimization of Anchor Text
Use Relevant Anchor Text-
For optimization of your Blog Post, your Anchor text should be relevant to the content of the Blog Post, you are placing it in. The more relevant your content is to your target keywords, the better are the chances of ranking. For Example- If your target Keyword is ‘On-Page SEO’, then your content should explain what On-Page SEO is all about and its applications.
Distribute your Anchor Texts evenly-
Conduct a thorough research of the Top Blogs in your niche and analyse how they are creating and distributing the Anchor texts.
The distribution of Anchor Text should be as follows. It may vary as per niches-
- Branded Anchor text: 40%
- Unique/Other anchor text: 25%
- Naked link anchor: 15%
- Brand + keyword anchor: 5%
- Partial match anchor text: 5%
- Genric anchor text: 1-5%
- Long tail anchor text: 2-4%
- Exact Match Anchors: Less Than 1%
Avoid linking to Spammy sites-
Don’t link your Anchor texts to non-authoritative or spammy sites just for the sake of creating linkbacks. Focus on healthy, authoritative sites that are related to your niche because authority sites linking to you is highly beneficial for SEO. Never degrade the quality of your sites as the sites you are linking to will further define your site.
Avoid internal linking with keyword-rich anchors-
Avoid internal linking with Keyword rich anchors because it can create a negative impact on your link building. Replace Keyword rich anchors with long tail Keywords. For Instance- Instead of using “SEO Guide”, you can use “Complete guide to Improve your Blog SEO”.
While some Bloggers think Guest Posting is dead, it can in fact help you generate a strong link profile. Guest post on domains with more than 30 Domain Authority can really help you build a strong link profile. While Guest Posting, it is recommended to use Partial Match Anchors or LSI Anchors. One more thing worth considering is that your Guest post should be relevant to your Blog Niche as Relevancy is the most life of Google.
Usage of Anchor Texts-
After the penguin update, the exact match anchors should be minimized to 1% or less according to the relevant SEO strategy. But these type of anchor text can penalize your site and so you need to be more careful. The main types of anchor texts that are both safe and effective are naked link anchors and branded anchors. Focus on organic Link Building using quality content and a diverse range of anchor texts. This will help you optimize your link profile with minimal chances of penalization.